Below are the Terms and Conditions set out by the company and its partners (Courage2Be Counselling Services.) in order to safeguard you (the client and the advocate for the client where applicable). Please read through them carefully as the company and its partners require your signed informed consent before any services can be offered to you.
Courage2Be Counselling Services will uphold and maintain its ethical and professional commitment to you and the profession in line with the BACP Ethical Framework 2018 for the Counselling and Psychotherapy professions Membership No: 00839635
Courage2Be Counselling Services will also uphold and maintain the registration requirements of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), registration no: ZA536369 to ensure that your personal information remains safe and secure at all times.
Please note that these Terms and Conditions are used in conjuction with the mutually agreed working contract that will also require signed informed consent at the first session between you and the counsellor (Lead Counsellor or partner of Courage2Be services.)
Confidentiality and Record Keeping
- Only necessary personal information will be collected in order to provide an adequate service to you. This information will include your name, address, phone number, emal address, G.P details including the name, address and phone number and your appointed emergency contact, information given by you when you made initial contact with the company, session date and time (non-identifiable) for financial accounting purposes and a Core-10 (Health questionnaire,) completed during an adult or adolescent initial consultation to help with identifying your needs in counselling. For children aged 6-12 years, this will include completing an assessment pack , to collate any referral information, child information, consent form, the childs thoughts on counselling and their teacher’s name, name of school (if the school is collaborating) and strengths and difficulties questionnaires for parents and teachers if required, as part of the initial consultation process.
- In terms of record keeping, your counsellor (the Lead Counsellor or counselling partner of the company) will keep minimal notes on each of your sessions as an ‘aide memoire’ in order to support and review your work together. However, these notes will remain non-identifiable, allocated with a generated code and will be stored in a locked filing cabinet and held for 6 years. The company and it’s partners deem 6 years, following the completion of your therapy, as necessary to store all records. This is to comply with the UK legal time frame available to you to file a breach of contract claim, should this unlikely event occur. After such time, the company will safely destroy all of your personal information. For new enquires, any personal details taken will be kept for 28 days to give the enquirer the necessary time to decide on whether to engage with Courage2Be Counselling Services. If there has been no further engagenment after this time, then all information will be deleated or shredded.
- During your initial consultation, you will be asked to complete a CORE 10 questionnaire (or a child assessment pack where appropriate) to help identify where you are starting from regarding your level of mental wellbeing. You will also be asked to complete one at the end of your therapy to help determine the impact of counselling and you may be invited to complete them at times during counselling sessions. Whilst it is your right to decline, we would encourage you to complete them as they can offer valuable information regarding therapeutic outcomes. Your completed questionnaire/s will be held with your session notes.
- Establishing a culture of feedback where you are able to engage in dialogue with the counsellor as to whether therapy is or is not being helpful, is very important to the company and it’s partners. Therfore, the counsellor will discuss with you the use of our Therapy Personalisation Form. This form has been designed to make it easy for you to convey your views to the counsellor around the outcomes of therapy, the quality of the collaborative relationship between you and your preferences for different ways of working. Any completed Therapy Personalisation Forms (available to download from the company website or from your counsellor) will also be non identifiable and kept with your session notes.
- The company and it’s partners agree to work with suicide ideation and high risk concerns including self harm and domestic violence, if this should become an area of concern during your counselling work. However, to monitor this risk to your safety, you agree, if deemed appropriate by the counsellor, to complete a weekly risk assessment questionnaire during times of high risk. These risk assesment questionnaires will remain non-identifiable and will be stored with your session notes as will any information recorded on our record of concern form.
- Whilst the company and its partners take your confidentiality very seriously, it is not absolute. Anything you disclose to the counsellor will remain confidential at all times unless – a) You are considered to be at significant risk of harm to yourself (suicide is imminent) or to others (harm or violence). The counsellor would where appropriate, discuss breaching confidentiality with you in these instances and work towards a collaborative outcome in order to keep you and others safe. This may include informing the company, contacting your GP and or Emergency services – b) If you disclose information relating to a safeguarding concern, money laundering, terrorism, or drug trafficking, the counsellor has a legal responsibility to inform the relevant authorities and is legally bound not to disclose this breach of confidentiality with you. – c) When working with children and young people – As per our Privacy section item 5, it is important to note that even if a child is too young to understand the implications of subject access rights, data about them is still their personal data and does not belong to anyone else, such as a parent or guardian. In the case of young children these rights are likely to be exercised by those with parental responsibility for them. If you request your child’s data, within review sessions, proof of parental responsibility will be required. We will consider whether the child is mature enough under ‘Gilick competence’ to understand their rights. If they are considered to be competent we will respond to or consult the child or seek the child’s consent for disclosure to you (with parental responsibility). The content of sessions will always remain confidential unless disclosures occur as described in section 6a and 6b. The counsellor will work collaboratively with children and young people to obtain consent as to what information/themes are discussed with parents/guardians within review sessions to ensure that they meet their ethical and professional responsibilities and maintain continued trust within the therapeutic relationship. The counsellor will also, where possible, collaborate with children and young people in how to breach confidentiality if this is deemed necessary.
