The relationship between therapist and client is a unique one in which the client shares intimate details of their life that probably even their closest friends and family don’t know. It is also a business relationship in which the client pays for a service that the counsellor may rely on for part or all of their livelihood.
The best way to ensure there is no conflict between the business and therapeutic relationship is through complete transparency. For this reason I always set out in writing what my clients can expect from me during our time working together and also what I expect from them.
We are all used to the impenetrable, labyrinthine terms and conditions that we have to sign up to whenever we join a new service online. There is often a fear that we might be accidentally signing away our first born or our mortal soul. At the very least it usually feels like a contract designed to protect the service by bamboozling us.
This is not a way to engender trust. By contrast, when clients work with me, we enter into a straightforward agreement with all terms and conditions set out in plain English with ample opportunity for clients to ask any questions that might have and address any concerns.
At the start of therapy clients of James Field Counselling will be asked to sign two documents:
The data consent describes what data I will hold on you and for exactly what purposes. This is both a legal and an ethical requirement.
You can view a copy of my JFC Data Consent here.
The Business contract focuses mainly on the financial aspects of the relationship such as how and when to pay for sessions and how to end the contract.
You can view a copy of my JFC Business Contract here.