What is a Counselling Contract?
A counselling contract (or agreement) is a paper document that Dean Richardson will give you to show what we are agreeing to, and what we’re getting involved in together, in counselling.
It’s not unusual for anyone to find the first session or two of counselling has far lots of information to hold in mind. This can be especially tough to remember if the client is emotionally distressed. So many counsellors will offer the an overview of the counselling arrangements in a written form – as well as having discussed the contents beforehand.
All ethical counsellors are required to inform the client(s) about what the client(s) are getting into at the start of therapy. This can include (not is not limited to):
An overview of the counselling – what sort of treatment is being offered to you.
Confidentiality about the counselling work, and where the law may override confidentiality (and where is does not).
How long the counselling will last – or how client/counsellor expect to exit counselling.
The counsellor’s qualifications, professional memberships, insurance information, and who you could go to to complain if you are not happy with the therapist.
Information about fees and how to pay.
Information about missed sessions (eg is the next session automatically available or do you have to book it with the counsellor).
How the fees are affected by missed sessions (when you do and do not have to pay, for example).
Information about if the therapist can (and cannot) be contacted outside of session times.
Information about boundaries – such as if online/social network contact is permissible or not outside of the therapy session.
When the sessions are held, how they are arranged (regularly, ad hoc, pre-arranged weekly etc).
Any fire alarm drills or procedures and other health and safety information.
If your therapist has not given you a written contract/agreement for your therapy work, you might ask for a copy or ask what the counsellors expects of you if you have not received one and have questions.