Terms & Conditions
The initial session is an opportunity to explore your reasons for coming to counselling, to clarify your hopes and expectations, and for you to ask any questions that you may have. It is also a chance for both of us to assess whether we feel we're suited to working together; there is no obligation to meet again. If the decision is not to work together, then I am happy to refer you on to another counsellor if appropriate.
Limits of Confidentiality:
All information that you disclose to me within our sessions is confidential and will not be revealed to anyone without your written permission (or your parents’ permission if you are under 18 years old). Disclosure, however, may be authorised or required by law:
• where there is a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or elder adult physical abuse;
• where there is a reasonable suspicion that you may present a danger of violence to others;
• where there is a reasonable suspicion that you are likely to harm yourself unless protective measures are taken.
Payment for Service:
You will be expected to pay for services at the time that they are rendered, unless other arrangements have been made. Payment can be in cash (which ensures confidentiality) or by bank on-line transfer.
The scheduling of an appointment involves the reservation of time specifically for you, and I will wait the entire session time for you to arrive. If you are late, we will meet for whatever amount of your designated time remains. You will be required to pay for the full session. A minimum of 48 hours’ notice is required for rescheduling or cancellation of an appointment otherwise full charge will be made for the session.
While I am waiting for you to arrive for a session, I will have my phone switched on so that you may call to report any delays. I switch off my phone during sessions.
You are welcome to leave messages on my 24-hour voice-mail at any time. If, in an extraordinary circumstances, you leave a message requesting that I call you back, it might take several hours before I can return your call. If you call in the evening, on a weekend, or over a holiday, I may be unable to call you back until the next business day. In case of an emergency, leave a message for me and then immediately contact your local crisis service.
Remember that, in general, telephone calls are not meant to be a form of free counselling. If you make repeated requests for telephone support, or if you require extended time on the phone, I will charge you for my time at the same hourly rate as your office visits.
Because of the danger of privacy breaches, I discourage the use of text messages unless they are short, information specific, and do not refer to any psychological details.
If you choose to contact me through e-mail, keep in mind that Internet e-mail is not secure and that someone, somewhere, could be reading anything you write by e-mail. Realise also that if you are using a computer at your work site, that your network administrator has the capability to read every piece of e-mail you send and receive through your company e-mail address.
Counselling is likely to work most effectively if we communicate regularly, ie at an agreed frequency such as weekly, fortnightly or monthly (except where we have arranged not to meet, eg holidays, other commitments). Each session will last for 45 minutes.
This is a video call on SKYPE.
If we lose contact on Skype: If we can’t contact each other, for some reason, or if we lose contact on Skype, I’ll send you an email. You can do the same with me. So, if we are out of touch, check your email. Also, if my computer is not working (unlikely, but it could happen), I’ll contact you by phone just to say why I’m not online, then we’ll reschedule. I’ll probably send a text to your mobile. Let me know if you do not want me to do this.
If you can’t find me on Skype at our arranged time (and you haven’t received an email, text or phone call from me), contact [email protected] or by telephone . Let them know you expected a session, but can’t get hold of me. If your computer breaks down, please phone me to say you can’t meet me as arranged. Tel number is 07481 809129
It is always wise to have an anti-virus programme installed on your computer. You can ask me if you need further advice on this. Neither I, nor Nelumbo Consultancy Ltd, can be held responsible for any damage to your computer.
Keeping your messages secure:
I suggest that you make sure no-one else can read your mails, even if you don’t normally stop others having access. Sometimes people say things in counselling they have rarely or never talked about before. You can keep your messages secure by using passwords.
How I secure my records:
I will keep your messages on my computer and on paper print-outs. My computer is password protected. Paper copies are kept in a locked cabinet. Only I have access to your records.
How long I keep records for:
I keep records in accordance with applicable law and regulations.