HOW I WORK - CONTRACT
Below is my internet counselling contract. I ask you to read it through carefully and if you have any questions, please ask. If you wish to continue counselling with me, I shall assume that you have read and agreed to its terms.
Introduction Internet counselling offers a professional relationship which is defined by a contract we both agree to. It is important that you have an opportunity to see if we can work together and the first counselling email or chat session is a way of finding this out. If you found the first email exchange/chat session between us helpful and you want to continue to exchange emails with me we can set up a contract between us to do so. A typical contract is set out below and if you agree to it, you need to say so in your next email and we will begin to work together on your issues.
Contract I am accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and am bound by their Code of Ethics and Practice which defines the counselling relationship in the ways listed below. You may check me out on the BACP website www.bacp.co.uk where they hold a register of their accredited practitioners.
I undertake to create and sustain a professional counselling relationship with you using emails or chat sessions. I agree to respond to your emails at intervals which you will decide upon. I undertake to reply to your email within 24 hours or let you know when you may expect a reply. I will give you due warning of periods of absence, sickness, holidays, etc. when I am unable to comply with these terms. You may withdraw from email counselling at any time by sending me an email to that effect.
Confidentiality I respect your right to privacy and undertake to keep information I hold about you confidential. Such information in the form of email exchanges or the transcripts of chat sessions will be held on CD in a locked filing cabinet for 6 months after the ending of our counselling relationship. I am registered under the Data Protection Act, 1998, to hold sensitive information on my computer. My registration number is: Z6065539. Since the internet is no more secure than any postal or telephone system, we can encrypt our emails for greater security or use a secure mailbox to send and retrieve them. If you would like to do this, I can send you information about downloading free software for encryption or a secure mailbox.
Supervision I receive regular supervision of my work to maintain my professional standards and to comply with BACP's Code of Ethics and Practice. I do not identify my clients to my supervisor and generally use the supervision time to reflect on my understanding of the counselling relationship rather than specific client issues.
Individuality All clients are unique individuals and it is important I affirm and uphold your uniqueness as part of my work. I will respect your mode of being, way of life, sexual orientation, culture, etc. Your emails will receive my personal, undivided attention and I undertake to offer you a reply I consider to be therapeutically effective, within the constraints of my professional competence and knowledge of you. I do not judge or evaluate your issues and will treat them with respect.
Ending The ending of our email relationship will be by mutual agreement and once contracted, I will not contact you again.