Is it confidential?
Anything you say to me as your counsellor is confidential; it will never be repeated
to anyone else ... unless one of the following exceptions applies:
I reserve the right to break confidentiality if I believe or have reason to believe
that you have or may have serious and immediate intent to seriously harm yourself
or others. In these instances, I would usually talk to you first (and it is why
I like to have an emergency contact number).
There are several instances where the law requires me to break confidentiality: acts
or suspected acts of terrorism, money laundering and child abuse, and when ordered
to by a court of law. In these instances it may not be possible to talk to you beforehand.
As appropriate during supervision.
Without your express permission to do so I do NOT have to and never would talk to
a police officer, a solicitor, a member of the medical profession.
What is supervision?
A counsellor should belong to a professional body (if they don't you should ask why)
and it is a condition of all professional bodies in the UK that their members receive
regular ‘supervision’ (it’s also very desirable that they do). A supervisor’s job
is to safeguard both the client and counsellor. They are there to make sure that
the counsellor is working ethically and safely in your best interest (they may see
something that your counsellor is missing or is blind to) and to make sure that your
issues in turn are not causing the counsellor difficulties (counsellors have issues
just like their clients: you could for example be bringing a bereavement to the sessions
very similar to one the counsellor has experienced). A supervisor is bound by the
same rules of confidentiality as your counsellor. Your counsellor’s supervisor will
have no direct contact with you or you them, they will most likely know your first
name and nothing else.
Why do you need an emergency contact number?
Well if you read our contract it will specify certain instances where I reserve the
right to break confidentiality, one of which is if I believe you are likely to commit
a serious act of harm to yourself or others ... to actually do this I need to contact
a 3rd party and it may be quicker and safer if I already have that number available
(the number should be that of your GP or someone that knows you reasonable well).
But breaking confidentiality is NEVER taken lightly and whenever possible we will
discuss it before hand and hopefully do it with your agreement.
Why do you need to know if I am taking a prescribed drug?
Drugs can affect people psychologically and therefore can affect counselling in ways
that are sometimes helpful and sometimes not, so it is important for a counsellor
to know what drugs you may be taking and for what reason. It is also important for
the same reason to say if you do or have used ‘recreational’ drugs.
Notes and Records:
I need to keep a record of your address/telephone number if I need to contact you
for any reason. I should as a professional counsellor keep notes: these notes will
usually be made after you have left (I may make some notes in a first session). Your
actual details/records (name, telephone number) will always be kept separate from
any notes I make (both will be kept under lock and key) and I am the only person
that would ever be able to ‘pair’ your details to your notes. These notes are confidential
no 3rd party will ever be allowed to see then without your permission or a court
So why are they kept? The main reason is to enable me to help you, they give me
an opportunity to reflect between sessions on what we have already said, but they
are also there for our mutual protection, you may be unhappy with the counselling
you receive and choose to register a complaint against me with my professional body...
as a counsellor I need to be able to justify any intervention I make and the keeping
of notes helps me to do this if ever called on to do so (or not do so if your complaint
After an appropriate time period the notes will be destroyed.
What happens if we accidentally meet in the street or in a pub?
The chances are small but if it happens... I will ignore you! Ours is
a professional and confidential relationship that exists solely in the counselling
room and that relationship ends when the counselling ends. Ok so I am not completely
heartless! ... I certainly won’t initially smile or be the first to say hello (I
do not know who you may be with) but if you want to say hello to me that is fine,
I’ll say hello back, but rest assured I won’t ask (or expect to be asked) how you
are etc etc. and I certainly won’t be offended if you look straight through me as
though we have never met before... even if we are meeting the next morning.
Can I bring someone with me?
I offer one to one counselling (I do not offer couples counselling). The aim of
counselling is to give you a secure and confidential environment to explore issues
that might be affecting you; therefore we do not want anyone to be in the room with
us or to be able to overhear us (it may inhibit what you would truly like to say).
But if you feel unable to come without the support of someone then we could find
another room to put them in... But I would honestly prefer you to come alone or leave
anyone giving you a lift outside in the car.
Can I have a discount for a block booking?
Normally I prefer not to give one: we will work equally as hard in every session!
If I was to give a discount for a set number of sessions and our work goes well
and we do not really need to use them all, what do we do? I believe it can give
an artificial time scale where the pace we work at is influenced by the session number
as much as the here and now feeling. In the few cases were it is obvious our work
together will be long term then yes we might negotiate a different fee level.
Can you come to me (home visits)?
If you really want me to or need me to (perhaps you are housebound) then
yes I can, but we MAY have to make allowances for the cost/time of me travelling
to you and we would need to be sure that we have a safe and suitable environment
for the session.
