Counselling Contract

The Oaks Counselling Service seeks to provide the best service possible; however there are never any guarantees with counselling and so we are not able to guarantee a specific outcome.

Clients receiving counselling services from The Oaks Counselling Service enter into the following contract:

Client Autonomy

The counsellor is responsible for working in ways that promote the clients’ control over their own lives. The counsellor respects the clients’ ability and responsibility to make decisions and change in the light of their own beliefs and values.

Confidentiality  

Client confidentiality is taken very seriously and will only be broken if the counsellor believes that you or another person / other people are in danger of serious harm, or if required by a court of law. Where possible this will be discussed with you beforehand.

All counsellors undergo regular ‘professional supervision’ where they discuss their client work in order to be able to offer their clients the best possible service. You will not be personally identified during this process.

At your request, you may receive access to any session notes, which are anonymous, confidential and securely kept.

Our Confidentiality and Record Keeping policy is available to view in full on our website.

Sessions

The appointments are 50-60 minutes long and can be weekly, fortnightly, or whatever frequency suits you and your counsellor.

How to make the most of the sessions

In order to assist the counselling process, you are asked to:

  • Work with your counsellor during the first session to reach agreement on what the issues are, and what goals you wish to achieve through counselling
  • Discuss your problems in as specific a manner as you can
  • Express any doubts, difficulties or blocks experienced during counselling with the counsellor first, before discussing with anyone else
  • Demonstrate your commitment to the counselling by regularly attending the sessions.
  • Carry out any work agreed between the sessions

Payments and Cancellations

The fee will be agreed at your initial session and is payable electronically 2 days in advance, or at the beginning of each session in cash or by cheque made payable to ‘The Oaks Counselling Service Ltd.’

Appointments cancelled or postponed 1-2 working days before the intended start time are charged at half price, and appointments cancelled or postponed less than 24 hours before the intended start time are charged at full price.

Non-Payment

You are asked to make every effort to remember to bring your payment or pay electronically in advance. If you forget, you will be asked to pay double next time. If you forget again, the counsellor reserves the right not to see you for that session, and you may need to review whether counselling is right for you at the present time. If payment remains outstanding, you will be invoiced for the outstanding payment(s).

Missed appointments

If you do not keep a booked appointmentthis will be treated as a short notice cancellation, and you will be asked to bring double the fee to the next session. If this happens a second time, you may need to review with your counsellor whether counselling is right for you at the moment. As there is on-going high demand for counselling sessions, please remember that others are also in need of help, and if you don’t come, others may be missing out.

The counsellor will give you as much notice as possible of any dates when sessions will need to be missed due to illness, holidays or other circumstances.

Contact between sessions

If you need to contact your counsellor please phone, text or e-mail them. This contact is limited to practical arrangements unless it has been agreed that ‘emergency sessions’ are available between scheduled sessions. If you ‘bump into’ your counsellor outside of your appointments, you have a choice of what to do. You can choose to acknowledge or ignore them, and they will follow your lead. It is not appropriate to get into conversation, and your counsellor will not instigate this or ask you how you are.

Concerns and complaints

Worries or concerns do sometimes arise during counselling, and misunderstandings can occur. We encourage you to talk about these with your counsellor as they arise. They can usually be addressed and dealt in this way. However, if you feel this would be too difficult, or you can’t resolve the issue between you, you can view our complaints procedure on our website, which will inform you of further steps you can take.

Ending

Normally the ending of the therapeutic relationship is by mutual agreement with your counsellor but you are free to end your relationship at any time. On rare occasions the counsellor maydiscuss with you regarding ending if they believe that you are not benefiting from the service.

Ethical framework

All Counsellors adhere to the ethical guidelines of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or the Association of Christian Counsellors