- All counsellors are required to undertake supervision at least once per month. This is to ensure their continued safe practice and development. In order to maintain this high level of attention and knowledge to your counselling experience, the counsellor is expected to discuss information regarding your therapy with their supervisor. This information will remain confidential and will be non-identifiable.
- Should the counsellor become suddenly unavailable long term to continue working with you, then the Lead Counsellor of Courage2Be Counselling Services will contact you to let you know and guide you through this difficult time and signpost you if you so wish to another counsellor within or outside of the company, in order for you to continue your counselling journey. Please note that a ‘Clinical Will’ has been drawn up should the Lead Counsellor become suddenly unavailable long term to continue working with you or manage the company. In this instance an appointed person (partner of the company) will access your personal information via the clinical will instructions in order to guide you through this difficult time and signpost you if you so wish to another counseller within or outside of the company, in order to continue your counselling journey. You will be contacted in line with your contact preferences that you gave at your initial asssessment.
- In line with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) the company will abide by and maintain its registration with the ICO, registration no: (Awaiting) at all times.
- You have the right to access your personal information at any time. You are required to submit this request in writing by the company’s prefered choice of completion and return of the Subject Access Request form, or via email or post. The company agrees to provide you with all personal information held about you within 40 calendar days following receipt of your request. Please see our Data protection and Information request procedure for further information.
- Due to the company operating from a private residence, Courage2Be ensures your confidentiality and privacy through the use of a white noise machine. To ensure uninterupted sessions, counsellors will not open the front door if someone knocks. Residents have a sepearate emergency action plan to follow in the event that you are in a session with a Counsellor at the time and they are made fully aware of the expectation to be quiet during your session. Sessions where possible will be scheduled when other residents are not on the premises.
- The children’s play therapy room is situated at the back of the building within a conservatory. The Company has installed Polycool solar film to the roof and privacy solar film to the windows to ensure that privacy is upheld as well as maintaing a comfortable temperature to work in whilst also protected from harmful UV light.
- Regarding the data of children and young people, under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR, parental consent for using children’s personal information is not needed in the context of counselling services provided direct to a child. The GDPR imposes strict safeguards on the use of children’s information. We can record, store and assess information about your child if they come to counselling sessions for two reasons:
• We are protecting the interests of your child in accessing counselling support and only necessary information is collected (this is called the “legitimate interests” legal basis for processing personal information); and
• Recording the information means your child can access a service for their Health and Social Care (this is a further lawful basis for any sensitive or “special category” personal information). This is in line with the guidance from the Information Commissioner. You can withdraw your agreement at any time by speaking to the Lead Counsellor or by requesting this via email or post. You may ask us to confirm what information we hold about your child at any time, and request us to modify, update or delete such information. This is known as a Subject Access Request (please refer to our Data Protection Subject Access Request procedure). It is important to note that even if a child is too young to understand the implications of subject access rights, data about them is still their personal data and does not belong to anyone else, such as a parent or guardian. In the case of young children these rights are likely to be exercised by those with parental responsibility for them. If you request your child’s data, proof of parental responsibility will be required. We will consider whether the child is mature enough to understand their rights. If they are considered to be competent we will respond to or consult the child or seek the child’s consent for disclosure to you (with parental responsibility). You can make a Subject Access Request by speaking with the Lead Counsellor or downloading and completing our Subject Access request form by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or return it by post.
