Terms & CONDITIONS: Our CONTRACT
Welcome to my practice. I am looking forward to working with you and helping you to heal and flourish. This document is our contract that explains some important information about our psychotherapy or coaching sessions. Please read it carefully and note any questions that you may have. You can either email me your questions or we can discuss them during our next meeting. Upon your signature (or by attending the sessions), this document will constitute a binding agreement between us.
Our work will often entail discussing some very intimate and private thoughts, feelings, and actions. To some extent, my ability to help you will really depends on how open you are about yourself during our sessions. It is important for you to know that anything that you disclose will remain confidential. That means that during our sessions you can talk openly and that your right to privacy is protected. This means that I cannot discuss you or any aspect of my work with any third parties without your consent. However it is important for you to know that every psychologist and psychotherapist is required to have regular clinical supervision with a senior psychologist/ psychotherapist. That means that at times I will discuss our work with my own supervisor but you can rest assured that confidentiality will be fully maintained during these supervision sessions and that your full name and other identifying information will never be disclosed.
It is useful that I sometimes take notes during our sessions. These tend to be brief and include information such as the dates we meet, the topics covered and any problems or goals you have. I take electronic notes and these are stored on my computer and are password protected in line with the strictest of privacy rules.
In order to help the quality of the supervision, I may ask at some point for your permission to audio record some of our sessions. This is so my supervisor and I can talk about ideas and ways of working that might be helpful to you. In addition to this, small parts of the recordings may be transcribed/written down and used for research and evaluation purposes. If this were the case, all names and any factors which may identify you would not be included, so confidentiality would be maintained. All audio recordings would be destroyed after the work is completed.
Page 1 of 3 Exceptions to conﬁdentiality
There are some situations that may arise where confidentiality cannot be maintained. Although these situations are rare, you should be aware of them:
1. If you threaten to cause severe harm to yourself, and I believe this threat to be serious, then I am ethically required to protect you in any way I see ﬁt. In situations such as these, my intervention may involve talking to you about going to a hospital. I may also need to call a crisis team or, in some cases, the police.
2. If you threaten to harm another person. I am ethically required to protect anyone I feel may be in danger. This could include making contact with the person or people who have been threatened and/or, in some cases, notifying the police.
3. If I suspect that a child, an elderly person, or a vulnerable adult/incompetent person is at risk from abuse or neglect, the law requires me to report this to the appropriate body. Laws such as these are in force to protect dependent persons from being physically hurt.
Please be aware that before I decide to break our confidentiality I will discuss my intentions with you prior to doing so and, if possible, I will also obtain your consent.
I want you to rest assured that I will always do my best to create a safe environment for our sessions and that you will always be treated with respect, care and confidentially. You should also expect me to always be on time for our sessions whether they take place on Skype or in person in my offices in Edinburgh or New York.
When we have our sessions on Skype it is of paramount importance that you have a room at your disposal that allows you to work freely and confidentially, without any interruptions from other people (including children). You may also wish to use a pair of headphones in order to enhance confidentiality.
In order to make the best use of your psychotherapy or coaching sessions you should abstain from the use of alcohol or recreational drugs during our sessions.
Please also note that if you arrive late to a session, whether offline (in my therapy room) or online (via telephone or Skype), the session will still end at the scheduled time.
The fee for my service to you is £60 (or a discounted amount agreed in advance) per session with each session lasting 60 minutes (or more depending on our agreement). Fees are payable at the end of each session unless we have an agreement to invoice you at regular intervals (e.g. fortnightly, monthly) in which case the fees are payable within 3 days upon receiving my invoice. In case you require a report for medical or legal purposes, the charge will be calculated on an hourly basis based on the above hourly fee.
Missed Sessions & Cancellations
It may be the case that sometimes you are unable to attend one of our sessions due to a planned or unexpected event. If such a case, please email and notify me as soon as possible so we can reschedule our session. If you simply fail to show up for a scheduled season, or do not cancel 72 hours in advance, please be aware that you will be required to pay the full fee for the missed session. The only exception being if you or a family member/close friend have an emergency and it is impossible for you to notify me.
If I need to contact you, I will normally do so by email. If for any reason I need to speak to you personally over the phone, so to preserve the confidentiality of our sessions, I will never leave a message or speak to someone else who answers your phone (e.g. a partner, friend or colleague).
If you need to contact me, the best way to do so is by email. If you wish to speak to me over the phone or on Skype, it would be ideal if you could please text me first and request a call back as I am not usually able to answer my phone during the day and in particular when in a session with another client.
If we happen to meet by accident in a public place, it is important for you to know that I will not greet, approach or engage with you, to preserve the confidentiality of our work. However, I am more than happy for you to initiate contact with me under these circumstances but I will leave it to you to approach me and make the introductions.
It is your right to terminate our psychotherapeutic or coaching work at any time.
Termination of our sessions is also a natural stage that we will work towards and you will reach. As such, it needs to be prepared for, especially if we have been working psychotherapeutically for a long time. If you, or myself, decide that the time has come to end our work after an extended period you are strongly recommended to spend several sessions preparing for this ending. The exact length of time will be worked out between the two of us. The time spent on ending will include a review of the work, what has been achieved, alternative sources of support and strategies for coping.
Acknowledgement and Consent
Thank you for having taken the time to read this document. If you have any questions or objections please do email me or discuss them with me during our next session. Otherwise, please be aware that by attending a session with me you are acknowledging and conceding to be bound by the above terms and conditions.
I look forward to working with you,