COUNSELLING AGREEMENT

Online Counselling Agreement with Deb Challacombe

This agreement sets out how we can work together online, so please take time to read this through carefully, and make your choices about how you would like us to communicate.

You will be asked to accept this agreement when you send the application form to me. Iíll respond, normally within 24 hours, offering you a choice of available sessions.

Once you have emailed me with your booking, you will be able to make your payment securely through ĎPayPalí. Then we can begin.

Session Arrangements
These are available on the fees page, giving you more flexibility. Sessions can be live, using a secure Messenger chatroom, or using Skype, which is already encrypted. Both of these are freely downloadable and easy to set up. We can also use Skype for video and telephone calls over the internet, (VOiP). Live sessions should normally be booked in advance, preferably by email, or by text to: +447815 844456, preferably giving 48 hoursí notice.

Emails can be your usual address, or encrypted. Safe-mail is a secure encrypted web-based email service. The emails that you and I send are then encrypted en-route and only readable by us when we sign into our respective accounts, making sure that our exchanges are confidential. If you choose to use email, Iíll respond to your emails on a set day each week so that you know when to expect it. You can let me know in the first email on which day you would like to receive my response; however Iíll let you know in advance when this isnít possible.

Each live session or main email that I send out is clearly headed and numbered as part of ongoing therapy, so that you know which session you are being charged for.

Ethical Confidentiality
Counselling and psychotherapy offer a safe, non-judgemental, and confidential environment.

Your identity and personal details will be protected by me, with the exception that all therapists are required by law to break that confidentiality if we feel our clients are in danger of hurting themselves or someone else, or when compelled to by Law.

In the case of emergency support during our work together, Iíll request your permission to contact your GP, and/or recommend alternative forms of support to online counselling with me, if I believe that would be a better way to help you. Emergency numbers are also on my website.

I keep our therapeutic records confidential, within the framework of my professional body, the Community of Contemporary Psychotherapy CCP. I also abide by the guidelines of United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy UKCP. You may find further details of these by following the links on my website.

To protect these ethics and boundaries, I donít engage socially with clients through social networking sites or forums online. This makes sure our therapeutic relationship remains confidential and doesnít spread into a public arena.

Practical Security
Our exchanges wonít be circulated to any third parties. I may take some of the content from our exchanges to supervision, but your identity will be protected at all times. Supervision ensures that I work to the best of my ability and within my professional code of ethics, and is a requirement of all counselling and psychotherapy bodies.

It is just as important for you to make sure that where you live and work allows you enough undisturbed safety and privacy to be able to benefit from our online therapy.

At the end of our work together, your material is removed from my computer and stored securely on a memory stick, together with an identity number, as required by Law. I may destroy this after one year if we have no further contact.

I keep all our information protected, and I ask you to do the same in return.

In Case of Emergency
I will never disconnect from you deliberately during a session. In the event of technology failure, we send a text to each otherís mobile Ďphone, and use the same system to let the other know when we are back online. My number is listed above. If you do not have a mobile Ďphone you will need to provide an alternative contact number on the form. If, after 15 minutes, you or myself are still unable to connect, we can re-schedule our meeting, normally via text.
Online therapy is not suitable if you have an enduring mental illness or are experiencing extreme distress. If such an event occurs and I am unavailable, you must contact one of the emergency numbers as soon as possible.

Indemnity Insurance
My professional indemnity covers me to work with any client no matter where in the world they are living, and I have never had a claim made against me. However, insurance cover only applies to residents of Canada and the USA if a case is heard in a British court under the laws of those two countries.

Acceptance
By agreeing acceptance of this agreement you are also confirming that you are over 18, and that the information you provide me with is accurate to the best of your knowledge.