The following terms and conditions apply only when either using our counselling services or when you have been invoiced for them directly by your counsellor.
CONTRACT OF ONGOING THERAPY
- You, Your, Yours, Client, Patient – You, the patient (unless otherwise stated)
- Therapist, We, Us, Them, They, Counsellor – Your Therapist as assigned by Biddulph Counselling (unless otherwise stated)
- Therapy, Consultation, Care, Session, Treatment – Your care under Your Therapist
- The Clinic – a location where You and Your Therapist would meet in person
- Session, Appointment, Therapy – a period of time which You have agreed to sit with Your Therapist (face to face via electronic methods including but not limited to ‘Skype’)
- ROI, Ireland – The country of The Republic of Ireland
- UK – The country of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland
- Irish – Denoting that which is of or is resident of ROI
- ICHAS – Irish College of Humanities & Applied SciencesHSE: Health Service Executive
- IADT – Institute of Art, Design and Technology
- The Police – Police emergency services in either ROI, in the country which You are resident or in the country which the person believed to be at risk is resident
This Contract is made between You, client and Your Therapist. Please read this document carefully and ensure that You fully understand its contents. Your signature confirms that You have read, understood and have freely given Your consent to engage in therapy and separately, You have also given Your Consent under the requirements of GDPR 2018. Further details are available by visiting www.GDPRandyou.ie.
Your Therapist will treat Your voluntary disclosure of sensitive and personal information in a confidential manner and in accordance with GDPR 2018, except in the following circumstances:
- Concern about actual or possible serious physical harm or death, including threatened suicide.
- Under “Children First”: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017:
- Disclosure of a named child abuser (a child is 18 or under) or abuse (including bullying) towards a child, children and/or a vulnerable person or vulnerable people by a client, including historical cases, requires mandatory referral of suspicions on reasonable grounds concerning said bullying to the HSE Duty Social Worker (full details on www.tusla.ie. This applies to residents of ROI only).
- Concern with regard to harm of another person.
- Your written request to share Your notes with a legitimate and appropriate third party, or in the normal course of confidential professional supervision. Your identity is not disclosed.
- In Your Therapist’s professional opinion any other circumstances not made explicit above but, in Your Therapist’s opinion, requires possible disclosure.
- Should Your Therapist perceive that harm (including but not limited to physical/mental pain/anguish, grief, slavery, financial misappropriation, crime, self-harm, suicide, malnutrition, intentional depravation of rights [human or animal], terrorism, drug abuse at a criminal level, fraud) could be caused by Your intended actions, directly or indirectly, to another person, child or other living creature, they are duty and regulatorily bound to contact the police without Your consent in order that that person, child or living creature may be assisted by the Police or local authority relevant to that person, child or living creature. Your session (current or prior) will be terminated, along with Your Contract and Your fees (current or prior) will not be refunded. After this action has been taken by Your Therapist, they are under no obligation to provide reason to You as to why the Police were contacted.
- Should Your Therapist perceive that through Your own actions Your medication is being misused and/or misappropriated, or that through Your direct actions or those of others that You are at risk of harming yourself/committing suicide through the use of drugs and/or medications not prescribed by Your doctor and/or obtained through criminal actions, Your Therapist is duty bound to inform Your GP and/or the police if necessary. By agreeing to this document, You express Your consent to Your Therapist’s actions in this regard.
2. Respect for the Rights and Dignity of a Client
Your Therapist will not intentionally intrude on matters that do not relate to therapy; Your dignity will be respected, including Your moral and cultural values.
3. Competance and Competancy
It is important to ensure, as far as possible, that Your Therapist is qualified to provide the services that are offered and is a current member of a relevant professional organisation. In the interests of transparency, Your Therapist’s qualifications include but are not limited to:
- B.A. Counselling and Psychotherapy – ICHAS.
- B.A. (Hons) English, Media and Cultural Studies – IADT.
If there is a personality mismatch between You and Your Therapist or if the nature of Your consultation requires a different level of expertise, this will be discussed without delay.
4. Shared Responsibility
Your Therapist is entirely committed to helping You achieve Your realistic therapeutic outcomes and will act in a trustworthy, reputable and accountable manner to provide the service You require. Similarly, Your complete co-operation and commitment is required to achieve the best outcome. This may include journalling, undertaking various exercises between sessions and fully participating in the therapeutic process.
Having made the decision to attend therapy, it is important that You get into a routine of attending regular sessions to deal with issues as they arise. A desire to terminate therapy that is becoming uncomfortable is often a sign of an imminent breakthrough. If uncomfortable or embarrassing feelings/thoughts arise, please share and do not suppress them, otherwise, You may inhibit Your progress. The purpose of the treatment is to help You resolve what is troubling You in a non-judgmental and supportive environment.