Could it make me feel worse?
Well as an aim and expectation we hope not! ... we are looking for an improvement
in the quality of your life... but please keep in mind that in a counselling session
we may well be talking about issues you have avoided or buried for a long period
of time and as these issues surface and are explored it may well be distressing for
you in the short term. There is also the possibility that certain medical conditions
and medications may make counselling unwise or difficult.
Does it always work?
Well the short answer would have to be no... a few people derive little
advantage from counselling for a variety of reasons... but we will continually reflect
on our progress and stop if we feel it's not beneficial.
Why secure email?
Normal email can be read by many people as it travels along the Internet.
It is the equivalent of sending a post card or unsealed letter; it can be read by
anyone along the chain that has a desire to read it. Encrypted email is the equivalent
of sending a message in a sealed envelope and is much more difficult for anyone to
read. Encrypted email keeps your personal deals personal and confidential.
What is centralenglandcounselling.co.uk secure email?
It is mail that has ‘2048 bit’ encryption. It is arguable the strongest
form of encryption available, and nobody has ‘publicly demonstrated the ability to
break it’. For practical purposes it can be deemed as secure (and possibly more
so) as talking face to face with a counsellor. Your centralenglandcounselling.co.uk
address is unique to you and yours for the duration of your online counselling.
Are the ‘forms’ on the site secure?
The form on the website in which you initially send your personal details
is a secure encrypted form. However any information sent back to your normal email
address would most likely be insecure, which is the main reason for giving you a
centralenglandcounselling.co.uk address. A second reason is that it is a web based
email address and is totally separate from your normal email address (that others
may have access to) and will not show on your computer once you have closed the web
browser (provided you clear the cache and history files of your browser... email
clients will be shown how to do this if they do not already know).
Why is the ‘Location’ of the counselling important? Why will I have deemed to have
travelled to you (my counsellor)?
If you see a face to face counsellor the chances are they will be local
to you... and the chances are you will both live within the same political, legislative,
national and regional boundaries, but this might not be so with online counselling!
There are many possibilities... you could be living temporally or permanently overseas
but prefer to converse with a counsellor who speaks your mother tongue or comes from
the same culture you grew up in... There may not be the specialist counselling you
need available to you locally… so you may seek a counsellor ‘outside the national
boundaries of where you are currently located. This has implications!
There are unfortunately no ‘internationally’ recognised qualifications
in counselling. Some countries require counsellors to be registered/licensed some
countries do not. In fact in some counties the notion of a counsellor does not exist!
California law for example states that it is illegal for a person to offer counselling
to someone ‘inside’ California unless they are physically within the borders of California
and legally entitled to practice there. It is for these reasons that if you commence
counselling with Central England Counselling you will have been deemed to have ‘found’
us on the Internet and not us to have ‘found’ you and that the counselling will be
deemed to be taking place In the UK and therefore subject to UK regulation and UK
law (in the event of any legal dispute).
Central England Counselling is not and cannot be aware of the counselling
regulations and laws of every country, it is therefore YOUR responsibility to ensue
that it is legal (and ethical) in your country (should you be outside the UK) for
you to seek counselling with us.
Is Online Counselling suitable for everyone?
There are reasons and situations where it would be more advisable for you to seek
face to face counselling or some other form of face to face help these include (but
there may well be others):
Immediate serious harm/life threatening situations:
If there is an immediate threat or possible threat to life or of serious harm to
anyone (either the prospective client or anyone associated with them) then online
counselling should not be your first choice.
We say ‘first choice’ as it is considered by many that online counselling
is not appropriate in these situations. However if you are having suicidal thoughts
while we would much prefer you to seek face to face help, we recognise this may be
difficult for some and that online help may be better than no help at all or possible
be a first step in moving towards face to face help.
If you are on certain medication:
Certain medications such as strong anti-depressants can make the counselling process
very difficult, they can mask your true feelings and your true state and make it
difficult for your counsellor to form a working relationship with you. It would
be better in these instances to consider face to face counselling. Many professional
would consider face to face counselling as not being appropriate, but that would
be something for you to discuss with them.
If you are known to be, or feel you may be suffering symptoms of psychosis
People believed to be suffering from psychosis are NOT suitable for online counselling,
it is not possibly to give you the level of support you need and you are strongly
encourage to seek the support of your medical practitioner.
Young people under the age of 18
There are a variety of reasons for not accepting young people as email clients, a
main one being the lack of research on to its effectiveness. But if you are reading
this you have made a good start in looking for the help you need! If you look at
our resources page it has several places young people can contact for help.
Why is my age and identity needed?
