Terms and conditions

These terms and conditions, along with my disclosure statement in the form of my profile, form the basis of the client agreement you are required to enter into before counselling. I will explain this to you, answer any questions, and, at the end of the first session, provide you with an indication of number of sessions needed to achieve your goals. As part of the regular review of progress during therapy, I may need to revise this indication.

Length of sessions: unless otherwise advised, all individual sessions are for 50 minutes, and all couple sessions are for 80 minutes.

Duration: I will confirm with you, your desired outcome or goal for counselling, and my assessment of the likely number and frequency of sessions needed to achieve this. Due to the unknown variables in counselling, this assessment will be limited to a range of possible duration and cost.

Confidentiality: the relationship between counsellor and client is considered in law to be confidential, so information revealed by you shall not be disclosed by the counsellor to any other person. Nevertheless, there are some exceptions to confidentiality, including but not limited to: (a) you authorise me to disclose information to someone else; (b) I or my clinical supervisor determines there is manifest, significant, and imminent risk of harm to either you or someone else; (c) I am ordered by a court to disclose information, and the order cannot be reasonably challenged; (d) you have been determined to be incapacitated; (e) as part of my clinical or academic supervision, which is subject to the same restraints on confidentiality and in which full names are not used; and (f) as part of academic submissions or published research by me, in which case all practicable steps are taken to suppress the identity of the client and any other people associated with the case.

Privacy: my notes, including any electronic recordings, form part of the clinical record, which will be maintained, and made available to clients on request, consistent with all relevant statutes and regulations, including the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights 1996, and the Privacy Act 1993. A copy of my privacy policy can be found by following the link at the bottom of this page.

Evaluation: at regular intervals during the course of counselling and at the conclusion of counselling, you will be asked to complete a confidential questionnaire evaluating the progress you have made. Sometime following the conclusion, I may ask you to complete a questionnaire evaluating the efficacy of the therapy.

Consent to record: you consent to me keeping written notes and to the electronic recording of some or all of the sessions for the purpose of: (a) developing the counselling process and assessing your progress; (b) for my clinical supervision in developing my therapeutic practice and evaluating the efficacy of the techniques used; and (c) enabling me to conduct research for publication, or attaining or maintaining qualifications, including practising certificates. Such recordings will not be published, or used to train other counsellors or professionals without your further prior express consent.

Use of diagnosis: some health insurance, government, and non-government organisations will reimburse clients or make a financial contribution for counselling services. However, many will require a diagnosis of a mental-health condition or similar assessment before they will agree to reimburse or contribute. Some conditions for which people seek counselling do not qualify for reimbursement. If a qualifying assessment is appropriate in a client’s case, I will inform you of the assessment before submitting it to the financing agencies. Any assessment made will become part of the client’s permanent records held by such agencies.
Risks: counselling involves risk; the very nature of change is challenging for all clients. While I will endeavour to do no harm consistent with professional practice, clients may experience cognitive, emotional, or behavioural distress, and may not achieve their goals.

Crisis: when I beleive there is risk of harm, I will suspend regular therapy and make a risk assessment, and offer practical advice on how best to manage the risk. If, outside of session, there is a danger of you harming yourself or others, you agree to contact the emergency services by calling 111, and inform me. I do not routinely provide a service outside of booked sessions and may not be available for some time.

Social contact: for your protection, there is extremely limited scope for any social relationship between you and me, other than counselling bound by ethical practice. If necessary, I will advise you on any issues and their management.

Fees: my standard fees, as given in my disclosure statement, are inclusive of GST. Fees need to be paid in advance or at the beginning of a session. 

Method of payment: unless otherwise agreed, the methods of payment by direct bank deposit in advance. Bookings are not confirmed until payment is received.

Availability: I may decline to take on clients due to my availabilty, when I believe I cannot reasonably meet your needs, or when you cannot pay the fees. When I cannot take on clients or I need to terminate therapy, I will offer a referral.

Cancellations: provided 2 working days notice is given, cancelled appointments may be rescheduled, otherwise you will be liable for the fee.

Termination: to best manage outstanding issues and prepare you for the end of therapy, we both agree to collaborate on the timing and approach to termination. Notwithstanding this, you may terminate therapy at any time without additional cost. I will only terminate the therapy when: I believe continuation would incur unreasonable risk of harm; I beleive our relationship has irretrievably broken down; continuation is unlikely to be of benefit to you; or you are unable or unwilling to pay for the service.

Complaints: at any time you may have concerns with the service you should in the first instance and as soon as practicable discuss these with me. When the matter cannot be resolved to the your satisfaction, you may raise the matter with my clinical supervisor, the identity and contact details of which the counsellor shall provide on request. Additionally, when raising a concern by means of an evaluation form, you consent to the clinical supervisor contacting you. The supervisor will endeavour to resolve the matter and explain the internal complaint procedure, with which the client is expected to abide by. Regardless of these means of redress, you may file a complaint  with any of the counsellor’s professional associations or statuary registration boards listed in the my disclosure statement, or with any other relevant statuary body for breaches of codes of ethics or statutory obligations. The contact details of the relevant organisations the Links page or shall be provided by me on request.
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