I find that it is helpful for new clients to have a clear idea of what I offer. Please read and refer back to this explanation regularly. This contract is updated from time to time. You will be asked to sign a written copy of our agreement and be given a copy.
What I can offer
If you feel that life has brought hurt from grief, difficulties at work or in your home, loss or personal challenges leading to anxiety, you may be feeling that everything just feels ‘too much’ to manage alone. Whilst I do not give personal advice, I can help you to find a way forward by providing a safe, confidential and accepting space to learn and practice mindfulness, to talk and practice emotional freedom techniques and to perhaps learn about your difficult feelings so they will have less impact.
I hope that by working together, you will explore your specific situation and feelings and feel heard which itself is very healing; to feel understood and accepted as you are now, is the starting point of being able to move forwards.
I aim to provide that calm, accepting and supportive place in which you are able to explore issues that trouble you relating to your situation. I teach strategies which help you manage difficult feelings so you can explore a way forwards.
You may have preferences about what you want to discuss and what you do not or strategies you want to learn and try and those you do not wish to try. We agree ways of working that are most helpful to you and sessions are tailored to your needs.
By the end of our time working together, I hope you will feel increasingly free to manage uncomfortable feelings that may be exhausting you or holding you back, express your true thoughts and feelings and to put into practice changes you may come to identify.
My background and qualifications
• A fully qualified Mindfulness teacher able to work therapeutically one to one;
• A student counsellor and a student member of the National Counselling Society;
• A fully qualified Emotional Freedom Technique teacher and practioner able to work with adults and children (with written consent of parents)
• A bereavement volunteer working for Cruse Bereavement Services;
• Fully insured to practice as a student counsellor, mindfulness teacher and EFT practioner;
• Police checked with an enhanced DBS check;
Where will we meet? How long are sessions? What is the cost?
Each session will last for a maximum of 50 minutes and will start on time. We will usually meet via Zoom but some in person work is possible, by arrangement, in Malvern. We normally meet at the same time each week, though with plenty of notice, I may be able to rearrange some session times. Please ensure you have a stable connection and a private space to talk without disturbance or anyone else in the room. The sessions are £35 per hour but I offer three 'crisis' sessions at reduced rates for those with a total family gross income of less than £45 000 (including all benefits, housing benefit and tax credits etc). Please ask if cost is a deterrent. Cancelled or missed sessions with less than 24 hours notice are charged at full rate.
What are your commitments to me?
I am a student member of the National Counselling Society and I comply with the regulations laid down in the Code of Ethics and Practice and those of the British Association of Mindfulness Based Approaches. I am insured to practice and have regular supervision with a qualified supervisor. I will endeavour to always give you the best service I am capable of, to be on time, reliable and to listen to your preferences and feedback. If you feel you are unhappy about anything, please do talk to me in the first instance. You can also contact the NCS and make a complaint.
What you say to me during your sessions is confidential. However please be aware that this is subject to the following exceptions (as required by UK law and ethical requirements):
1) If I feel that you or someone else is at significant risk or harm (including animals), I may need to breach confidentiality.
2) In accordance with English Law, I am unable to keep confidential any information you share with me about your involvement in acts of terrorism, drugs trafficking, money laundering or serious criminal offences.
3) I may discuss your case with my supervisor, anonymously.
4) At some future date, if required in English or International law, I may provide information to the police or coronor’s court or other legal body; I may have to disclose generic information about our work together.
5) I write summary notes which I may share with my insurer if required
If I need to breach confidentiality for the above, where legally allowed, I will be discussed this with you to agree an appropriate course of action.
I keep brief 'process' notes which are thoughts and insights I may have about the process of working together. I also keep brief, factual notes which include details of facts shared such as family names or dates or things you have shared to aid my memory and to offer you the best service possible. I keep your initial assessment and contact information. I keep a signed copy of our agreement, signed by both of us. These are all stored securely on a password protected computer or in a locked cupboard.
All notes and information about you are always stored securely for 6 years, then destroyed, as required by my insurers.
I may also use notes for the purposes of supervision or to write college assignments but these are always anonomised and your written permission sought for any college referencing and case study. You could of course decline and that would not impact our work together.
I follow all the rules of GDPR.
If I feel you are at risk of significant self-harm, with your permission, I will contact your GP or out of hours GP. Counselling is not able to help in a crisis outside of sessions. Where there is severe triggered distress or other urgent mental health difficulties, such as suicidal thoughts, you should contact your GP or your local medical emergency numbers. The Samaritans number is: 116123 and is free. They are open 24/7 for anyone who needs to talk.
What are the client’s commitments?
You are responsible for your personal growth so it is helpful if you:
• Are punctual. I will normally not be able to extend the time of sessions beyond 50 minutes, even if you are late, because of other clients.
• To try to keep all appointments because regular meetings help achieve better outcomes.
• Ensure you have a private, confidential, uninterrupted space to talk. We cannot continue if other people are around because it may hinder you from talking openly and be distracting for us both.
• Talk to me if you are in any way at all unhappy with the service or want to make changes. I want to hear about your preferences of what is helpful and what is not as we are all individual. I want to offer the best possible service so knowing your honest opinion helps us work together as well as possible. Please always ask questions if you don’t understand, disagree or are unsure about anything at all.
