We are a self-funding voluntary agency. We depend on payments
from clients to pay the bills. The counsellors/therapists do not
charge for their time and usually offer to provide four sessions
a week. You will choose how much to pay, subject to a
minimum fee of £10.
The overhead costs of providing a session is £10, so we ask you
to consider this as a minimum payment but if you cannot afford
that, be assured that we respond only to client’s needs and we
never select on the level of payment.
The charge for our service in private practice would be £50
a session. A payment above £10 allows us to provide a service to
those who need it and can least afford it. This is the key to our
continuing to provide a service, and we provide about
1500 sessions a year.
We ask you to make a responsible decision, please choose an
amount you can live with and also supports us. You can change
the amount at any time. It is always your decision.
The matters discussed in counselling sessions with HELP! are treated as strictly confidential within the supervision structure used to support the counselling process. This means that we would not normally reveal any information to other people, including parents, teachers, employer, social workers or probation officers, other than at your request or with your agreement. The legal limitations are: There is a legal requirement for any citizen to report information relating to an act of terrorism or money laundering. In very serious cases it is possible for a judge to demand access to confidential information.
We offer a confidential therapeutic counselling service. We will not contract with a client for sessions when there is a positive intention to use session notes to support legal proceedings or if there is any other positive intent that the sessions should not be either therapeutic (i.e. focussed on change) or private and confidential, or if there is prior intent to share information
concerning the content or process of the sessions. We will resist any client’s attempts to breach confidentiality retrospectively.
If you disclose that there is a serious risk to your own or someone else’s life, we have a procedure to evaluate the risk and we would wish to support you in acting to remove that risk. If this is not possible, we will inform the authorities if the risk is evaluated as serious.
If you disclose that a child is currently experiencing or is in danger of experiencing abuse, as defined by the Child Protection Act we would wish to support you in acting to protect that child. If the abuse is serious we have procedures to act for the benefit and protection of the child that do not necessarily require the source of the information to be revealed.
Whenever possible, if we feel that we need to suspend confidentiality for one of these reasons, we would discuss this with you.
It is normal practice for a counsellor or therapist to write notes on each session. These constitute factual details, reflection on the counselling/therapy process, the making of therapeutic contracts and progress towards goals. With some notice a client may view the records of their sessions. Counsellors follow the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation and their professional bodies in how they handle the session notes. Help! Counselling will keeps a record of your name and contact details for 6 years after the end of any contract with you or, if you are under 18, for 6 years after your 18th birthday. We follow the guidelines of the General Data Protection Regulation.
We routinely record sessions. The recording is made unobtrusively. This is primarily to protect our counsellors from allegations, particularly when working with young people where recording is also part of our Child Protection Policy. The client can, at any time, ask for recording to stop.
Clients often provide a lot of detailed information in the first few sessions and having a recording of this reduces the need for note taking. The recordings can also sometimes be helpful for supervision. Usually the recording is simply archived. A recording could be selected for examination purposes, as part of the counsellor’s ongoing professional development. When used in this way the identity of the client is not revealed. Specific permission for this use would be sought, and usually recorded on a form. The client can, at any time, ask for recording to stop.
Our counsellors/therapists reserve the right to use written and/or recorded material to defend themselves in the event of allegation or complaint.
Under exceptional circumstances, certain authorities can request legal access to records. We will refuse access unless ordered by a judge.
All information you provide is kept securely. Any paperwork no longer required is shredded.
We work with minors on the understanding that no specific details of conversations will be revealed. The ‘client’ is the person we work with and we insist on the protection of their privacy as a therapeutic necessity.
The emotional and physical environment that the young person experiences is highly dependent on the caregivers and we will on occasion make general suggestions to the caregiver that are intended to facilitate the desired outcome. Such conversations will usually occur in the presence of the client.
The client should make payment of fees, even if parents, guardians or carers are providing the money. It recognises the client’s control over the working contract.
Once the counsellor has established a therapeutic relation with a client it is rarely in the interests of the client for the relationship to be unilaterally ended. We work with minors on the understanding that, when it requires the agreement of the counsellor and guardian to begin the sessions it also requires the agreement of both to end the sessions.
All our staff will respect the privacy given by this confidentiality agreement.
All our staff have enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service disclosures to meet our requirements for child protection.
Our counsellors subscribe to and follow the ethical framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and the code of ethics of the UK Council for Psychotherapy.
Because issues may only become clear once sessions have started, we regard the first three sessions as mutually exploratory. The client may decide the mode of therapy not to suit them and the counsellor may decide that the client’s needs are better met by a different therapeutic approach or a different practitioner. This would be explored in the session before making a decision.
The normal duration of a session is between fifty minutes and one hour. If you are under 18 we prefer for you to be accompanied by a parent, carer, teacher or other trusted adult but you could come on your own or with a friend if you wish. At the end of this session a mutual agreement for further counselling/therapy may be made.
The following conditions are intended to protect the physical and emotional safety of everyone involved.
As client’s payments are used to cover our costs, and those costs are incurred on every session, we ask for a payment for every session, including the first.
Please give as much notice as possible if you are not going to come to a session.
If you give more than 24 hrs notice, there will be no charge for that session. If less than 24 hrs notice is given half the fee will be charged. If no notice is given, that is, you simply don’t appear, the full fee will be charged.
If you fail to attend two consecutive sessions in this way, without contacting us, we will consider that you have terminated this contract. A high rate of non-attendance will lead to a review of the relevancy of the work at this time in your life and your commitment to it. As the counsellor to client relationship is exclusive, there is usually no cover if the counsellor is on vacation, ill or otherwise absent.
We work with the expectation of mutual respect and valuing.
The counselling session will be ended if:
The client or anyone with them is abusive to the counsellor or other staff. The client or anyone with them threatens or acts to injure himself or herself, to hurt the counsellor or other staff, or to damage property. The client or anyone with them is under the influence of, or in possession of, alcohol or illegal drugs. You may at some time want someone to join you in a session. Please plan this with counsellor. We work from a number of different places. Some have disabled access, some do not. Some are only accessed by stairs. Please make it clear on the client contact form if you have any problems with access. If a responsible adult accompanies you and they wish to wait during your session, please check that is possible at the place you are seeing a counsellor. We encourage an adult to stay on the premises with any child under 16 years old, if this is possible, but on some of our sites there is no reception area. This can be discussed at the initial session.
For legal reasons we do not allow anyone under the age of 18 to wait unsupervised on our premises. This includes the grounds outside the building.
All our premises are NO SMOKING areas.