Psychotherapy and Counselling Principles

Therapist (“I”): Ales Zivkovic

Client (“you”)

Psychotherapy and Counselling Principles

Ales Zivkovic PTSTA(P) CTA(P) MSc (TA Psych)

Psychotherapist (UKCP Reg), Counsellor, Supervisor, Trainer

These Psychotherapy and Counselling Principles need to be read in conjunction with my Privacy Policy which you may find here.

General Principles

We treat each other with respect and as autonomous individuals. We will not judge or condemn each other or physically or verbally assault each other or others. We will be honest to each other.

Boundaries are important and are of essence not only for us to be able to work together in practical terms, but also in order for the therapy to have a required effect. This also includes boundaries around therapy time, space etc. There will be no therapy performed outside therapy times—i.e. therapy is limited to our sessions. There will be no therapy performed over email, texting etc.

Sessions

Our sessions together will be held on weekly basis—normally at the same time and day every week. Sometimes we might agree to more than one session per week, however, that is something we will discuss and agree upon as we work together.

If we at some point agree to have more than one session per week, the reduction of sessions—unless decided by the Therapist—must be agreed upon with the Therapist due to clinical/therapeutic reasons.

I am normally able to support you also in-between regular weekly sessions, should you feel you need such support at any point, and should we agree to it.

You agree to arrive to sessions on time.

I also run sessions online, which we may agree to should sessions in person at any time not be feasible. We will also have sessions online in the case I am travelling. Please be mindful that sessions that are not held in person pose higher risks in terms of maintaining confidentiality because of technology that is used and which I as a therapist cannot influence. You accept this risk by taking on therapy online.

There will be no online session alternative if sessions are scheduled to be held at the practice (i.e. face-to-face) unless we agree to it on case-by-case basis from time to time.

Payments, Cancellations, and Other Business Terms

We will usually define some terms (e.g. payment, cancellation and termination) more specifically (or differently) in a separate “business” terms/contract, however, until we have done so, the terms outlined here remain in place.

Regular sessions are normally payable in the beginning of the month for the applicable month. They are payable on per-calendar-month (pcm) basis. Potential additional ad-hoc sessions are normally payable on per-session basis prior to the session.

If you have to cancel a session, you will notify me as soon as possible by calling, texting, or emailing me. Scheduled sessions are payable regardless of attendance, therefore, cancelled sessions are non-refundable. I will attempt to offer you an alternative slot within the same week, in the case of cancellation, however, please note that this is not always possible.

If for some reason I need to cancel a particular session, I will offer you an alternative slot or payment for the applicable session will be reimbursed.

I generally do not offer sessions over weekends or Bank Holidays, however, if we agree to have a session on such days, I will charge a 40% premium to your regular fee.

Payments for initial sessions are required prior to the session and are non-refundable.

I may increase rates once per year. In such case, new clients will normally only have their rates increased after 6 months have passed from their initial session (first session) with me.

Termination

We will attempt to conclude our work together by a natural end or by reaching the time limit we set ourselves. If you decide to terminate therapy beforehand, you will give at least one calendar month notice of your intention to terminate. You agree to do so in the session so that we can discuss your reasons in more detail. You will refrain from terminating therapy over text, email, or phone, without discussing it in the session.

I will endeavour not to terminate our work together unless we have reached a natural end or have reached a time limit that we set ourselves. However, there may be professional, ethical or personal reasons that may require me to terminate beforehand or with immediate effect. In such case, I will normally discuss this with you in the session. If you have paid for any of the sessions which I am not in position to provide due to my termination, I will refund such sessions to you.

Safety

You will keep yourself, others, the environment and me safe. This means no matter how you feel, you will control your behaviour and not act violently or threaten with violence to anyone or anything.

You will attend your sessions free from the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs. You will also get additional medical support if you need it.

I work with you on private basis and, as such, am not in position to provide any other support outside of our scheduled therapy session. I therefore also do not provide any kind of emergency services. In the event of emergency, you are committed to use appropriate emergency services to keep yourself and others safe and out of risk of harm. If you experience suicidal ideation and are in position to not act on your self-harming/suicidal thoughts and feelings, you will report of your experience in our next scheduled therapy session (i.e. you will not be contacting me in-between sessions) for us to discuss. In the case you are not able to keep yourself safe and find you are at threat of acting on your suicidal impulses, you will keep yourself safe by utilising emergency services immediately.

Confidentiality

I will maintain confidentiality of the content of our sessions except in the context of professional supervision, when your anonymity will still be maintained.

I may break confidentiality if I believe that a child is in danger and if I believe that you are at serious risk of harm to yourself or others. I will attempt to let you know in the case I break confidentiality for such reasons before I do so should this be possible.

Due to reasons of my professional ethics and due to other regulatory and administrative reasons, I am obliged to keep short notes of our sessions for the period of 7 years. If the therapeutic context requires, these notes may also include sensitive personal information (such as information about your health etc). In respect of that, I will require a signed consent form from you, which I will request from you at our initial session.

As a fully qualified psychotherapist and counsellor, I am obliged to attend professional supervision to maintain my own good practice and continuous professional development (CPD). I will discuss elements of my work with my supervisor on regular basis. Your anonymity will nonetheless be maintained. I may also use such anonymised information for other (e.g. research, academic etc.) purposes. The information I will share this way will remain completely anonymous and is fundamental to my good professional practice.

Miscellaneous

These practice principles are constantly being reviewed and updated. The latest version is available on my website.

Ales Zivkovic MSc PTSTA(P) CTA(P)

Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Supervisor, Trainer