Upon commencement of therapy, a counselling contract will be discussed and agreed by both client and therapist. Below is a sample of a Meridian Counselling Services contract.
Session Times and Frequency
We will meet once …………………….., on ….……………..………. at ……………. and each session will last 50 minutes.
All sessions will be held at:- The Meridian Centre, 834 Yardley Wood Road
The Meridian offers a low-cost counselling service, and you will have discussed your contribution fee in your assessment appointment. This fee is payable by bank transfer and is due by bank transfer at the end of each month.
Through counselling you will form a unique relationship that offers you the opportunity to work on yourself and the issues that you would like support with. At the Meridian we place high value on therapists’ time, expertise, and knowledge as well as your own time, expertise, and knowledge you have about yourself.
I would ask that you value the time you have committed to the counselling process and the opportunities you can gain from counselling. Please make a firm commitment to attending all your appointments and to give no less than 48 hours’ notice if you are unable to attend. If less than 48 hours’ notice is given, you will still be charged for the session unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you do not attend for 2 consecutive appointments and you have not contacted The Meridian Centre it will be assumed that you no longer wish to attend, and you will be signed off from the counselling service.
I will commit to attending all appointments that we arrange. There are times that I will not be available due to training events, annual holiday, external appointments etc. and I will give you a minimum of 2 weeks’ notice of these dates. There may also be occasions when I cannot give you your session because of illness and I will try to give you as much notice as possible of any cancellation.
In the normal course of events, you will probably know when you are ready to finish counselling, and we will agree together on the work we need to do to prepare for this. Endings are a valuable part of the work we will be doing together, and it is important that we prepare appropriately for counselling to end. You may at times find counselling difficult, become distressed and feel the need to end therapy. I would ask you talk with me about these difficulties rather than suddenly ending, so that we have the opportunity to resolve important issues and end our work therapeutically. I will not suddenly or without warning terminate our contract, except in exceptional circumstances.
There will be no contact with your therapist in between sessions. Occasionally a therapist may email information that has been discussed in session to you if this has been agreed. The email will come from a central email and any reply will be seen by the manager or administration team. If you need to discuss rearranging or cancelling an appointment, please do this where possible with your therapist in session. If this cannot be done you can email The Meridian Centre at email@example.com.
We have a mobile phone that all therapists have access to that you can text regarding appointments or if you are running late. Your number will be saved under your therapist’s name, and they will be the only person to read a message from you. Please let your therapist know if you would like to communicate in this way and consent to your number being stored and make a note of the number 079** ****82.
Confidentiality and the Limits of Confidentiality
All counselling appointments are confidential, between yourself and your therapist, with the following limitations:
I discuss my therapeutic work with a supervisor.
If I need to record the session or use the content for ongoing training then I will obtain your separate consent.
There may be occasions when we think the risk that you will harm yourself or others over-rides our duty of confidentiality and we would contact a third party.
We may become aware of issues related to safeguarding children during the counselling which will over-ride our duty of confidentiality to you.
If you are involved in a court case, the court may order that information about you is disclosed.
If I have knowledge to suppose you might be involved in a crime under the terror act or if I am asked directly by the police about certain offences, I may be obliged to give them the information.
Ethics and Code of Conduct
I am a member of the BACP or UKCP and work within the ethical framework for good practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy, as laid down by these organisations. A copy of the ethical framework for good practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy can be found on the BACP’s web site at http://www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework, and the UKCP website at ukcp-code-of-ethics-and-professional-practice-2019.pdf (psychotherapy.org.uk)
If, for any reason, you are not happy with the counsellor or the service please either raise it with me, The Meridian Centre or the BACP / UKCP.
There is a continued expectation that we all take reasonable precautions. Please inform The Meridian Centre if you or any member of your family are displaying any symptoms, if you have come into contact with anyone displaying symptoms or that has been tested positive for Covid-19 and end face to face therapy immediately. The same will be expected of your therapist. Therapy sessions will continue to be offered online or by telephone whilst anyone is self-isolating.
If your therapist is contacted by an NHS contact tracer they may be required to give your name and phone number if there has been contact within the time period asked about. No further details about your relationship with your therapist or about you as an individual will be revealed. The Meridian Centre will also contact you by text or email to let you know that your details have been given to the contact tracer.
In the event of government, national or local guidelines changing, or either therapist or client no longer feeling comfortable with face-to-face sessions due to an increase in infection rates within the Midlands or the UK as a whole, this is to be discussed, and sessions will be offered via online video or telephone calls.
If you have any further concerns, please discuss these with your therapist or The Meridian Centre.
Counsellors & Clients Consent
I ……………………………………………………………….. agree to undertake counselling in accordance with the terms outlined above.
Client’s signature: ……………………………………….
I, (name of counsellor)………………….. agree to provide a counselling service in accordance with the terms outlined above
Counsellor’s signature: ……………………………….