Payment and Cancellations
- Introduction/Assessment – The Company offers a 30 minute introduction. A payment of £10 is required to secure the booking and is non-refundable, however at the Lead Counsellors discretion, it may be possible to reschedule this appointment if you are unable to attend. The Introduction looks to discuss, most importantly, yours or the person your advocating for’s counselling needs, along with the company terms and conditions and policies. This process helps you to familiarise yourself with the company culture and help determine whether Courage2Be Counselling Services is the right fit for you/or person you are advocating for and whether Courage2Be can meet your needs. If we both agree that Courage2Be is the right service for you then the session would continue to assess, in greater detail, how we would work together, what the main difficulties are and for you to ask as many questions as you need to. This time also helps the company to determine the counsellor who may be the best fit based on their specialty and experience. Payment for the continued session is required at the end of the session by card or cash.
- Counselling sessions – The Lead Counsellor will arange with you, the first counselling session between you and your allocated counsellor. Each session lasts for 60 minutes. Following the initial consultation, should you decide that you would like to take up Courage2be’s counselling Services, you will be asked to pay the first session fee in advance as a rolling deposit. The fee is non refundable and will be passed on to the counsellor if counselling is not with the Lead Counsellor. Payments for all subsequent sessions are to be paid after each session (including the first session) so that sessions are always paid for in advance. Please note that failure to pay prior to your next session may forfeit subsequent counselling sessions. Frequency of sessions and the day and the time of sessions are to be agreed directly with your counsellor within your mutally agreed working contract at the start of your work together.
- Cancellations – Following 24hrs notice of a cancellation, your payment after your last session will be transferred as payment for your next session. The counsellor will do their best to reschedule another appointment for that week, depending on availability. However, failure to provide 24hrs notice will mean that your session deposit will be used to cover the cost of that session and any futher sessions would again require a session deposit to secure the booking; payments would continue at the end of each session as before. If the counsellor needs to cancel a session, they too will endeavour to reschedule another session within the same week where possible. If the counsellor is unable to give you 24hr’s notice, your payment after the last session will be transferred as payment for your next session. Due to paying for sessions in advance, there will be no payment required for a ‘planned and agreed’ ending session between you and the counsellor. A missed session however that was not planned and agreed as an ending session and where cancellation was given with less than 24hrs notice will be deemed as ‘Did not Arrive ‘ (DNA) and your session deposit will be used to cover that cost. Failure to attend for 3 consecutive sessions, including reschedueled sessions may result in the company withdrawing their offer of services to you, as a certain level of commitment is required from you to help obtain a positive and successful outcome in therapy. If you require a break from therapy (mini-break/ending) then please advise the counsellor, who will then, not charge you at the end of that last session, as your deposit would have covered it. If and when you choose to commence therapy again, a session deposit will be required to secure your first booking.
- Review sessions – Parents/guardians of children and young people are offered regular reviews regarding their child’s counselling. Again payment for this 60minutes sesion is required at the time of booking in order to secure that booking. Reviews with child, teen and adult clients however, are considered part of the counselling work and will take place at regular intervals during your counselling session at no extra cost.
- Behaviour Strategy sessions– If you require adhoc behaviour strategy sessions to be able to support your child further at home, (N.B these are not counselling sessions) payment is required at the time of booking in order to secure that booking.
- Reports – If a written report is required for you or for your child or young person, then 14 days notice is required and an agreed fee is payable upfornt depending on the length and complexity of the report.
Anti-Discrimination and Equal Opportunities
- The company and it’s partners are very commited to anti-discrimination. It values difference and diversity and does not discriminate on the grounds of age, marital/partnership status, religion, national origin, race, colour, gender and gender identity, sexual preference or orientation, disability, heritage or political belief.
- Where possible, the company and it’s partners will offer a fully inclusive practice. Guide Dogs and Emotional support (ESA) Dogs are welcome on the premises. Whilst the premises is not able to currently accomodate wheelchair access, a room can be booked locally and counselling sessions can be offered by Courage2Be Counselling Services from there. If you are hard of hearing or deaf and require a counsellor qualified in British Sign Languge level 6 then we can signpost you to a known counsellor outside of Courage2Be Counselling Services.
- The Company and it’s partners believe that it is important to make careful preparation for ending therapeutic work where possible, especially with children. A modelled ‘good enough’ ending, that a client has planned and is in control of where there is adequate time to reflect on the work and change that has occured as well as what happens next can have a positive impact on how change, loss, new beginnings and endings are managed in the future. Therefore, where possible, an agreed time frame of a minimum of 4 weeks is required to notify your counsellor of your desire/need to end the counselling work and relationship. We appreciate that circumstance may dicate that this will not always be possible but we hope that where possible, notice will be given.
