General Information about your therapy
Time and place of our therapy
My Practice is based in Balham (SW12), South London. We will confirm the time of the therapy in our initial assessment session. I do not have a waiting room so ask that you arrive at the agreed time. Unless otherwise agreed, sessions are 50 minutes.
We will agree our fee at the beginning of the therapy. I invoice at the end of every month for the preceding months sessions and am happy to be paid by bank transfer or cash. I review my fees annually and no changes will be made without a prior discussion.
I charge for all cancellations other than agreed holiday. If you need to cancel a session please leave a message on my answering machine by calling 020 86720515. Where possible I will try to offer an alternative time as it is important that we maintain continuity of attachment.
Usually I take holidays that coincide with the half term breaks, Christmas, Easter and a long break in the summer. I will give as much notice as possible of any time away, and there will be space to talk about the practicalities of managing the break in our sessions and what this means for you emotionally. At times it may be necessary for us to arrange additional support for you during breaks, or for us to think together about ways in which we might manage to maintain a connection through the separation. Please tell me of your intention to take a holiday well in advance so that we can incorporate the absence in our thinking together.
Records held about you
When we first meet I will request your contact details, including details of someone who can be contacted in an emergency. I will also take notes from our initial assessment session. These will include details of your attachment history and other things that may be significant in relation to you seeking psychotherapeutic support. I may also keep basic factual notes of our on-going sessions. If we have email or other written contact I will keep a paper copy of our communication.
All records that relate to you and your therapy will be held securely and destroyed at a prescribed date after your therapy has ended. I practice an open file policy and you may request to see these notes. We can talk through what this means and you will be able to have access to what I have written during an agreed session.
As part of my work as a psychotherapist and supervisor I teach and write about my clinical practice. I request that my clients think about giving me permission to use material in publication. In keeping with the ethics and code of conduct of my training organisation (The Bowlby Centre) and registering bodies (UKCP, BACP) client confidentiality is paramount, and the way in which the material is presented will preserve this; through the alteration of key details, heavily anonymising and disguising information to protect all concerned.
Your being in therapy with me and the contents of our sessions are confidential. However, to take best care of our relationship and in keeping with my professional guidelines I am in regular supervision with a senior practitioner and share clinical material with them. They are subject to the same code of ethics and conduct as I am.
If you are working with me as a couple we will need to talk about the way in which your confidentiality is shared with your partner.
If you are in distress and we identify that you are at serious risk of harming yourself I may ask you to extend the confidentiality of our sessions to include someone else. For example you may need my support in contacting another professional involved in your care such as a doctor. In these circumstances any communication with a third party will only be with your consent and I will share anything I write with you.
Requirement to breach confidentiality
My priority is always to preserve the sanctity of our relationship, however you should be aware that under the law psychotherapists are required to consider breaching client confidentiality and inform the relevant authorities in some circumstances (See below). If for any reason this becomes an issue within our therapy where appropriate this would be something that we would talk through in detail.
Circumstances in which a therapist may be required to share information:
- You disclose that you are at risk of carrying out serious harm to yourself or others.
- You make me aware of an identifiable minor being harmed and that there are issues that invoke the law as it relates to child protection.
- You make me aware of matters relating to an act of terrorism.
- You make me aware of activities covered by the drug trafficking act (1994)
- A request is made by the authorities in the context of legal proceedings.
Nature and Duration of Therapy:
I work in a variety of ways:
Individual long term attachment based relational psychotherapy.
Focused psychosexual therapy with individuals and Couples.
Short or Long term Couples Psychotherapy.
The duration of your therapy may be open ended or be time limited according to our initial assessment and contract.
The nature of this work may require the use of sexual language, and/or written and visual material to support your therapeutic process. We can explore together what feels appropriate for you. It is important that you tell me in advance if there are things that you feel uncomfortable with or which do not correspond with any personal, spiritual or cultural beliefs that you hold.
If you decide that for whatever reason you need to end our therapeutic work together before our agreed time we will need to talk about this. It may feel difficult to share your thoughts if you feel angry or unhappy but it is important that we are able to talk openly and honestly about your feelings rather than finishing abruptly which may leave you holding onto unnecessary pain. Where possible I prefer to set a date for the therapy to finish and for us to work towards this, exploring what comes up for you as we do so. Whatever the circumstances, having the best possible ending to your therapeutic journey will hopefully enable you to be well prepared to move on to the next stage of your life.