Therapy Contract and Privacy Notice

Appointments

Individual therapy usually consists of a 60 minute appointment at the same agreed time each week.

Sessions for couples are 90 minutes and vary between two and three weeks apart. Additional sessions can usually be arranged if required. 

Sessions are held in my therapy room at 24 St Aidan’s Road, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA1 1LS or online via a teleconferencing software called Zoom. 

Zoom is available free to download on phone’s tablets and computers. 

Payment and Fees

Payment is due immediately after each session, or can be paid in advance for a set number of sessions. I accept cash, cheques, debit cards and online payments.

I normally charge £50.00 for each hour in my office and £75.00 for each 90 minute session. We may agree a different fee depending on your circumstances.

Cancellation and missed sessions

If you are unable to attend your appointment please let me know as soon as possible. The required notice for cancellation is 48 hours. Where there is less notice, or if you fail to attend your appointment, the full fee will be payable. I hope you appreciate that it is rarely possible to fill appointments at such short notice which is why I am obliged to charge for my time. 

I will give you as much advance notice as possible for holidays or of any other reason that I need to cancel a future appointment.

Confidentiality 

Confidentiality is an integral part of counselling and psychotherapy and is essential to building a strong and productive therapeutic relationship and ensuring a sense of safety. 

The therapeutic process encourages you to be as open and honest as possible and inevitably personal experiences and sensitive information is disclosed. It is vital therefore that you feel safe and can trust that everything discussed will remain completely confidential. 

All information will remain confidential unless we both agree to discuss something with a third party. The only circumstance where I would break confidentiality would be if there was a serious risk to your or another person’s safety. In very exceptional circumstances a therapist may be liable to civil or criminal court proceedings if they do not disclose client information. If at all possible this would be discussed with you beforehand and I would do all in my power to safeguard confidentiality despite the requirement to reveal certain information.

When working online it is important that you are aware of and have as much control as possible over the confidentiality and privacy of our sessions. Find a private place where you will not be overheard or interrupted. We can discuss this in more detail during our first session online.

There are certain legal limits to confidentiality which you should be aware of. If I believe there is a real and imminent risk to your safety or the safety of others I have an ethical and professional duty to ensure your safety and the safety of others, this may mean that I ask for help either from the emergency services or a doctor. I will always try to discuss any intended break in confidentiality with you first. I may also be asked to release any notes or records I hold by a court.   

Personal information and legal basis

Brief factual notes about our sessions, your agreement to this contract and your contact details are held electronically and securely. 

All information is held securely in accordance with professional recommendations and I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998) and for the General Data Protection Regulations (2018) for the information I hold about you. 

Your consent given by signing this form is the legal basis I have for storing your information. I store your name, address, contact details, a medical history, your doctor’s names and contact details, and any other relevant medical or psychiatric notes. I also record our sessions in digital format with your consent. These recordings are not normally kept for more than a month. And all are securely deleted at the end of our work unless specifically agreed otherwise. 

I make brief therapeutic notes on the content of our sessions, these are kept electronically and in an anonymised form such that other persons are not identifiable. 

Your rights with regard to your personal information. 

  • The right to be informed – This notice informs you of the information I collect.
  • The right of access – You may ask to view the record I hold on you at any time.
  • The right to rectification – I will correct any factual inaccuracies you report.
  • The right to erasure – You have the right to have your records permanently deleted subject to UK Law 
  • The right to restrict processing – Your data is not processed for any other purpose other than for me to maintain records about your therapy. 
  • The right to data portability – You can ask for the record to be transferred to another organisation. I would not normally transfer session records and you can ask for this information not to be transferred.
  • The right to object – By signing this form you consent to me holding the information outlined above. If you have any objection to me holding this data or a specific part of the data you do not have to sign the form or provide the data. 
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling. No automated decision making occurs and clients are not profiled. 

Your personal data when working online. 

I have reviewed the terms and conditions that apply to the Zoom platform that I use to hold sessions online. Their privacy statement is available here and describes the information they retain about our use of their software. 

https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/privacy-and-security.html

Insurance

As part of my practice I am fully insured for professional liability with a specialist provider of insurance for Psychotherapists. I also maintain third party accident insurance should any accident occur whilst you are on the premises. My insurance covers me for working face to face and online.

Professional Standards

As a member of various professional bodies I subscribe to a range of codes of ethics. Details of these memberships which can be viewed via the “Professional Standards” section under “Fees and Information” on my website. Copies of the codes are available on request. 

Supervision

As a key part of professional development and ethical practice I have regular supervision of client work that I undertake with a supervising psychotherapist. Confidentiality is maintained and my supervisors are also bound by the same codes of conducts that I abide by. I may ask your permission to record our sessions to assist in supervision and treatment planning. 

Website – Disclaimer

The content of my website is intended for information only. Whilst utmost care has been taken in the writing and presentation of this information I do not guarantee its usefulness or accuracy. I accept no responsibility for any decisions made and accept no liability for any loss or damage based on the information found on the website. Anyone using information offered on the website does so at their own risk and will be considered to have taken full liability and responsibility for any damage or injury arising from its use.

Direct Communication

As part of my intake I will ask about direct communication and will ascertain how best to contact you for efficiency but also for confidentiality. Should our agreed method of communication need to be altered please inform me at your earliest opportunity. 

Revised – 20 April 2020