Counselling Agreement and Informed Consent
Congratulations on taking your first step towards being well. My goal in working together is to provide a safe, open and honest environment where you can understand yourself more fully and improve your mental health and quality of life! The purpose of this agreement is to agree the terms of our relationship in a transparent manner and help with your informed decision regarding participating in counselling.
Please read this document carefully. Making an appointment online, emailing the Client Intake Form and your Homework sheet signifies that you have read this document and confirms your acceptance of this agreement. If you have any questions please raise them with Peter Argus either via email or telephone.
I’m looking forward to working with you and having a fabulous outcome!
What is required for your online appointments?
Personal computer with a camera so that we can see each other
You will have downloaded the Zoom software so that we can run a virtual session – https://zoom.us/download
A mobile (cell) phone with the contact number that you have provided on the client intake form. This is required so I can contact you should there be any issues with internet connection.
A safe, private, quiet place where you will not be interrupted for 1.5 – 2 hours so we can speak about you
Everything you share with me during our sessions will be treated as highly confidential. There are a few circumstances where I would be required to break this confidentiality:
If you state or suggest that you are abusing a child (or vulnerable adult) or have recently abused a child or vulnerable adult or they are in danger of abuse, I am required by law to report this information to the appropriate social service and/or legal authorities
If I consider you to be at risk of physically harming another person I am legally required to warn the intended victim and report this information to legal authorities
If you disclose or suggest a plan for suicide, I am required by law to notify legal authorities and make reasonable attempts to notify your family
I am legally required to release case notes of your sessions if they are subpoenaed by a court of law
If you request in writing for me to release your case notes to another specified health care professional
All Counsellors participate in professional supervision. Should it be necessary for me to discuss any details of your counselling sessions with my supervisor I will completely remove any information that would identify you and compromise your confidentiality.
Record Keeping and Recording of Sessions
I will take notes during or after each session to help me keep track of our progress together. These notes will be stored in a cloud based digital file that has secure two stage security verification. Peter Argus is the only person with access to this file. Your counselling records will be kept on file for seven years from the last contact of our work together, after which they will be deleted.
I will never record our sessions without prior written agreement from you. Session One of TRTP is always recorded as an audio file and a digital copy of the session is provided to the client (usually via Drop Box) so they can listen to the session a minimum of 3-4 times between Session One and Session Two. I store the copy of Session One in a cloud based digital file that has secure two stage security verification.
8020 My Mind uses Zoom for video and audio communication, email and mobile phone as our primary means of therapeutic communication. Every effort will be made to provide a secure and confidential counselling environment. I recommend that you use a personal computer with restricted access for our sessions. If you use an electronic device provided by an employer or shared by family members please consider who may have access to your information and if others may be able to access your data on a shared network.
I will never acknowledge our counselling relationship without your written consent. If you “Post” or “Like” information on my Facebook or LinkedIn business page you may imply you have been a client of mine and thereby compromise your confidentiality.
The mobile phone number you provide should be available during sessions so that I can contact you should there be any technology issues via the Zoom platform.
Sessions, Payment, Cancellations
The duration of our Counselling sessions is 60 minutes and TRTP™ sessions will be between 90 -120 minutes. As all sessions will be online. I suggest you allow at least 30 minutes both prior to and after each session to relax and reflect before you return to your daily activity. All sessions are booked online at www.8020mymind.com
Payment in full for each session will be requested at the time of making an appointment and your appointment will not proceed unless payment has been made. All prices quoted are in Australian Dollars and your credit card provider will make the currency conversion at their specified rates.
A minimum of 24 hours’ notice is required to change an online appointment. As a client, you accept that I reserve the right to charge the full session fee should you give less than 24 hours’ notice for cancellation, change the appointment time or forget your appointment. I will endeavor to provide you with the same notice should it be necessary for me to change an appointment time.
Counselling Guarantee, Client Suitability and Referrals
8020 My Mind will use all reasonable care and skill in providing either online counselling or TRTP™ therapy. Whilst every effort will be made to achieve a successful client outcome there is no therapy that can claim a 100% success rate. In the event that you do not feel you have experienced a successful outcome we do not offer a refund.
If I consider the therapeutic models that I use or your presenting issues are not compatible with a successful outcome I will make a referral to an alternative health practitioner as early as possible.
You confirm that at the time of contracting with 8020 My Mind you are over the age of 18. Clients under the age of 18 will require a signed letter from an authorised parent or guardian consenting to their participation in the counselling process.
Drugs and Alcohol
To ensure your safety and to enable that all information shared in the counselling process is voluntary I request that you do not attend counselling sessions whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If it becomes apparent that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol I may request that we end the session and reschedule.
Peter Argus is a Member of the International Institute of Complementary Therapists https://myiict.com/about-us/ and is a TRTP™ Therapist within Australia and the UK.
Each party to this agreement irrevocably agrees that the courts of the State of Victoria in Australia have exclusive jurisdiction to hear, settle and/or determine any dispute, controversy or claim arising out of or in connection with this agreement, including any question regarding its existence, validity, formation or termination. For these purposes, each party irrevocably submits to the jurisdiction of the Victorian courts.