Working Agreement

Working agreement between ............................ and Lesley Spencer

Beginnings

Agreeing to work together means that we have contracted to meet together at an arranged time, usually 60 minutes and in a safe setting, in order for you to examine any issues you care to discuss. My role is to help you explore and make sense of those issues and to help you move towards change, if that is appropriate.

Confidentiality

Anything you choose to say to me within these sessions remains highly confidential with the following exceptions: -

  1. Supervision
    I discuss my work with my clients regularly with my two supervisors to ensure that I am maintaining good standards of ethical practice. These discussions with my supervisors are in confidence and I do not use identifying details. Occasionally I might want to consult another professional colleague about our work together (for example, your GP), but this would normally be through consultation with you.
  2. Danger to self or others
    If you give me information that leads me to believe that somebody is in danger of serious harm, then I may feel obliged to take further steps. I would normally discuss this with you first, if possible.

Cancellation/lateness

If you cancel a session with more than 24 hours notice, you will not be charged. However if you cancel with less than 24 hours notice, or fail to attend your agreed appointment you will be charged 50% of your normal fee for that session. If you are late for the session, I will need to finish at our normal finishing time, as I am likely to have another client booked in after you.

Code of Ethics

I am listed on the BACP Register for Counsellors and Psychotherapists as a BACP accredited counsellor. This means I have demonstrated my practice is professional and also that I abide by the BACP's Ethical Framework for Counselling Professions (2018) and if you wish to find out more about this code, please click here.

Record-Keeping and data protection

Normally I make brief notes after each session. This acts as an aide-memoire and helps me to reflect on our work together. If, at any time, you would like to see these notes, please feel free to ask. All records relating to you are stored securely at my home address. Your session notes do not contain any identifying details and they are stored in one locked filing cabinet, and your contact details and any correspondence relating to you are kept separately in another locked cabinet. If you email me or text me, please be aware your details will be stored on my password protected phone and computer. When we stop working together, I will delete all correspondence from my electronic devices. I normally keep my therapy records for one year only unless there is a legal reason for keeping them longer. After that all records of our work together will be destroyed confidentially. I will not contact you with promotional material and normally I would not share your contact details with anyone without consulting you first.

Contact between sessions

This is normally restricted to short messages relating to practical issues, such as the timing of our next session. Longer contact is possible, by arrangement, and will be charged at the normal rate.

Endings

Once we have agreed to work together, I normally suggest we agree to meet for a numbers of sessions (according to your need) and then build in times to review our progress, to make sure that therapy is working in a way that is helpful to you. Further sessions can then be booked if that seems useful. When you are ready to stop, I ideally like to have one sessions notice, so that we both have time to reflect on how best to end our time together.