Online Counselling Contract
Format of sessions
Email: I will send therapeutic emails (TE) via ProtonMail which is an encrypted email service. You can set up your own free account or use your existing email. If you decide to use your existing email, I recommend when replying you use a Word document attached to your email that is password protected. You can then send me the password in a separate email. We will agree on a day when I will reply to your email. You can send your email on any day prior to this or on an agreed day each week, this will allow me time to read, consider and reply therapeutically. There is a word limit of 1000 words per therapeutic email you send. I will spend no less than 60 minutes reading and responding to your therapeutic email. I will endeavour to acknowledge receipt of your therapeutic email the day it is received. I request that you do the same to establish whether either of us is experiencing technical difficulties.
Video: is via Zoom at the agreed appointment time.
Instant messaging (chat): is via Skype at the agreed appointment time.
Skype is free to use and requires setting up an account. Zoom is free to use, you do not have to sign up to attend sessions as I provide a link by email. You may find it easier to access our meetings if you download the app and set up an account.
Session number and duration: The number of sessions is determined by you. For short term work booking in blocks of 6 is advisable to allow for therapeutic planning. I would ask that a minimum of 2 sessions notice is given if you wish to end. This will allow us to finish our work together and end the counselling relationship. Throughout the therapy it is advisable to have regular reviews to help steer the direction of our sessions.
Sessions are normally 60 minutes and held on a weekly basis unless otherwise agreed.
We can continue working together for as many sessions as you find helpful. We will review your progress as we go along.
Communication outside sessions
Contact outside sessions is limited to short messages regarding booking appointments, cancellation of sessions, and confirmation of payment. This can be done by phone, SMS text or email. Please do not attempt to start a video or instant messaging chat without an appointment, even if you can see I am online. I am not able to accept friend requests on social networking sites as our relationship must remain professional only (see my Social Media Policy).
Cancellations by you: I ask that you give a minimum of 24 hours’ notice. If a cancellation is made with less than 24 hours’ notice the full charge for the session will be required. If 24 hours or more notice is given for cancellation no charge will be made. Should you cancel two consecutive sessions with limited notice then a discussion of continuing with therapy would be advised.
Cancellation by me: I will endeavour to provide you with as much notice as possible regarding my holidays and attendance of training workshops and other professional commitments. Should I need to cancel due to illness or emergency I will give you as much notice as possible and will try to offer you an alternative session.
All my counselling work is confidential, except for:
- you being at serious risk of causing harm to yourself or others
- safeguarding issues (for children or vulnerable adults)
- you share information about proposed acts of terrorism
- when I am compelled to do so by law
If any of these situations occur, I will discuss this with you. If at any point I feel that you are in need of emergency support, I may ask for your consent to contact your GP.
Counsellors are ethically required to have supervision; I may discuss your case but your name will not be used.
Please ensure that you secure your computer/device and emails against unauthorised viewing. It is recommended that you do not use a work or public computer. Ensure you are in a quiet, comfortable space where no one can disturb or overhear you. I undertake to do the same.
If there are technical difficulties preventing us from communicating online we will try to rearrange by telephone. My number is 07985 258778 and is shown on all pages of this website.
You must be 18 years of age or over and a UK resident.
Our fees are £45 per session for one-to-one counselling. Couples counselling is £60 per session. Currently we accept payments by cash, bank transfer and credit/debit cards.
Personal crisis procedures
I cannot provide an emergency service for clients. If you find yourself in a major crisis and are considering serious self-harm it is vital to get immediate help. This could include contacting your GP, or going to your nearest accident and emergency department (A&E). You can also call the Samaritans on 08457 909090 or visit their website.