Psychotherapy and Counselling Principles

Psychotherapist (“I”): Ales Zivkovic

Client (“you”)

Psychotherapy and Counselling Principles

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

Psychotherapist (UKCP Reg), Counsellor, Supervisor, Trainer

These Psychotherapy and Counselling Principles need to be read in conjunction with Business Terms for Psychotherapy and Counselling (which we may conclude separately). They also need to be read in conjunction with my Privacy Policy which you may find on my website.

General Principles

We treat each other with respect and as autonomous individuals. There will be zero tolerance to verbal or physical abuse.

Honesty and open communication are of fundamental importance for the therapy process. Therefore, you will not resort to dishonesty, withholding information, or lying, all of which will be treated seriously and will need to be addressed as priority.

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, payments, 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 face-to-face on weekly basis—normally at the same time and day every week. Sometimes we may agree to more than one session per week, however, that is something we will discuss and agree upon as we work together.

If at some point we agree to have more than one session per week, the reduction of sessions—unless proposed and decided by the Therapist—must be agreed upon with the Therapist due to clinical/therapeutic reasons. If my clinical professional judgement is that a reduction of sessions may not be in favour of your treatment at a certain point in time, and you simultaneously do not agree to continue therapy at current frequency, you will always have an option of terminating therapy/treatment with the regular one calendar month notice.

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.

In the case I am travelling, I may give you an option of an online session. 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.

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. Therefore, the terms outlined here apply and are to be used in conjunction with other terms.

Regular sessions are payable in the beginning of the month for the applicable month. They are payable on per-calendar-month (pcm) basis. Sessions are payable regardless of your attendance or cancellation.

Potential additional ad-hoc sessions are normally payable on per-session basis prior to the session.

We may agree on a fee that is different from my regular one (e. g. trainees, etc.). In such case, the fee is based on your individual circumstances. In any case you agree to keep it confidential.

If you have to cancel a session, you will notify me as soon as possible by calling, texting, or emailing me. Sessions are payable regardless of attendance, therefore, cancelled or unattended sessions are non-refundable. I will endeavour 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 rate.

Payment for initial session is required prior to the session and is non-refundable in the case of cancellation or non-attendance. Initial session cannot be rescheduled once booked.

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 (i.e. first session they have had with me).

Termination

We will attempt to conclude our work together by a natural end. 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. The latter is important for us to be able to indicate potential unconscious psychological motives leading you to such a decision. In any event, the decision you make will be respected and entirely yours to make.

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 other 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 of our work, 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.

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 sessions and outside the limits of therapy. I therefore 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 the need to self-harm or suicidal ideation and are, simultaneously, in a 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 self-harming or suicidal impulses, you will keep yourself safe by utilising appropriate 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 ethical and professional practice 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. Without such consent, I am unable to provide my services to you.

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

Miscellaneous

These practice principles may periodically be reviewed and updated. In such case, the latest version will either be published on my website or sent to you via email. It is your responsibility to keep yourself acquainted with the latest terms and principles.

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

Psychotherapist (UKCP Reg), Counsellor, Supervisor, Trainer