Talking to a professional counsellor can help you resolve or understand issues which are causing emotional or physical distress. I am an Accredited member of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP registration number 042856) and adhere to the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions. As required by my professional body I have regular professional confidential clinical supervision in support of my work and practice. I hold Professional Liability Insurance and an enhanced D.B.S. Certificate.
Confidentiality is an important part of the BACP Ethical Framework. All sessions are confidential, our counselling conversations are not discussed outside the session or with any agency unless there is a legal requirement to disclose or there is a risk of harm to yourself or others. If you disclose information which causes me concern regarding harm to yourself or others particularly a child or vulnerable adult I am ethically required to share this information. I will discuss this with you and identify next steps.
Personal Data and Session Records
A hand written paper record of the issues or themes discussed are kept by me as an aide-memoire and record of sessions. These are retained in a confidential, secure way and will be held for up to 5 years at the end of your counselling. In exceptional circumstances, records and notes will be retained for longer; please ask if you would like further information. Your records will not be used for marketing, promotion or other related purposes. They are not shared with anyone else unless I am required to by law. You can request to see your records at any time. They are kept in accordance with current Data Protection legislation. My practice is registered with the Office of the Information Commissioner (Reg No ZA301765). This is updated annually . See the General Data Protection Regulation Privacy Notice.
Email correspondence to my professional email address or via my website are kept in electronic form with password protection while counselling continues and may be added to the paper record to support the therapeutic process. I keep contact details on my password protected, confidential, private practice mobile phone and iPad. These electronic devices are specifically used for work and are securely stored when not in use. Please note that I use emails or texts to arrange, confirm or follow up appointments. I do not offer therapy via email and request that you do not send me detailed confidential information or other material electronically.
Working On-line/ telephone
On-line working or telephone is recognised as an effective way of delivering therapy but it isn’t suitable for everyone for example people with suicidal thoughts or those who are without support if they are in crisis .During our initial conversations I will suggest alternatives if working remotely does not seem appropriate. Guidance from the BACP and the Association for Counselling and Therapy On-line (ACTO) suggest sessions are offered using Zoom which is an encrypted platform . It is important that clients are informed and confident that the platform used for therapy meets their requirements in terms of encryption, GDPR and confidentiality. I work under English jurisdiction.When working remotely sessions should be in a private place away from the presence of other people. Consent is not given for any session to be recorded. I will ensure that my part of the conversation cannot be overheard, the devices I use are stored in a safe manner and password protected. Each consultation is 50 minutes. Appointment charges are the same as face to face meeting with a deduction of £15 which usually covers the room booking fee.
Should I become incapacitated, unable to practice or my private practice has to close, the BACP Ethical Framework requires Counsellors to have a trusted colleague who is a member of the BACP and bound by the same confidentiality as I am. This professional colleague is called Dennis Murray , he would have limited access to your personal details and would only contact you if I was unable to contact you myself. By agreeing to our contract you consent to this in the case of these extremely unusual circumstances.
If you are unable to attend an appointment please give 48 hours notice. Please email me [email protected] text or leave a voice-mail on my confidential work mobile 07577290600. Late cancellation may incur a fee of £30. If, in the unlikely event that I have to cancel your session, I will contact you on your agreed mobile phone or email address. No charge is made for sessions cancelled by me.
I ask clients to make payment within seven days of each appointment . If the cost of counselling is a concern please let me know as a reduction in fees may be possible.