5. Code of Ethics
Your Therapist will honour professional commitments and treat You with respect, fairness, openness and honesty in a non-judgmental manner. They will answer any questions You may have to the best of their ability. If a conflict of interest arises, they will address the matter immediately and will not intentionally take advantage of the professional relationship in any way. A copy of the Code of Ethics is available on request.
If it becomes apparent that You are not fully committed (cancelling/changing appointment times/not showing up, avoiding homework or acting in a way that suggests You are not ready to commit to therapy), Your Therapist will discuss the issue(s) with You and renegotiate or terminate the Contract or refer You to a more suitable Therapist.
6. Session and Treatment details
Your first session involves clarifying details of the Contract and answering any questions You may have generally. It is an opportunity to build trust and decide whether You and Your Therapist are a ‘good match’.
An evaluation of Your needs will follow with agreed therapeutic goals and steps identified to achieve such a success (these may be amended as therapy progresses). By the end of the session, Your Therapist will discuss and agree the most appropriate intervention.
Common issues include low mood, depression, work related stress, fears, phobias, anxiety disorders, identity issues, smoking, general stress, bereavement, relationship problems etc. Your Therapist does not treat serious depressive disorders or psychosis e.g. schizophrenia, which is the remit of a psychiatrist.
A session lasts approximately 50 minutes (unless otherwise agreed between You and Your therapist) and will generally take place weekly or bi-weekly at an agreed time. It is Your responsibility to attend on time, as delays cannot be made up at the end of a session. The length of treatment can range from 1 session to multiple sessions, depending on the presentation and the client.
7. Appointments, Appointment Cancellations and Termination of Therapy and/or Contract
Appointments can be made for online sessions or face to face sessions, subject to availability during the week at the clinic – evenings are often booked up quickly and advance bookings are recommended. Weekend appointments are made by agreement.
Once an appointment is scheduled, You will be expected to pay for it in full unless You provide a minimum of 48 hours’ notice (2 full working days) by contacting Your Therapist. Otherwise, the full fee of Your session will be liable with immediate effect as this appointment cannot be released for another client at such short notice.
7.1. Online Therapy
Online sessions may not be recorded and, by signing this Contract, You expressly agree that You will not record Your sessions or allow a third party to access Your sessions. To do so would be considered a breach of privacy and client confidentiality, resulting in termination of this Contract with no appointment fees (current or prior) to be refunded.
You agree, with Online Therapy, to book at a time when You are unlikely to be disturbed and to have Your Online Therapy session in a safe and convenient space where You may discuss confidential matters. Should Your Therapist feel that Your location breaches these requirements, or should You inadverdantly be disturbed by another person during a session of Online Therapy, Your Therapist reserves the right to terminate the session immediately, providing You with a reason for taking such action at either Your next session or in conversation through appropriate media. No refund or part refund will be provided should such a situation arise.
You may terminate Your Therapy by informing Your Therapist at one of Your Sessions. Any fees for sessions (current or prior) will not be refunded unless instructed by a Court of Law in ROI or UK.
Your Therapist may terminate Your Care in certain extreme cases, most of which are detailed in Section 1 of this Contract.
A fee is made payable when booking a session by either cash or BACS payment. For online sessions, BACS is the only acceptable method of payment. The relevant BACS details are noted at the base of all invoices. Please ensure you are using the relevant details for the currency being invoiced. Should You wish to pay for Your sessions via BACS, only upon confirmation of receipt of funds will a session be booked.
9. Professional Standards – Complaints
If You feel You are being unfairly treated during sessions, please raise the matter with Your counsellor as soon as possible.
If a resolution cannot be found, You can refer the matter in writing to the National Association of Professional Counsellors and Psychtherapists (NAPCP) in Ireland or the BACP in the UK.
10. Record Keeping
In compliance with Data Protection and the Code of Ethics of ICHAS, the NAPCP and the BACP, client files are strictly confidential and can only be accessed by Your Therapist. Should third party access be required, this will only be granted by Your Therapist in line with Section 1 of this Contract. They are held in a locked/coded facility/area for up to seven years following completion of therapy, after which time, they are destroyed.
11. Contacting Your Therapist
Your Therapist will provide their contact details to You. Please communicate with Your Therapist by email as they may be with a client or unavailable when You contact them. You may call Your Therapist on their mobile telephone number STRICTLY in an emergency. Your Therapist will make every effort to return Your call at their earliest convenience. For medical emergencies, please contact Your GP or dial 999 (112 outside of ROI or the UK) immediately should You feel You are in a life threatening situation. Your Therapist is under no obligation or legal requirement to dispence advice relating to First Aid and any and all advice, should this be provided, is to be thoroughly checked with Your GP or other medical professional before it is implemented by You.
