I am a Qualified Person-Centred Counsellor. I hold a postgraduate diploma in Counselling Psychology. I have been a registered member of the BACP since 2013, I have a Clinical Supervisor that I see every month, and I work within the BACP ethical framework for the counselling professions.
I am an independent practitioner, when I am with a client in The Head Shed I cannot be answering phone calls, texts, and emails. Please do bear with me when waiting for replies. The Head Shed Phone is open Weekdays – 09:00 till 20:00.
Like many other businesses, I have been working hard to make The Head Shed COVID-Secure. Whilst I have made every endeavour to ensure a safe environment, if you do choose to access your session in person in the Head Shed then you do so at your own risk.
It is worth noting that if I, you, or another face-to-face client were to contact COVID-19, I would have to disclose the names and contact details of all client seen in The Head Shed to NHS test and trace.
Fees and Payment
Initial or First Sessions are charged as normal, but they are stand alone, individual one off sessions. You and I are under no obligation to commit to further sessions.
I understand that life for all of us can be chaotic, far from simple and demanding. I do my very best to be flexible and helpful. You can cancel or reschedule an appointment anytime, as long as you provide 24 hours notice. If possible, please do your very best to give me as much notice as possible, then I might be able to offer it as a cancellation session to a client who really needs it. I am turning away clients weekly, so if you can’t attend, maybe someone else might step in and use that time.
If you do cancel a session with less than 24 hours notice, or do not attend with no explanation, you may be charged for the missed session. If this happens regularly then I may need you to pay when you book the session to hold it for you.
If you are late I may only be able to offer you the remainder of your scheduled session, as other client sessions may be due to start. Again, if this happens regularly then I may need you to pay when you book the session to hold it for you.
Sessions last an hour, I will do my best to stick to time limits. Boundaries are very important in counselling sessions. So, please do not be offended if I end the session in a timely fashion. If you feel you need more than the hour, then perhaps we could increase the frequency of your sessions.
I do my best to price my counselling sessions sensitively to the local economy. Please ensure that you have the means to pay for your sessions on arrival. Please do not ask for credit as this can have an adverse effect on the counselling relationship between counsellor and client and is unethical.
Help between appointments
As I have mentioned as I am an independent practitioner, and when I am with a client in The Head Shed I cannot answer phone calls, texts, and emails. Hopefully, during our sessions we can monitor your Mental Health, and if you think you’re heading in to crisis: we can then discuss your options. However, you and I both know that life can be extremely unpredictable and sometimes things can catch us utterly unawares and out of nowhere. However realistically there is just me, I can only offer my clients support in their allocated client session times. It would be unethical and impractical for me to attempt to offer my clients 24/7/365 mental health crisis support.
In todays digital age, it makes no sense for me to attempt to keep a current up to date relevant list of phone numbers and websites for all the myriad of possible relevant agencies here. My clients are all intelligent computer literate people (or they have friends and family who are) If you are in crisis between our sessions: Please use the internet and search for “Mental Health Crisis” in your own local area. Or search for “Samaritans” for their latest contact details, and their very informative website.
As your counsellor I am committed to preserving your confidentiality at all times. What you say in the counselling session (in person, via telephone or online) remains between counsellor and client. (*specifics listed below) For your own protection, it is wise to avoid sharing confidential information over text message or email.
If I were to see you outside of our counselling space: I would not acknowledge you, unless you were to greet me yourself. This is to avoid you having to explain my identity to whoever saw the interaction.
I cannot interact with clients on social media: please do not send me friend requests, as I feel rude declining them. Please do not follow me on Twitter or Instagram. Please be careful and protect yourself: be aware of security and confidentiality when contacting me through any digital means.
As a BACP registered counsellor, I have a contractual commitment to have a Clinical Supervisor, who I meet on a one-to-one basis, to discuss my work with all clients. This integral part of good counselling practice is for your safety and protection, and your confidentiality is maintained throughout. Don’t worry: something does not have to be terribly wrong for me to discuss you with my supervisor, I may simply be running something by him, and checking things from a different fresh perspective in order to offer you the best support possible. Supervision protects both you the client, and myself the counsellor. If you work with me as a client, I will assume that I have your consent to discuss our work in my supervision.
In order for you to get the very best from your counselling experience, it is crucial that our work together remains confidential: therefore I will only break confidentiality as a last resort and, as far as possible, with your knowledge and agreement.
There are specific circumstances when I am legally obliged to break confidentiality or inform other organisations:
- If I was to become aware that a child is at risk (Children’s Act 2004)
- If I were to become aware of acts of terrorism, drug trafficking or money laundering.
I understand that you may wish to talk about self-harming and suicidal thoughts, and I hope to provide an environment in which you can safely explore these subjects. We would need to discuss this in more detail, as I would consider breaking confidentiality if you were to disclose that you are at risk of
- Actively planning to harm yourself
- Actually harming someone else
- Actually being harmed by someone else
In a perfect world, endings of counselling relationships are signalled, mutually agreed upon and counselling sessions are amicably, professionally ended.
You are ahead of me, aren’t you?
Sudden unforeseen events, or changes in circumstances can bring counselling to an abrupt, unplanned for, sometimes awkward, maybe even painful end. In exceptionally rare cases, despite best endeavours, it is the counsellor who has unavoidable, unforeseen personal circumstances. I sincerely hope that this does not happen to us, if it does I will notify you as soon as possible, in order that you would be able to approach another counsellor.
Client Requests for Paperwork & Evidence
In the past, on occasion, the odd client would request that I provide a letter, email or even a phone-call with supporting evidence for a GP, agency, charity, work-place or education establishment. Sadly, the number of these requests are increasing, and becoming a large part of my day to day work-load. Unfortunately, I will be charging for time-spent on these out of session support tasks. I apologise but feel its only fair, I need to be in The Head Shed with clients where I can do my best work.
Sometimes, on very rare occasions, in very specific circumstances, I may be asked by a court, the police or other agencies to provide evidence from a client’s counselling sessions for court proceedings. If you have an active court case, or indeed fear that there may be one forthcoming: you’ll need to think carefully about the timing of your counselling sessions, or what you feel safe to disclose. I have managed to politely decline most requests, but feel I need to make clients aware of the possibility that though extremely rare, this has happened to me and my clients.
All records are coded to protect your confidentiality and kept in a safe and secure place. Contact details are kept separately to sessional notes for your further protection.
Notes are brief and factual. You can request to see your notes at any time. All records are destroyed after 3 years as required by GDPR.
If you contact me by email, your email will be stored on the secure Hushmail system, though it will not be secure between our email servers unless you also use an account on Hushmail. If you contact me by messaging app, I have a page explaining about security on these systems.
When you use this website, my web server stores your computer’s IP address and the pages that you visited. This information is stored for up to a month to help me maintain the website and check that it is working correctly. I do not store cookies or tracking software.