Counselling Contract

THE MOUNT HELP CENTRE – An Ethical and Transparent Counselling Contract

 Contract for Counselling Services between;

Name_________________________________

 Address__________________________________________________________________

 Tel No_____________________________ Mobile_________________________________

 and the Mount Help Centre, a Counselling Service of CMH: The Mount.

 Code of ethics

Counsellors are either members of a professional body and thus suitably qualified, or appropriately supervised trainees on placement.   All counsellors will work to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) code of ethics, which can be found at www.bacp.co.uk.  All counsellors will offer unconditional positive regard, empathy, genuineness and respect for you, your values and belief system; we welcome clients from all denominations, all faiths and none.  

 Confidentiality and exceptions

Respecting your confidentiality is of the utmost importance to us.  However, if it is assessed that you are at risk of seriously harming yourself or others, it may be necessary to alert others, such as your GP, of our concerns. 

Due consideration should be exercised before disclosing anything of a previously unreported criminal nature, as the agency may be obligated, in compliance with the law, to notify other agencies, particularly when the protection of children and vulnerable adults is a concern. We will always endeavour to discuss disclosure to others with you before hand and jointly agree a way forward.

 Fees

The service is free at the point of need, however a donation would be appreciated even it if cancellation is made less than 48 hours prior to the appointment.

 Cancellation Policy

If you are unable to keep a planned appointment we would appreciate as much notice as possible (preferably more than 48 hours).  You may leave a voicemail message on 02890782159 or 0300 999 1-2-1.  The agency will then contact the counsellor on your behalf.

 Boundaries 

No contact is permitted with your counsellor outside the therapeutic relationship of the counselling room.  Physical contact is inappropriate at any time.  In order to respect you privacy, the counsellor will discuss with you in the first session how you might interact if there is a chance meeting in a social setting.  Occasionally counsellors may suggest tasks for you to work on between sessions.  This should be seen as important and therefore not treated lightly.  Counsellors are not qualified to help or advise clients in respect of certain practical aspects of the presenting issues, such as housing, entitlement to statutory benefits, or legal advice.  It is not the policy of our organisation to provide reports in support of litigation.   

 Renegotiation  

This is a working agreement aimed at providing you and your counsellor with boundaries and a structure within which to work.  It is also possible to renegotiate this agreement or add other agreements in the course of the counselling contact.

 Indeed, during the first session of counselling your counsellor will:

  • explain more about the process of counselling, including their specific way of working,
  • reiterate confidentiality and boundaries,
  • discuss timings of sessions and the importance of punctuality,
  • come to an initial agreement on the number of sessions,
  • highlight the procedure for cancelling and appointment – both by you and the counsellor,
  • agree the procedure for resuming counselling after an unplanned interruption, for example, through illness,
  • agree a response to a chance meeting elsewhere, and
  • other matters such as tasks you are requested to carry out between sessions.

 GP/CPN/Psychiatrist and other health carer’s professional directions

Health carer’s directions, including the taking of prescribed medication, are expected to be strictly adhered to.  Clients who do not maintain their prescribed medication regime cannot be seen by the agency.  You should be aware that many medications do not become effective until taken for up to six weeks and any sudden discontinuation of medication can be very dangerous or, at the very least, have a very serious effect on your well-being.

 Records

Standard professional procedure requires that summary notes be made by your counsellor.  These notes will be held securely by the counsellor and are retained only for the duration of your involvement with this agency.  Your name and address will not appear on the notes; you will be identified in a manner which affords you anonymity.  The use of such notes is to refresh the counsellor’s understanding of your issues between sessions.  

 Complaints

If you have a concern regarding any aspect of the service, please raise it with your counsellor.  Alternatively, you make write directly to:  The Director, CMH: The Mount, 33 Dargan Road, Belfast BT3 9JU. Details of the Complaints Procedure are available from this address.     

 Freely given consent to this contract

As the entire therapeutic relationship is built on trust and openness between the client and the counsellor, a binding contract will not be effective until you have had an opportunity to read, consider and query any aspects of these terms and conditions.  Only then will you be invited to sign a copy for our records.  

 I agree to the terms set out above and will collaborate, to the best of my ability, with my counsellor.                 

Client’s signature: ___________________    

PRINT Name:  ______________________

On behalf of the Mount Help Centre I agree to work with the above mentioned client to the best of my ability, adhering to the highest ethical guidelines of the counselling profession.

Counsellor’s signature: ________________________ 

Date: ________________