Professional Standards

 
 

Professional Standards

I am committed to offering high-quality services and work to recognised professional standards, as published in the ethical frameworks of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and COSCA. We will agree how we will work together in our first sessions, and you will receive a written copy of this agreement.


Confidentiality

The counselling/psychotherapy I provide is offered on a confidential basis. This means I will not disclose to others any identifying information which you reveal to me without your explicit agreement, including the fact of your attendance at counselling/psychotherapy. There are however some important exceptions to this:

  • If I have reason to believe that you might present a serious risk of harm to others (e.g. violence or abuse)
  • If I have reason to believe that you might be at serious risk of harm (e.g. risk of unintentional suicide or permanent, serious injury resulting from an inability to make informed, competent decisions, as a result of violence or abuse by others)
  • If I have to do so by law (i.e. if compelled to do so by a court, and/or to comply with laws on prevention of terrorism, drug trafficking offences and/or reporting of traffic accidents)

In the situations above I would normally try to discuss my concerns with you before deciding whether to disclose any information to others. Exceptions to this would be in situations where I have reason to believe that discussion with you would increase the risk of harm or where time is a critical factor. If I do need to disclose information to others I will pass on the minimum of information to the most appropriate people, as required by the situation (i.e. to minimise risk or to comply with the law).

All counsellors and psychotherapists who work to BACP and/or COSCA ethical requirements are expected to attend regular supervision where they monitor and reflect on their ongoing work with clients. I will be discussing aspects of our work with my clinical supervisor, in order to ensure you receive appropriate and effective services. All discussions are respectful and will seek to preserve your confidentiality. My supervisors are also bound by recognised professional frameworks.

I am happy to discuss my confidentiality policy and practice further in our initial appointment.


Complaints Procedure

If things go wrong and you have a complaint about me or the service which I provide, please tell me as soon as possible so that I can hopefully rectify the situation. If my response is unsatisfactory at this stage, you can make a formal complaint, outlining the grounds for your complaint in writing. I will deal with your complaint promptly and responsibly according to the codes of ethics to which I belong, and will seek to address your complaint or concern within fourteen days. I will provide a written response letting you know the outcome of your complaint and, where appropriate, the action which will be taken. If you then believe that I have not addressed your formal complaint adequately, please contact BACP and COSCA (details below). A complaint to these organisations should be written, dated and signed, and should include a detailed account of what happened and when it happened. These professional organisations would then investigate and take appropriate action.

 

You can download the BACP Professional Conduct Procedure here. This outlines the process for making a complaint through BACP.

You can download the COSCA Complaints Procedure here. This outlines the process for making a complaint through COSCA.