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Client-Counsellor Agreement

As counselling/psychotherapy is a very collaborative experience, it is important that I share some important information so that we have a shared understanding of the process.

 

Professional Practice

I am a Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist chartered with the Psychological Society of Ireland (PsSI), and as such comply with the Code of Professional Ethics set out by the Society.

I have been providing psychotherapy since 2000.

 

Confidentiality

Confidentiality: the word confidentiality has its origins in Latin with ‘fidere’ referring to trust or ‘put ones’ faith in’, thus confidentiality can be taken to mean ‘to strongly trust someone’ (Bond and Mitchels 2009). In a professional relationship, this is taken to mean that information that would have a cost in terms of impacting another’s privacy is protected. (PsSI, 2022).

All information you share with me stays within the therapy room and is treated as completely confidential. However, there are some limits to confidentiality which include the following:

  • If there is an imminent risk of harm to you, a child or other vulnerable person then I am obliged to take necessary steps in order to ensure the safety of all concerned.
  • Where it is required by law to do so.
  • As with all mental health professionals who work within their code of professional ethics, I engage in regular clinical supervision during which general presenting issues are explored (anonymized) in order to maintain high quality and effective practice.

 

Cancellations and Missed Appointments

If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, please give as much notice as possible so that I can reallocate the slot to another person. In the event of sessions being missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, I am unfortunately obliged to charge full fee as I will be unable to reallocate the slot.

 

Risk Management

If risk concerns arise within an appointment such as a person expressing suicidal thoughts and feelings we will discuss this in detail and develop a safety plan. If a risk is assessed to be imminent in nature this can involve informing a nominated emergency contact, carer, parent, family member, your GP, or other emergency contact in order to ensure your immediate safety.

 

Ending Therapy

It is beneficial to regularly review your progress in therapy. This will always in be done in a collaborative way with you in order to ascertain if you feel you are on track with your goals for therapy. Therapy can often end when a client is satisfied with their progress to date but they may also wish to continue with therapy but with less regular sessions.

In order to get the best out of therapy it is usually advisable to have a scheduled ending session to consolidate new insights, strategies and coping mechanisms rather than discontinue therapy without prior notice.

 

Legal Work

We are first and foremost a psychotherapeutic practice providing psychological counselling on a one to one basis. As our focus is on non-diagnostic therapeutic work, it is the policy of the practice that we do not engage in legal work including drafting letters, court reports or attending as professional witnesses. To that end, we would suggest as an alternative that individuals access a service which has expertise in this area through their General Practitioner and/or the Psychiatry profession, who can provide ‘Medico-legal’ reports that cover diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.

Should it arise during the course of our work with clients that this is warranted, we shall endeavour to, with their consent, refer the client to a specialist in the medico-legal area.

 

GDPR