Without your age and identity it is impossible for you to give or for us to accept
‘informed consent’. Many counsellors’ qualifications, code of ethics and insurance
prohibit them from working with minors. Nearly all codes of ethics allow a counsellor
to break confidentiality in certain circumstances (child abuse, possible acts or
terrorism) and it may not be possible to fulfil this legal and ethical responsibilities
to you and others without knowing your age and identity (to the best of our knowledge
What am I actually buying?
You are buying my time as your counsellor for one therapeutic hour (between 55 and
65 minutes). In the case of email counselling I will spend a minimum of one hour
reading what you say, reflecting on what you say and writing a reply to what you
In email counselling there may be instances where you send too much for me to effectively
respond to! In these instances I will pick out what I believe to be the main areas
of concern or the ones that I consider are in need of addressing first... I will
give you the option of coming back to other areas in future emails. Equally some
clients will not send enough information to work with, in which case I will encourage
you to say more in following emails.
If I forget to mention something important in an email and send it later will I be
charged for this?
If you send an email, and later realise you have left an important detail out or
have said something incorrectly, you may send a brief corrective email. If it arrives
and I see it in time I should be able to read it in conjunction with the original
email and there would be no extra charge, but if this email contains substantial
new information that requires a response in its own right it will be considered a
second email, which of these it is judged to be will be at my sole discretion, although
I will obviously use common sense!
About cache, cookies, and history
Each time you access a file through your web browser, the browser caches (i.e., stores)
it. By doing this, the browser doesn't have to newly retrieve files (including any
images) from the remote web site each time you click Back or Forward. You should
periodically clear the cache to allow your browser to function more efficiently.
A cookie is a file created by a web browser, at the request of a website, that is
then stored on a computer. These files typically store user-specific information
such as selections in a form, shopping cart contents, or authentication data. Browsers
will normally clear cookies that reach a certain age, but clearing them manually
may solve problems with websites or your browser.
A browser's history is a log of sites that you visit. When you press a browser's
Back button, you are moving back one entry in the history log. Browsers will normally
clear their history at regular intervals, but you may want to clear it manually for
Back to top
Internet Explorer 9 and 8
Click Tools, and select Delete Browsing History...
Deselect Preserve Favourites website data, and select Temporary Internet files, Cookies,
Internet Explorer 7
From the Tools menu in the upper right, select Delete Browsing History...
To delete your cache, click Delete files...
To delete your cookies, click Delete cookies...
To delete your history, click Delete history...
Click Close, and then click OK to exit.
Firefox 3.5 and above for Windows
From the Tools menu, select Clear Recent History... Alternatively, in Firefox 4
and above, you can also click the orange Firefox button, and then select Clear Recent
History from the History menu.
From the Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select the desired range; to clear
your entire cache, select Everything.
Click the down arrow next to "Details" to choose what history elements to clear (e.g.,
check Cookies to clear cookies). Click Clear Now.
Firefox 3 for Windows
From the Tools menu, select Clear Recent History... , and then select the items you
want to delete (e.g., Browsing & Download History, Cache, Cookies).
Click Clear Recent History...
In the browser bar, enter: chrome://settings/clearBrowserData
Select the items you want to clear (e.g., Clear browsing history, Clear download
history, Empty the cache, Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data).
From the Obliterate the following items from: drop-down menu, you can choose the
period of time for which you want to clear cached information. To clear your entire
cache, select the beginning of time.
Click Clear browsing data.
From the Safari menu, select Reset Safari...
From the menu, select the items you want to reset, and then click Reset. As of Safari
5.1, Remove all website data covers both cookies and cache.
Firefox 3.5 and above for Mac OS X
From the Tools menu, select Clear Recent History.
From the Time range to clear: drop-down menu, select the desired range; to clear
your entire cache, select Everything.
Click the down arrow next to "Details" to choose which elements to clear. Click Clear
Firefox 3 for Mac OS X
In Firefox, from the Tools menu, select Clear Recent History.
Select the elements you want to clear (e.g., Browsing & Download History, Cache,
Cookies), and then click Clear Private Data Now.
Mobile Safari for iPhone OS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad)
To clear cache and cookies:
From the home screen, tap Settings, and then tap Safari.
At the bottom of Safari's settings screen, tap the buttons for Clear Cookies and
Clear Cache. To confirm, tap Clear Cookies or Clear Cache again.
To clear history:
From the home screen, tap Safari.
At the bottom of the screen, tap the Bookmarks icon.
In the lower left, tap Clear.
Tap Clear History.
To clear cache, cookies, or history:
Start your browser.
Tap Menu, and then tap More.
Under "Privacy settings" select Clear cache, Clear history, or Clear all cookie data
as appropriate, and then tap OK to accept (or Cancel to cancel) the deletion.