Contract and arrangements information
Professional Consultancy Contract including Clinical Therapeutic, Supervision, Mentoring, Coaching and Consultancy Services
1. By agreeing to undertake psychotherapy, supervision, mentoring, coaching or other professional consultancy with me you are entering into an agreed contract for the purpose of exploring and learning about yourself and you in relation to others and to your environment. Areas you may seek to develop or improve may include changes in attitude, feelings, responses or actions. Responsibility for change rests with you the client, or supervisee, where ‘client’ refers to all individual or group of individuals coming to me in a professional capacity for therapy, mentoring, coaching or other consultancy and supervisee refers to any person, pair or group seeking my services as a clinical or non-managerial supervisor / organisational development consultant. I agree to provide a professional service, using regular supervision and my on- going continuing professional training and personal professional development as needed.
2. I adhere to the code of ethics of UKCP (and EABP). Copies are available by you going to the UKCP or EABP websites; or I can show you or arrange for a hard copy for you. Any concerns or complaints about my practice you feel unable to address with me or we are unable to resolve should be addressed to one of these organisations. If the concern or complaint is about me as a psychotherapist / psychotherapy supervisor the complaint should be addressed to UKCP directly. If you are a training supervisee the matter could be taken to EABP and/ or your training organisation in the first instance and / or by raising the matter with UKCP.
My intention would be to keep our dialogue open and to attempt to resolve any concerns or complaints with you in the first instance. I also may suggest that we seek support from a neutral agreed third party for the purpose of informal mediation, this may be through one of the professional bodies listed. If you are not happy to do this I will ensure you can transparently seek advice and guidance from one of the professional bodies to which I am a member for purpose of discussing / raising your concern or complaint. My regulatory body is UKCP.
3. I will normally keep our sessions confidential, apart from my confidential supervision requirements. However there are some exceptions that it is important you are aware of from the outset. If I feel that you are at risk of serious harm to yourself or others, I may, after informing you, take medical advice from your GP. If you tell me that you are involved in drug trafficking, terrorism, have committed a serious undisclosed offence or are driving whilst unsafe (through epilepsy, other contra-indicated medical conditions, drug, substance or alcohol abuse), I also may have a responsibility to inform relevant authorities.
4. Under safeguarding of vulnerable people expectations, I would seek supervisory guidance and /or inform the relevant local authorities if I think there is a serious danger of harm to yourself or others. Including where I believe real danger to a child, a young person or a vulnerable adult, as generally understood by my professional body and relevant legislation, is possible and likely. In these circumstances I am likely to discuss any actions with you or inform you of actions I am taking, unless the danger indicates otherwise.
5. In line with my digital policy I ask clients and potential clients to keep their personal emotional / process information to a minimum on any emails and texts (as these are not secured communications). By doing this it allows us to hold the confidentiality of the relationship more securely and to maintain our face-to-face meetings as the place of sharing. Our sessions will be confidential, allowing you to explore your thoughts, plans, ideas and feelings privately. (See 3 above for exceptions).
6. I will keep a record of your contact details and your attendance and I may also keep separate brief notes for myself. I have a privacy and protection of data agreement that I will ask you to agree and sign as part of your contracting with me, a sample copy of the form is available below this contract.
6a. We may agree to meet for a specified number of sessions or to an open-ended contract. This will be reviewed regularly and additionally can be raised by you as a discussion or simply because you may find it helpful to have a reviewwith me.
7. Time / fees and potential arrangement changes are all part of the initial contracting with you when we first meet, this is bespoke contracting unless you are in training as a therapist, supervisor or coach in which case I will work to ensure I meet the trainings requirements I am responsible for in taking you on as a client.
8. Once we have agreed to work together we will mutually find a time or times to meet regularly; this will vary dependent on the nature of the work we are doing together, normally psychotherapy is a regular set weekly commitment for individuals and may be a weekly/ fortnightly or three weekly commitment for relationship, family and couples work. The decision on frequency is part of the process of co-creating a bespoke contract that seems best for supporting you as indicated at our initial and review sessions. If you arrive late for a session, then your entitlement will be for what remains of that session’s time.
9. We will agree methods and frequency of payment of fees at the first session, this is open to negotiation. I operate a sliding scale with a set fee for all students and trainees (not just therapy students). All initial sessions are a set fee and subsequent meetings are based on the client(s) choosing where on the scale you can reasonably afford.
10. It is my expectation clients with greatest earnings would pay higher up the scale, allowing me to offer lower costs to trainees and others unable to usually afford therapeutic and other facilitated support. I normally increase my fees every few years, this is discussed with you with several months notice before any increase is applied; for individuals and relationship (couples) work the fee would normally increase between £2.00- £5.00 per hour depending on where you are on the sliding scale.
11. I have different fee and contractual arrangements for my organisational work; please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
12. Occasionally we all need to make changes to agreed arrangements, I will attempt to provide an alternative time for such eventualities whether it is a change or difference to availability on your part or (occasionally due to teaching and other commitments) on mine. Where a more permanent change is needed we will renegotiate this. Our review sessions also are a space for looking at this if needed. With notice I will attempt to find an alternative time and date to replace a session you need to miss. Generally any session you cancel at very short notice or fail to attend will be charged at the full amount. Variance / change to this part of the contract is normally for specific exceptional circumstances.
13. I normally take about 10 -12 weeks per year away from my client and supervision practice and I do not charge you when I am absent.
As a senior therapist / consultant I also occasionally attend professional meetings, teach, do assessments in the UK or abroad. I attempt to give you fair notice of my absence and to find alternative session times to make up for any session missed.
14. You and I agree to attend sessions in a fit enough state to participate; this includes abstaining from drugs or alcohol. You agree to not physically endanger or harm yourself, me or damage property where we meet; I agree to the same in relation to you and me and to hold the required professional boundaries expected of me by my professional regulatory body. I agree to ensure I hold appropriate professional insurance as required by my professional regulatory body.
15. Unless we have agreed to a time-limited contract, you are asked to give me at least three sessions notice of your intention to stop our work together, this engaging in a notice period is part of the work of therapy and supervision in particular. I do ask you to respect this boundary as it allows us to work on the processes arising from completing our time together. Time-limited contracts normally can be extended and we may agree to vary other individual / couple contracts once a substantive enough initial period of working together has occurred.
16. I will look at any potential risks for you from working within my approach, for example some forms of intervention may not be suitable for you, and thus my therapeutic work will be adapted to meet your specific needs.
17. However, should risk and compatibility assessment show that a different approach, therapist or other professional may be of more benefit for you currently, then I will discuss this with you and support you to find a practitioner who can meet your needs. As a practitioner working sometimes with physical as well as verbal interventions I may suggest that you have clearance from a suitable health professional before we undertake some of / all of our work together. I ask all therapy clients to disclose all known physical and health challenges at the beginning of our working together, this allows me to pay attention to your needs and any limitations to how we work together.
18. By agreeing to work with me please note that you are agreeing to the terms of this contract. You may raise any concerns or asks questions about the contract terms as often as you need to ensure you understand and are happy to continue under the contract. Where there is room for exceptions to meet your personal needs I agree to discuss this with you, save any legislative, regulatory or clinical requirements under which I work. I can provide you with a copy of this contract signed by us both and dated upon request at our first full session should you require it. I then will keep a signed copy on your file and you are welcome to have access to this during the period of when we are working together. You may request a copy at any time.
I hold these considerations set out above as an ethical stance as a psychotherapist and as a responsible professional working with members of the public in different processes.
Carmen Joanne Ablack
August 2021 (update)