Registration, code of conduct and complaints
I am registered with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. This means that I am bound by their ethical framework. It also meant that you have a right to raise concerns or complaints against me as a practitioner through the BACP’s Professional conduct procedure which can be found at www.bacp.co.uk/about-us/protecting-the-public/professional-conduct/professional-conduct-complaints-procedure. You can also use the ‘Ask Kathleen service’ where clients can discuss any concerns they have which can be accessed at: www.bacp.co.uk/about-therapy/ask-kathleen. I would however encourage you to discuss any concerns with me first.
As part of the requirements of the BACP I engage in regular supervision. This involves me meeting with a member of the profession who is bound by the same ethical framework, or that of the UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy). During supervision I discuss all of my cases, anonymously, to ensure I am providing an appropriate and safe service to my clients.
Our work is confidential. This means that I will not share details of anything we discuss except in the following circumstances:
- Where you request for me, and I agree, to share details with a third party;
- Where the law requires me to make a disclosure – either because of a statute or because of a court order;
- Where I have reason to believe that there is a risk of harm to yourself or to others.
In each of these circumstances I would seek to discuss the matter with you first and agree a way forward.
For the avoidance of doubt I do not consider issues relating to immigration status to require me to breach confidentiality, and would not break confidentiality for that reason.
In case there is a need to contact me between sessions, for example to cancel or rearrange an appointment the best way will usually be via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If email is impractical, for example to notify me that you are running late for an appointment, or that you are having difficulty connecting to an online session, then a text message or a call to my mobile number may work best.
I do not generally offer counselling or therapy between sessions, and do not engage in therapeutic work over email. If you do require an additional session then this can be requested, ideally in an email setting out your availability. I cannot guarantee that I will be able to provide this.
I do not generally check emails or take calls outside of normal office hours (9am-5pm weekdays) except around the times of appointments.
Sessions: If you cancel with 72-hours notice there will be no charge for your session. If you cancel with less than 72-hours notice or do not attend then your session is chargeable.
Course of therapy: You are free to cancel all further sessions at any point (subject to the 72-hour notice period above). However, I would always encourage you to have at least one closing session. By this I mean one session after the point we are both aware that the work is coming to an end, in order to process the ending.
Frequency and duration of sessions
I normally work with clients on a weekly basis for sessions lasting 60 minutes each. If we decide on a different way of working I will confirm this by email.
Periods of absence
I will always endeavour to give you at least 2 weeks’ notice of any cancelled sessions. Where there are likely to be more than 2 weeks of absence I will endeavour to give you 4 weeks’ notice. There may however be times where this is not possible due to circumstances beyond my control.
At all points of our work together I will have in place a Clinical Executor. This is someone who has been instructed to contact you in the event of my death, significant illness or other circumstances leading to me being unavailable to work with you and unable to contact you myself. That person will only be given access to contact details and possibly brief headings allowing them to suggest appropriate referrals. They will access those details only on being instructed that it is necessary.
My fee will be agreed at our initial session, and confirmed by email. I review my fee annually and will give you at least two weeks’ notice of any increase in fees. If a reduced fee has been negotiated based on your circumstances I would expect to be informed of any change to these circumstances, at which point the fee may be renegotiated.
After our initial consultation which should be paid in advance or at the appointment, I request that you pay for sessions promptly and in any case within 5 days, or 24 hours before our next session (whichever is soonest).
Where services are provided remotely any contract between us is governed by the law of England and Wales.