- All Counselling Partners of Courage2Be Counselling Service are contacted to work with you as a client of Courage2Be. Therefore, they will not be able to see you privately under their own company for a minimum of two years after your ending with Courage2Be Counselling Services. They have also been contracted not to befriend you during that time frame as upholding a professional relationship is of paramount importance to Courage2Be in order to uphold client beneficence and non-maleficence.
- The Company and it’s Partners take their responsibility and commitment to you very seriously and endevour to do their upmost to ensure that you receive a proffesional, supportive and positive service. However, should you feel the need to complain, there are a number of ways available to deal with your complaint as sensitively as possible.
- A complaint about your Counsellor– a) Where possible, please contact your counsellor directly either by message or email (as via phone call can not guarantee confidentiality) or during your next session, to discuss your complaint. The counsellor will acknowledge your complaint, if outside of sessions, within 24hrs of receiving it and will look to work with you during your next session to try and find an appropriate way to resolve the situation, as their priotity is to ensure that you are getting from counselling what you need. Often bringing this into the room can be a powerful way of voicing what you need whilst feeling really heard and understood. Please also make use of the Therapy Personalisation Form within your counselling session as an aide to communicate your complaint if you would find this easier. -b) If talking to your counsellor is not an option, then please contact the Lead Counsellor (Janine Hodge Tel: 07887353151 email: Janine@courage2be.co.uk) or utilise the contact form on the website which goes directly to the Lead Counsellor, who will endevour to contact you within 24hrs of receiving your complaint and will then help to resolve the situation with you as soon as possible. -c ) All counsellors are registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and therefore if you feel that your complaint is not being dealt with appropriately, by either your counsellor or the Lead Counsellor, or the complaint is about the Lead Counsellor and you do not feel able to approach her, then please utilise the BACP’s complaints procedure or their ‘Ask Kathleen’ service if you have any concerns.
- A complaint about Courage2Be Counselling Services– a) If your complaint is to do with the company rather than an individual, then please contact the Lead Counsellor in the first instance (see section 2b) or utilise the contact form on the website. The Lead Counsellor will endevour to acknowledge your complaint within 24hrs of receiving it and will then help to resolve the situation with you as soon as possible.-b) Again, if you feel that your complaint is not being dealt with appropriately, then please utilise BACP’s complaints procedure or their ‘Ask Kathleen’ service if you have any concerns.
Conflicts of Interest
- Courage2Be Counselling Services have an ethical responsibilty to ensure that no conflicts of interest arise that may impact on your counselling experience. Therefore, please be advised of the following. -a) If it comes to light that you and your counsellor have a mutual aquaintance, then your counsellor will discuss this with you to detemine whether this person is likely to come up in sessions and whether this would result in a conflict of interest. Unfortunatly in some cases there will be no possible negotiation as the conflict of interest will be deemed as too high by the Counsellor. If this were to be the case then it may be possible to signpost you to a different cousellor, in-house or externally, if you would prefer. -b) Currently, Courage2Be only offer individual counselling sessions and counsellors need to be able to discuss any work queiries, should they arise, with the Lead Counsellor. Therefore, to ensure that the counselling work remains authentic and neutral, only one family member at a time can receive counselling with Courage2Be Counselling Services. (excluding Bahaviour Strategy sessions)-c) If you are a trainee counsellor seeking counselling, the Lead Counsellor will not be able to work with you if your are training at the same facility in which they are teaching. However, it may be possible to seek counselling from another counsellor in-house if that is deemed acceptable by the training facility. -c) If you are a counselling student on placement with Courage2Be Counselling Services, then you will be unable to receive personal counselling from the company or it’s Partners. – d) The company only requires consent from one parent with parental responsibilty in order to work with their child or teenager. However, Courage2Be Counselling Services will work with both parents/guardians should they both want to be updated as long as there is no legal reason why this would not be appropriate.
- You may be asked by your counsellor as part of your ending, whether you would be happy to write a short testimonial about any positive experience you may have had from the counselling you have received from Courage2Be Counselling Services. Permission would be sought as to how and wher this testimonial could be displayed. It is your right to decline and we respect your decision to do so.
- You will also be asked about any negative experience so that we can continually improve a service to clients/trainees.