• Report changes or unexpected events where these relate to your problem so that we can talk about what is current and take account of these.
• Switch off your phone during sessions
• Attend our sessions without any intake of drugs or alcohol
• Are respectful to me
• Understand everything in this contract and by working together you are deciding that this agreement works for you and you are happy to work with me along these lines.
My commitments to you
As a member of the NCS I commit to and agree to:
1. Working towards the good of clients and to do no harm by:
a. Agreeing realistic outcomes and being clear about what you can expect, explaining limitations of the service, the fees, terms of cancellations and contract;
b. Ensuring that the place where we meet are suitable, appropriate and respectful of the clients need for privacy.
c. Respecting, and not abusing professional boundaries, agreeing to never touch you (not even supportive hugs) or accept inappropriate gifts;
d. Listening to your preferences of how you want to work and reflecting with you about how you have experienced working together;
e. Taking the law concerning equality, diversity and inclusion into careful consideration and being professional aware of diversity issues, not permitting considerations of diversity to adversely influence any client’s treatment;
f. Continuing to learn ourselves
g. Respecting the work and contribution of other professionals
h. Ensuring, we look after our own mental and physical health
i. Having a valid DBS and valid insurance, which we share upon request.
2. Maintaining integrity by being honest with you about qualifications, experience and our chosen working methods and limitations;
3. Working only with clients, and in areas, we feel we are experienced enough to be able to help, making referrals to other specialists if needed;
4. Working regularly with a qualified supervisor (which can include via Zoom or by telephone); the clients identity is always kept confidential.
5. Maintaining the confidentiality of counselling as far as the law allows; Keeping records in accordance with British law and GDPR and ICO regulations with regard to storage of personal data and electronic data. In exceptional circumstances, the need to safeguard you or others from serious harm may require us to override our commitment to making your wishes and confidentiality our primary concern. Information may be required, in law, to be shared to a Coroner or police authorities. Notes may also be provided to insurers or the professional body in the event of a complaint. Cases are sometimes discussed anonymously with our supervisor.
6. Ensuring that all advertising is honest.
7. Sharing the NCS’s Complaints Procedure. NCS | Counselling Society Complaints & Concerns Procedure (nationalcounsellingsociety.org)
8. When working with minors, those with special needs or those without full capacity, obtain written consent of an appropriate adult
You can read more by visiting www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org
Mindfulness 'rest breaks'
I offer an airbnb stay where you can stay in our family home or self contained annex and learn/practice mindfulness with me each day. I have a large garden, and live within walking distance of the Buddhist temple and Malvern hills. You would be covered by Airbnb for the stay and you would pay for mindfulness sessions. I can organise just breakfast or full board for an extra cost. Cancellation is as per Airbnb policy on booking.
A non refundable deposit of 20% is required when we agree dates. This deposit is not transferable to other dates. The balance is due 28 days before the course starts. If you wish to cancel within 0-7 days of the start date we are unable to give a refund of the balance payment unless there is a waiting list for the event and we can transfer your booking to another applicant. If for some reason you begin a training course and cannot finish for any whatever reason, we will not be able to refund your fees. Mindfulness is essentially based upon a need to feel safe and authentic which requires everyone to show kindness to one another and themselves. Kindness and mindful consideration of self and others, is a pre-requisit for joining any course. If I have to cancel any course, you would of course receive 100% refund of all monies paid.
I withhold the right to change prices, for services not yet paid for, with 4 week's notice.
I have a strict no drugs policy. Should you attend any session, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you would be asked to leave. You will not receive any refund.
You will be required to complete a simple assessment which includes personal information and which is kept secure. It is your responsibility to ensure that you disclose any issues that I should be aware of, including recent bereavements, any significant trauma, mental health or physical history. It is always helpful for you to include an emergency contact.
By agreeing to our terms and conditions you consent to being contacted regarding appointments and marketing. Your information will not be shared to anyone, kept secure and you can opt out at any time.
My Mindful Counsellor cannot accept liability for participant’s medical conditions which may develop during or subsequent to us working together, nor loss of, or damage to personal property. I am not medically trained and any services offered are not a substitute for medical attention or advice/treatment. I take no responsibility for your actions, choices or decisions. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that services offered are appropriate for you. I can make no guarantees as you are responsible for your own progress. If you feel unwell at any time please make this clear immediately. Please consult your doctor if you are unsure about any practice or starting any program.
Any written feedback may be used as promotional material, anonymously. Please advise in writing if you do not want your feedback to be used.
LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES - I may provide on my website, links to other websites and information on those websites for your convenience. This does not mean anything other than I have found them useful. I take no responsibility for any of the content found on the linked websites.
I expressly reserve all copyright and trademark in all documents, information and materials on my website. I reserve the right to take action against you if you breach any of these terms.
By using our services, you agree that My Mindful Counsellor is not to be held liable for any decisions you make and any consequences, as a result, are your own. Under no circumstances can you hold My Mindful Counsellor liable for any actions you decide to take, nor can you hold us liable for any loss or costs incurred as a result of your own actions.
PLEASE NOTE - By booking and paying the deposit for sessions, courses or retreats, you are agreeing to all of the above points that constitute My Mindful Counsellor's general terms and conditions.