First session and onwards:
Clients will find I am discretely situated in the far hidden corner of a quiet Close. There is a drive with a block of three garages, we park in front of the first two and clients are welcome to park behind the middle car on the drive or in the street. Although I work from home, it is highly unlikely you would cross paths with anyone else either arriving or leaving, because I will be expecting you and your privacy is one of my top priorities. The first few minutes of our first session will cover information on this page and allow you some time to arrive. It is normal to feel anxious about booking in and attending sessions and I will be aware of this. Usually as you become aware of what to expect from the counselling space and the consistency of our work this gets easier. In the first few sessions I will be allowing you to share a bit of your story and in doing that we will work out what our goals of therapy might look like. Once we know what the goals are, no matter what you choose to share in session my job will be to help you identify the associated feelings and making links to help you increase your awareness. Sometimes this will mean I follow your lead completely, sometimes I will take the opportunity to help you understand what is happening behind the scene, to explain symptoms which will ease the distress. Sometimes its a combination of listening, understanding and working on material which brings a new perspective, unearths hidden resources and brings much needed relief from symptoms or experiences. However our work unfolds, you are completely in control and I am trained to reach our goals whilst keeping our work safe.
Permission from client for session material to be used in case studies as part of continued professional development - YES / NO ...................................................
The length of therapy is up to you. Sessions are usually 60 minutes long, (longer if needed) include 5 minutes for housekeeping and are scheduled weekly at a regular time.
Once a time is agreed it is your time regardless of whether you choose to attend. Cancellation of our time requires at least 48 hours notice to be non chargeable. The cancellation policy can be applied to any single missed session up to a maximum of 3 missed sessions in any 6 months. In cases of longer term consecutive absence missed sessions will attract a holding fee to secure the regular slot. Payment prior to forth coming booked sessions secures that session.
When attending an appointment you are required not to be under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.
A condition of counselling is that you do not cause harm, become violent or threatening during sessions.
Regular attendance is best and I will make every attempt to ensure this continuity is maintained for you with the exception of circumstances outside of our control which may dictate a review of this promise.
Whilst I always appreciate clients recommending friends I would never acknowledge to either party, contact, attendance or any material disclosed.
Sometimes I recommend clients see other professionals I work alongside.
Your privacy is important to me. Your contact details will only ever be used for appointments and sending agreed resources. Arriving no more than a few minutes before your appointment will reduce the likelihood of clients crossing paths on my drive or you meeting anyone other than your Counsellor. To protect your therapeutic journey and privacy social media connections are appropriately limited.
The work that we do together is private; however there are some limits to the degree of confidentiality that counselling can offer any client. These are explained as follows:
All BACP registered Counsellors have regular Supervision. What this means to you is the material discussed during session is taken in confidence to a qualified supervisor whilst keeping your identity private. This is to ensure your best interests are always at the heart of our work together. I participate in one-to-one supervision and peer to peer supervision, along side continuous professional development (work related learning).
I have a duty if there is a risk of serious harm to you or others to manage and reduce that risk. Often suicide or violence is disclosed in sessions which presents a conflict between keeping our work private and making a disclosure which will reduce the risk of harm. The ethical approach is to discuss any conflict in advance or as soon as possible after the conflict becomes apparent. By speaking further it can help to clarify what was said and therefore the risk that was heard. It also may present you with choices as to what support you would prefer. Clients are usually relieved to discover self harm and suicidal thoughts are the bodies way of creating soothing through the cortisol released after dangerous behaviour.
Brief notes are kept about the material shared in session, separate from your identity and comply with the new general data protection law. Counselling notes could be requested for submission by a court of law.
Some training requires the use of themed material for case studies, this would never compromise the identify of clients.
Counselling is a space for clients to talk, to be heard and feel understood with the goal of changing the way they feel, behave, see or think about things or themselves.
This involves a willingness from the Client to share their thoughts, feelings and fears with the Therapist.
In order to do this safely both Therapist and Client enter into a psychological contract. This aims to provide a clear understanding of the limits of confidentiality and boundaries for both parties to work safely within.
This agreement is made between Counsellor Gilly Chapell and Client..................................... Address:
Who agree to work together under the practice of counselling and understand the limits of confidentialtiy where there is a risk of harm to self or others. The client gives permission for sensitive personal data to be held sensitively.
Signed..................................................................... & .......................................................................
Sessions charged as per website & Cancelled sessions require 48 hours notice.
I am unable to offer unplanned out of hours services. Although it is generally possible to arrange additional sessions if needed or
possible to book a half hour telephone session or email exchange at £20.
As with face to face work it is important to understand what is needed and how best to achieve this.
A 24 hour response time can be expected. (technology permitting)
In an emergency, for a listening ear you can contact the Samaritans on:
Text: 07725 90 90 90
Call: 08457 90 90 90
In case of a medical emergency please contact your local doctor's surgery or hospital for medical help or advice as I am not medically trained and your safety is my top priority.
In the case of suicidal tendencies a focus is put on stabilisation to calm the dis-regulated nervous system. I may also encourage the involvement of the crisis team accessed via the GP.
In the case of an emergency which impacts our arrangements, a trusted colleague Justin Havens or Deborah Donahoe would take my diary & phone contacts (no client notes) and make contact if I was ever unable to.