12. Next of Kin
In the unlikely event of You becoming ill or requiring assistance during Your counselling session, You hereby expressly give Your Therapist consent to contact the person You nominated/You will nominate at the commencement of Your therapy. Please also provide the details of Your GP, should they be required in the case of an emergency.
The services offered by Your Therapist are not intended as substitutions for those provided by Your mental health professional (medicine, psychology, or psychiatry). Psychotherapists do not diagnose or treat medical conditions, illnesses, or diseases; nor do they write reports, provide a prognosis, issue prescriptions or dispense medicine.
If You are experiencing any health issue in addition to those disclosed by You to Your Therapist, please consult with Your mental health provider before exploring alternatives to traditional medicine. You agree that upon the start of Your therapy, You will not discontinue any medication without both Your GP’s knowledge and consent.
Your results may vary from those which You percieve You will achieve at the start of Your therapy and Your Therapist cannot guarantee that Your particular situation will improve. This is due to success depending on a number of factors, including Your background, discipline, readiness for change and Your commitment to the process.
Spelling and/or grammatical errors in this Contract are to be deemed “as read and acceptable” within either ROI or the UK.
14. Governing Law and Informed Consent
These terms and conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the ROI or the UK (as applicable) and all parties hereby submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish/British courts to settle any disputes which may arise in connection with these terms and conditions.
Your signature on the contract You signed/You will sign confirms that You have read this Contract, and agree to abide by its terms. You may request a copy of this document at any time after commencing Your therapy and up to seven years after the end of Your sessions.
15. Force Majeure
During Your care it may become apparent that either You or Your Therapist are not able to attend a session due to force majeure, commonly referred to as an “act of God” or actions which are directly or indirectly out of Your or Their reasonable control. Force majeure events include, but are not limited to the following: war, riots, civil unrest, fire, flood, hurricane, volcano, typhoon, earthquake, lightning, explosion, strikes, lockouts, slowdowns, prolonged shortage of energy supplies, changes of law, changes of regulation, other acts of state or governmental (local or central) action prohibiting or impeding any party from performing its respective obligations under the contract.
Should such a situation arise, Your session may be postponed at Your Therapist’s consent and agreement.
Conditions such as this non-exhaustive list including jury service, planned medical procedures and operation, dental appointments, weddings, funerals, other family events are not considered to be Force Majeure as these are planned well in advance of the date. Should You miss or cancel an apointment with Your Therapist due to one of these reasons inside of the 48 hour window before the appointment, You will be liable to pay the fee for that session. Your fee for that particular session will not be refunded.
The fee for Your treatment is to be charged at a rate denoted by Your Therapist. Payment details are found at the base of the invoice provided to you. It is Your responsibility to ensure that any payment is sent to Us as directed using the BACS payment details as indicated on the base of the invoice. Neither Biddulph Counselling nor Your Therapist can be held liable for monies which are paid to an incorrect bank account as a result of you using BACS details which are different than those listed at the base of the aforementioned invoice.
Should an invoice remain unpaid after either a five day period or a time previously agreed to by Your Therapist in writing, the amount of the invoice will have an interest rate of 8% above the Bank of England’s Base Rate added to it per fortnight for the period which the invoice remains unpaid. A new invoice will be generated to reflect this new amount and You will then be liable for the new fee in full.
Should an invoice remain unpaid for 30 calendar days, Biddulph Counselling reserves the right to consult the services of a debt collection agency (at this point, unnamed) in order to reclaim the fee from You, the costs of which incurred by Biddulph Counselling will be passed onto You, the Client.
GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25th May 2018 to protect the privacy and data of EU citizens. It gives You greater control over Your personal data by setting out additional and more clearly defined rights for individuals whose personal data is collected and processed by organisations and businesses.
Personal data is any information that can identify an individual person. This includes a name, an ID number, location data (for example, location data collected by a mobile phone) or a postal address, online browsing history, images or anything relating to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of a person.
The GDPR is based on the core principles of data protection which exist under the current law. These principles require organisations and businesses to:
- collect no more data than is necessary from an individual for the purpose for which it will be used
- obtain personal data fairly from the individual by giving them notice of the collection and its specific purpose
- retain the data for no longer than is necessary for that specified purpose
- to keep data safe and secure
- provide an individual with a copy of his or her personal data if they request it
Under the GDPR You have the right to:
- obtain details about how Your data is processed
- obtain copies of personal data
- have incorrect or incomplete data corrected
- have Your data erased by an organisation, where, for example, the organisation has no legitimate reason for retaining the data
- obtain Your data and to have that data transmitted to another organisation (Data Portability)
- object to the processing of Your data by an organisation in certain circumstances
- not to be subject to (with some exceptions) automated decision making, including profiling.
