Terms and conditions of therapy
Hello and welcome to One Step Ahead Psychology Services.
Please read the following information carefully as it will provide you with details about the service and hopefully answer any questions you may have.
By using the online booking system and online services you are agreeing to the terms and conditions laid out within this document and providing your consent to psychological support. If you do not agree to the terms and conditions then please do not use this service.
You must be 18 years or older to access this service.
You must provide contact details for yourself and your General Practitioner (GP).
While psychology sessions are generally regarded as beneficial to enhance mental wellbeing and achieve goals it must be realised that this may not be so in every case. Before commencing therapy your psychologist will consider whether this service is right for you within the initial appointment. If considered to be appropriate, the therapeutic outcomes can then depend on how open and engaged you are with the process.
Initial sessions would be based around developing a shared understanding of your circumstances, difficulties and goals which would then inform treatment and appropriateness of support offered.
Within future session various psychological models and techniques may be used which would be tailored specific to your case and responsive to your circumstances. Throughout the process of therapy however we need to recognize that discomfort may arise (as difficult issues are addressed and worked through). This is an often necessary part of therapy although it does not always guarantee resolution. As the therapeutic relationship is designed to support you in your growth and development however we consider it as our professional responsibility to inform you if it does not seem to be working for your benefit, or if it ceases to do so. In these circumstances an open conversation would be held about whether you wish to continue or not.
Please use the online booking system to arrange a set time for online therapy. A minimum of 72 hours is required between booking a session and the session taking place. Sessions tend to last approximately 50 minutes each and you would normally meet once a week. If you wish to alter the frequency of sessions you are more than welcome to arrange this with your therapist to ensure it is flexible to meet your needs. To get the most out of the service, therapy tends to work to the extent that there is commitment and regularity on the part of both client and therapist. Your therapist will do all they can on their part to ensure you are inconvenienced as little as possible through missed or delayed appointments. You will be informed in advance of any weeks they are away on holiday or for professional reasons and will give a minimum 48 hours’ notice of any cancelled sessions where possible.
Online therapy will then be offered via video link through a portal named doxy.me. This is a secure platform which your psychologist uses to ensure the confidentiality of personal health information and offer protection against identity and medical theft.
As the nature of the service is online, there may be occasions where technical difficulties arise and there may be problems with internet connectivity, which is the fault of neither the practitioner nor yourself. Internet availability may be limited or disrupted by things such as server maintenance, upgrades, or other problems (such as software or hardware malfunction) or natural or man-made disasters (such as terrorist acts, internet viruses, and so forth). If something like this were to occur, any scheduled appointments would be re-scheduled by your online therapist at no additional cost to you.
LENGTH OF THERAPY
The therapeutic process may be for an agreed length of time or (more usually) you can leave the contract open ended. During the period of the therapeutic relationship regular review discussions may take place to determine potential end points.
When you want to stop therapy, it can be helpful to meet for a mutually agreed number of sessions in which the ending of the relationship can be addressed and accomplished. And an onward referral can be arranged where appropriate.
RIGHT TO WITHDRAW
Whether you have signed up to a specific period for support or not please note that you would always have the right to withdraw if you feel it is not the right thing for you or if you felt you did not wish to continue for any reason.
Discussions: Your psychology sessions are likely to entail discussing personal things with your practitioner, such as your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Anything you disclose will be treated with the strictest confidence and this confidence will be maintained in line with the Data Protection Act. For any Registered Psychologists they will have supervision which ensures they maintain ethical standards and best practice. Your case will be discussed within supervision for professional purposes only.
Records: It is often useful that your practitioner takes notes during sessions. These tend to be brief and include information such as the dates you met, the topics covered and any problems or goals you have. These are really just to document your meetings. Other sensitive information that would be kept includes records of charges, payments, diagnoses, and contact details for yourself, GP and emergency contact. Sensitive information will be kept on your practitioner’s computer and will always be password protected.
Limitations and exceptions to confidentiality
Confidential information will be shared in the following instances –
1)Where you (the client) give consent for the confidence to be broken.
2)Where the therapist is compelled by a court of law.
3)Where the information is of such gravity that confidentiality cannot be maintained. This usually means a situation where the therapist considers the client to be in imminent danger or a risk to others or themselves.
Because as psychologists we are not medical practitioners, it is a requirement of us working together that you provide the name and contact details of your general practitioner. If your therapist needed to contact your GP, they would always endeavour to speak to you first.
Lastly, although Dr Sarah Dawes, One Step Ahead Psychology Services has taken a significant number of steps to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of online communication(s) and data, these actions, in whole or in part, cannot guarantee the security of internet transmissions. Because of this, upon agreeing to engage with online sessions you are also agreeing to release and indemnify Dr Sarah Dawes, One Step Ahead Psychology Services and your dedicated therapist from all suits, claims, and other actions originating from therapy provided through One Step Ahead Psychology Services.
To invest time in yourself fees are priced at; £25 for an initial meeting (10-15 minutes) or £120 per full session (video link session lasts approximately 50-60 minutes each).
Full payment is required prior to your session. No discounts are provided if you decide to have a shorter session or if you have booked a session and not turned up.