Terms & Conditions
In the following terms and conditions, Michael Fieldhouse, the counsellor, is referred to in the first person as "I" or "me". The "client" is the person paying for counselling services.
Frequency and duration of counselling.
Counselling sessions will normally last for 50 minutes and finish 50 minutes after the scheduled starting time of your session; if you are late for your session we will still finish at the normal time. The duration of the therapeutic process will depend on the type of difficulty or problem the client is facing. Some people prefer to work with an open contract, whereas other people prefer to work with a fixed number of sessions followed by a review. In all cases, every six sessions the counsellor and client will review the therapeutic process together. This helps to assess whether the client’s needs are being met and this will also help (if required) to carry out the necessary adjustments and/or establish new goals for the process.
Payment should be made in advance of counselling sessions. Cancellation of sessions with less than 24 hours notice will incur the full fee. Cancellation of sessions with between 24 - 48 hours notice will incur a charge at 50% of the full fee. No fee will be payable if notice of a session cancellation is given at least 48 hours before the session is due to begin. Frequent or repeated cancellations may require that we review our therapy contract. I (Michael Fieldhouse) will always aim to give a client as much notice as possible of any holidays, training workshops, conferences or illness that might prevent me from being available at the time/day of the scheduled session. In such cases I will always aim to offer an alternative arrangement.
Payments can be made by cash, bank transfer, and most debit and credit cards.
If you have referred yourself for counselling then no one apart from me (Michael Fieldhouse) would know you have attended or what was discussed. If you feel that someone may need to know information about your counselling sessions then I ask you to make this clear to me at the beginning of the sessions. For example, if you have been referred to us by another party it may be in your interest for there to be some liaison. As part of my professional standards, from time to time I may need to share and discuss some of the information in our sessions with a qualified supervisor, always under a strict confidential and professional framework. Client identity is always kept anonymous. Where written confirmation may be required to be passed on to a third party, this is restricted to a minimum. I am not able to provide in-depth reports on the sessions or give opinions or diagnosis.
In certain circumstances, I may have to make exceptions to the general rules of confidentiality:
- If I think there is a serious risk of harm to yourself or others.
- Where I cannot contact you but suspect you are in danger. For example, if you had not been seen for several days and colleagues and friends felt concerned, I may disclose information without your agreement.
- Where there is a legal requirement to disclose information. This could be because it has been ordered by a court, or because the law requires, for example under the Terrorism Act 2000, for information to be passed on without consent.
In the first and second of these cases, I would attempt to talk this through with you beforehand if possible.
Notes and Record Keeping
My policy is to keep minimum notes and records. The information I do store includes:
- Personal information, such as your name, date of birth, address etc;
- Background information that might be relevant to the counselling process;
- Your signed contract with me;
- Confidential case notes (describing the main focus of the session with any important information)
- Information for service evaluation and statistical purposes
You can request in writing to see the information held on you. If you have any concerns about my policy on confidentiality and note-keeping, you're welcome to discuss it fully with me.
Influence of alcohol, non-prescription drugs and substance abuse
Sessions will not take place if the client is under the influence of alcohol, non-prescription drugs or substance abuse. The full fee will also be charged for a session that is not held due to any of these factors
I am a Registered counsellor and psychotherapist with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). My reg no. is: 336405. Any complaints about my work should be made through the BACP on 01455 883300 / www.bacp.co.uk