Organisations and businesses collecting and processing personal data will be required to meet a very high standard in how they collect, use and protect data. Very importantly, organisations must always be fully transparent to individuals about how they are using and safeguarding personal data, including by providing this information in easily accessible, concise, easy to understand and clear language.
Information Collected and How It Is Used
Your Therapist takes Your privacy seriously and will only request information from You that relates to Your presenting issue(s) in order to provide You with the services You require. With the exception of circumstances outlined under Section 1 of this Contract, no identifiable information will be passed to a third party. Occasionally, Your Therapist will communicate information about various aspects of therapy, developments, workshops etc.
You should ensure that the information Your Therapist holds about You is accurate and kept up to date. If You would like to review Your information at any time. You have the right to be given a copy of Your information held by Your Therapist within 30 calendar days of the receipt of a valid request in writing. Your Therapist is likely to request that You provide additional information to enable them to identify Your personal data and/or to verify Your identity. You also have the right to have the information erased if Your Therapist does not have a legitimate reason for retaining it, after seven years following the completion of Your Therapy.
Your Therapist uses industry standard cyber security measures to protect Your information and to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of any information in their care. However, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure and it cannot be guaranteed that Your private communications and other personally identifiable information will never be disclosed. Your Therapist will however take reasonable endeavours to ensure that such information is kept as secure as possible. Please note that Your Therapist will never share Your contact information and/or personal details with anyone who is not explicitly required to have the information or for whom You have given Your written authorisation via email or signed letter.
Once information has been received, Your Therapist will not print or share Your information with other parties except those in direct contact with yourself and, again, with Your expressed written permission via email or signed letter. Your Therapist will implement all required GDPR security requirements governed and required in the Republic of Ireland to maintain the protection of Your data. All information freely given is with the explicit use provided and will not be used for any other reason.
Governing Law and Jurisdiction
This legal notice and all issues regarding this website are governed by the Common Laws of the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Delay or failure on Your Therapist’s part in enforcing any rights shall not constitute a waiver by them of their rights and remedies. If any part of this Privacy Statement is found to be invalid or unenforceable, the validity or enforceability of the remainder will not be affected. Your privacy is important. If You have any comments or questions regarding this statement, please consult Your Therapist.
CONSENT UNDER GDPR 2018
The General Data Protection Regulation (‘the GDPR’) is effective from 25th May 2018 across the European Union for the purpose of giving individuals more rights, control and understanding of how their personal data is processed. In compliance with this EU Directive, You are required to read the following information.
Your Therapist will only request information that is relevant and important to the daily/weekly interaction with You.
- If working with minors, Your Therapist will ask for explicit consent from all parents/guardians to obtain and maintain this information.
- The information obtained by Your Therapist will only be used for the reasons outlined when obtaining the information and identifiable information will never be passed to any third party, unless required by law to do so or as part of normal supervision.
- Your Therapist may at times contact You in relation to upcoming events, workshops or follow-up enquiries about Your progress. You have the right to withdraw consent at any time – please do so by contacting Your Therapist by email.
- All information received by Your Therapist will be stored securely and in the unlikely event that any of this information has been lost or compromised, they will notify You immediately before informing the Data Commissioner, should this be necessary as required by local statutes and laws applicable in ROI and UK. Any information stored digitally is only accessible by Your Therapist and is stored on devices using password and anti-virus protection. Cloud servers (if used) are based in the EU and are GDPR compliant.
- Please note that all information received will only be stored for a long as is necessary to comply with regulations.
- You have the right the request access to all information Your Therapist has that relates to You and/or Your child. Please email Your Therapist with all data requested and Your request will be actioned within 30 working days. Please note that Your Therapist’s notes/recordings from sessions will not be provided if requested by You.
- You can also request in writing that all Your information is to be shared with another party. Please note that Your Therapist’s notes/recordings from sessions will not be provided if requested by You.
- You have the right the legal recourse if You believe Your data has been breached/leaked.
- If You believe that any/some of the information that Your Therapist holds is incorrect, You have the right to rectify it at any time.
- You have the right to erasure and can do so by emailing Your Therapist, however, they are obliged to retain files for seven years following termination of therapy, after which time they will be destroyed.
- All requests received in writing will be replied to in the same format – if there is any confusion or question over possible legal issues, You may consult independent legal advice and Your Therapist may wish to do the same. Your Therapist is not liable for any costs arising from Your independent decision to consult a member of the legal profession. Should You make a request of Your Therapist which forces them to seek legal advice on the matter in order to further Your therapy, You will be liable for any fees incurred by Your Therapist.