Please note that counsellors are professionally and ethically bound not to continue with
therapy if it appears not to be beneficial to the client and reserve the right
to decline clients if the counsellor feels that a client's needs may be best met elsewhere.
A example of the counselling contract
The counselling contract
outlines the confidentiality and boundaries that a counsellor offers.
Confidentiality is absolute and whatever you disclose in a counselling session
is never revealed outside the session in connection with the client’s name,
neither is the identity of the client ever revealed to anyone. This has certain
legal exceptions ie if you threaten to seriously hurt or kill others (if the
counsellor feels you really mean it) or if you tell the counsellor that you have
seriously hurt someone, sexually abused a child or killed someone already. Also,
if you state that you intend to kill yourself and the counsellor believes that
you mean to do so, then the counsellor will need to inform a doctor or emergency
services that you are in danger.
The counsellor must inform the appropriate
authorities in all these exceptions to complete confidentiality and will tell
you that he/she is obliged to do so. This is to protect the counsellor, yourself
and others and is a legal requirement. The contract also specifies that after
the session, confidential notes may be made by the counsellor about the content
and process of the counselling sessions but that you will not be identified in
any way. The notes are to help the counsellor follow the counselling process and
identify patterns etc.
Also, the counsellor will explain that he/she has
supervision, either with one supervisor or within a confidential peer group
setting. Supervision is something that every practising counsellor must have to
maintain client and counsellor safety during counselling. The supervisor will
not be told anything which identifies the client - it is the counselling issues
that are discussed - perhaps there are problems with client/counsellor
transference or the counsellor is having difficulty dealing with certain issues
because they impinge upon his/her own experiences.
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DOWNLOAD THE CONTRACT