Informed Consent Form
Introduction to Online Counselling
About Online Counselling
Counselling focuses mainly on your difficulties and issues and your unique and personal viewpoint. It helps you to explore and develop your potential to better manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Working together within a therapeutic relationship, clients develop a healthier sense of self, others and the world in general.
Benefits of online therapy
Online counselling is a practical option for people who prefer not to meet in-person. It’s a convenient option if you’re busy and find meeting for a weekly appointment a struggle. It’s also an accessible solution if you live in a rural area and geographically isolated, or ill and housebound.
My obligation to you:
From my training and experience, I will listen to your problems and guide you appropriately with honesty and in ways that benefit your well-being.
I will always be open to your feedback and adapt my perspective accordingly.
I will endeavour to give you as much advance notice as possible of holidays or of any need to re- schedule a future appointment.
Your obligation to me:
Please let me know if you have any concerns about our work together. Please give me a minimum of 24 hours’ notice if you need to cancel your appointment. If you do not attend or are late for our session, you will still be charged for the session.
Before our session together, please make sure you are in a private and quiet room, and check that your Internet device is working. You are responsible for securing your own Internet access points and passwords. I will not be liable for the release of confidential information relating to you and arising from your failure to maintain the privacy of your online communication with me. Nor will I be responsible for the release of any confidential information relating to you coming from the unauthorised actions or omissions of any third party.
Please ask my permission before recording any portion of the session or posting any part of our sessions together on any website or social media platform.
Limitations of online therapy
There are limitations to online therapy that need to be mentioned and that can affect the quality of an online meeting. The main ones are lack of non-verbal cues and technical glitches.
Lack of non-verbal cues
Misunderstandings are always possible, and at times more so in online counselling. My ability to see your body language, or your non-verbal reactions to what we are discussing is reduced compared to in-person counselling. Therefore, please be patient and ask for clarification if there is something you didn’t understand.
Communication could be disturbed by technical failure. I reduce the chances of this by using a secure and professional video call system. However, if we are unable to connect or are disconnected during a session due to technological breakdown (crash or freeze etc.), I will try to reconnect within 10 minutes. If re-connection is not possible, I’ll email or message you to schedule a new session time.
Please be aware of the possible different time zone. I will make every effort to connect and respond to you at the time we have agreed and usually based on GMT.
Confidentiality in Online Counselling
I make every effort to keep all information confidential. I will take precautions to ensure online therapy is confidential, but it could be interrupted or accessed by unauthorised persons at your location.
It is not a regular part of my assessment or service to search for client information online through search engines or social media sites.
You are responsible for understanding the potential risks of confidentiality being breached. It’s wise therefore to think about who can access your computer.
Confidentiality could also be breached through lack of password protection or in transit by hackers or Internet service providers. If you are accessing the Internet from public locations, you should consider how visible your screen is to others.
Other than our Therapeutic Counselling Relationship, the Counsellor shall have no other purposeful contact outside of counselling in the interest of the work we are doing together.
Session Time-frame & Frequency
Each counselling session will last 50 minutes and start and end on time. We will have pre-agreed a time at our initial or last meeting.
Counselling cannot take place if you are under the influence of alcohol and certain types of mind altering drugs.
If you are late for any session, the session will end at the pre-agreed time and full payment will be required. In the event of you needing to cancel/rearrange any appointment you can email firstname.lastname@example.org (24 hours’ notice needed or full payment will be due)
The cost of sessions will vary depending on what we agree on during the assessment.
By making an appointment with Counsellors Online I confirm I have read and understand the above information.