The Counselling Contract
This is a mutual agreement negotiated between the counsellor and the client prior to the commencement of counselling.
It articulates the responsibilities of the counsellor towards the client, also the clients responsibilities in the counselling relationship.
Below is a guide of a typical counselling contract, but this will vary according to the clients needs.
Counselling Contract Form
This contract is between Katherine Thomason (Counsellor) and _______________________ (Client)
Clients Address: Phone Number(s)
I offer supportive, compassionate, non-judgmental, confidential, yet proactive Counselling in a warm, comfortable, private setting. I mainly work from a Person-Centred perspective which means that I believe in the individual’s ability to grow and develop in the way that is best for them. However, I am able to integrate other approaches to counselling and have found that many problems have their roots buried in past experiences. I have a flexible approach that is focused on client growth.
This is a very important aspect of the counselling relationship. Everything that we discuss in the counselling session is kept in the strictest confidence. As a Member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists), I am required to have regular supervision and I will need to discuss our work with my supervisor from time to time. However, I will not disclose your name or anything that would enable you to be identified. If there is convincing evidence that you intend to harm yourself or others, I will need to break confidentiality by informing your doctor, or in serious cases the police, again this would only take place with your prior knowledge.
I will keep brief notes after a session, which will be securely stored, and there is no way you would be able to be identified from the notes. Occasionally I might want to make an audio recording of our session for the purpose of monitoring my work, but this would only occur with your prior knowledge and permission. Again this data would be securely stored and destroyed after use.
Exceptions to Confidentiality:
1. If you threaten to harm yourself or to another person
2. If a child or protected adult is at risk of harm or abuse
3. If instructed by the courts to provide information
4. If you share information about a proposed act of terrorism or other illegal act
Last for around 50 minutes, and we will usually meet once a week, at the same time and day each week, though this is negotiable. If your circumstances change and the session time is no longer suitable, I will do my best to accommodate this and offer you an alternative time. Sessions will not take place if the client is under the influence of alcohol or other mind altering substances as this masks our true self and is not beneficial to the counselling process..
My fee is £35 per session during normal working hours and increase to £40 in the evenings. Weekend sessions are £45.
(reduced rate can be arranged for students).
Payment for each session is to be received via cheque or cash at the beginning of each session.
Cancellation and Holidays:
Cancellation of an appointment with less than 24 hours notice, or failure to show for an appointment, will incur the full fee. Appointments missed because you are ill and you have given me 24 hours notice, or because you are on holiday are not charged for. I will give you as much notice as possible if I am unable to make a session and will try to offer you an alternative time.
Duration of Counselling:
The duration of the therapeutic process will depend on the type of difficulty or problem the client is facing. Some people prefer to work with an open contract, whereas other people prefer to work with a fixed number of sessions followed by a review. It is generally recommended that a minimum of six sessions is required and in all cases, every six sessions the counsellor and client will review the therapeutic process together. This helps to assess whether the client’s needs are being met and, this will also help (if required) to carry out the necessary adjustments and/or establish new goals.
End of the Contract:
Indications and signs that the therapeutic process is coming to an end: recovered inner balance, greater confidence in oneself, capacity to make decisions and face situations when previously feeling overwhelmed, being in touch with one’s own resources and strength. The client may not have met all the goals at this point, but feels more confident to achieve them independently, and overall the individual’s wellbeing has increased. Sometimes the client may feel that counselling is not helping, in these circumstances it is best to discuss the difficulties rather than abruptly end counselling. This could evoke a sudden-loss experience that would not have the opportunity to be understood and resolved. In such circumstances the counsellor asks that the client give one week’s notice before ending counselling to have the chance to discuss the decision and to complete the process adequately. The client is always in charge of the decision to continue or stop counselling and will not be under any pressure to continue at any point.
If you harm me or damage my property, I will consider whether to terminate counselling.
If you have a complaint about my work, this should be directed to the BACP, the body responsible for issues of professional conduct.
PLEASE READ THIS CONTRACT CAREFULLY:
This agreement is fully understood and agreed to and is signed as it stands by:
Name: ______________________________________________________________ Client.
Name: ______________________________________________________________ Katherine Thomason.