Psychotherapy & Counselling Terms

Psychotherapist (“I”): Ales Zivkovic

Client (“you”)

Psychotherapy and Counselling Terms

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

Psychotherapist (UKCP Registered), Counsellor, Supervisor, Trainer

These Psychotherapy and Counselling Terms 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. By using my psychotherapy and/or counselling services, you agree to these terms. (The term “therapy” is a synonym for psychotherapy and/or counselling, whichever is applicable based on the nature of our work.)

General Terms

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, lying, deceit, or withholding information, all of which will be treated seriously and will need to be addressed as priority.

Therapeutic 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 be affective. This also includes boundaries around therapy time, space, payments, etc. There will be no therapy, or any other services performed outside therapy times—i.e. therapy is limited to our sessions only. There will be no therapy performed over email, texts 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/or decided by the Therapist—must be agreed upon with the Therapist due to clinical/therapeutic reasons. Such reduction needs to be agreed at least one month prior to its effect. If my 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 the current frequency, you will always have an option of terminating therapy/treatment in line with applicable termination notice (see the section on Termination for more). There will normally be no alteration of the session frequency during the termination period.

You agree to arrive to sessions on time and no more than 3 minutes prior to your session 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 cannot influence. You accept this risk by taking on therapy online.

Fees and Payments

I may define some terms (e.g. individual payment details etc.) more specifically (or differently) in separate “business” terms. Therefore, the terms outlined here apply and are to be used in conjunction with any other terms.

Your payments are for the availability of my psychotherapy and/or counselling services to you. The payments are not for the result of therapy as the result will depend on may factors, including how you utilise the therapy that is available to you.

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.

You will pay the monthly fee by the first calendar day of the month for which the fee is intended. You agree to set up a standing order for monthly payments. In the case of delay in payment, I am not able to provide you with therapy until the fee has been paid. Such sessions will be regarded as unattended by the Client and will hence remain payable.

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

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 you a 50% 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 sessions cannot be rescheduled once booked.

Fees are normally increased at least once per year.

Fees may be charged/invoiced through a company.

We may agree on ad-hoc additional sessions during any period of our work. You will make payments for ad-hoc additional sessions separately and on per-session basis. Ad-hoc sessions are booked-in upon payment.

Cancellations and Rescheduling of Sessions

If you have to cancel a session, you will notify me as soon as possible—preferably during a session. If this is not possible, you will inform me by calling, texting, or emailing me (see the section on Contacting Between Sessions for more).

Sessions are payable regardless of attendance. Therefore, cancelled or unattended sessions are non-refundable.

If you are unable to attend a session, I will endeavour to offer you an alternative session within the same week, however, this may not be possible as I tend to work on full-capacity basis. Similarly, if you cancel a session and at a later time change your mind and wish to set it up again, I will endeavour to accommodate you, but this may not always be possible.

If you cancel or wish to reschedule a session, any rescheduling within that week is normally only possible if another slot becomes available (e.g. same-day appointment). Rescheduling sessions between weeks (i.e. carrying over a session into another week) is not possible.

Rescheduled sessions may be subject to additional charge depending also on the time you notify me of your wish to reschedule/cancel a session, the time of day of the alternative session and the location of the alternative session. If you wish to reschedule a session less than one week prior to the session that is being rescheduled, the alternative session, should one be available, is normally payable as an ad-hoc additional session.

I may sometimes need to reschedule or cancel our session. I will in such case see if I can offer you an alternative within the same week. If I am unable to do so the session will not be payable. If you have already paid for the session that I have cancelled—and which I was unable to offer you an alternative for—I will deduct the payment from your future scheduled payments. Same applies in the case of Bank Holidays.

Should you wish to make changes to your regular weekly session slot(s) (e. g. change the time and/or day of when you have your regular sessions), such changes will be subject to availability. You will notify me of such need to change at least 2 calendar months prior.

Contacting Between Sessions

My availability to you is limited to our scheduled sessions and does not extend beyond that. Your contacting me between sessions will only be limited to the matters of booking, rescheduling, cancellations, and payments. You will not be contacting me in-between sessions for any other matters. Also, if it is indicated that the mentioned practical matters may have other underlying psychological motives, these will need to be discussed during sessions as this is an integrative part of the therapeutic process.

There will, therefore, be no contacting me between sessions in relation to any therapy-related matters. This is extremely important for the potency and safety of the therapeutic process. You may present the matter and/or the experience that you wanted to contact me about in the next therapy session for us to discuss. There will also be no contacting me in the case of emergency or crisis. Should you experience a crisis that may result in behaviour that you feel you may not be able to control, you will resort to appropriate emergency services (see the section on Safety for more).

I usually am not in a position to respond to calls, texts, voice messages, or emails promptly as they may only be checked periodically, so it may be some time before I respond.

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 not make any explicit or implicit threats. You will keep yourself and others safe and from the risk of harm. Should you indicate an intention to harm, or report of harming either yourself or others, note that in such case I reserve the right to break confidentiality (see the section on Confidentiality for more).

You will attend your sessions free from the influence of alcohol or any 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 a position to provide any other support outside of our scheduled therapy sessions and outside of the limits of therapy. 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/or 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.

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, and without discussing it in the session. The latter is important for us to be able to indicate potential ulterior and/or unconscious psychological motives leading you to such a decision. In any event, the decision you make will be fully respected by me and entirely yours to make.

I will endeavour not to terminate our work together unless we have reached a natural and/or contracted end. However, there may be professional, ethical, moral, 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.

Confidentiality

I will maintain confidentiality of the content of our sessions except in the context of professional supervision or other academic and professional purposes, 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 psychotherapy and/or counselling 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 professional practice. I may discuss elements of my work with a 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/or aggregated and is fundamental to my good professional practice.

Jurisdiction

The place of supply of any services (i.e. the place where that service is treated as being supplied) is the UK. Therefore, regardless of where you are based as a Client, which may especially be the case if we are working together online, any psychotherapy and/or counselling services will be provided in accordance and under jurisdiction of UK laws and regulations, and any potential disputes will be subject to UK laws and regulations.

If you are outside UK, either based or travelling, any services provided by me under these terms will normally be limited only to counselling.

When using the terms psychotherapy and/or counselling, these terms are used in accordance with their meaning, laws, and regulations in the UK.

Avoiding Dual Relationships

If you are my psychotherapy and/or counselling client, you agree to not attend any of my supervision and/or training/teaching events or any other event whatsoever.

Miscellaneous

These terms 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.

By using my psychotherapy and/or counselling services, you accept the responsibility and agree to keep yourself acquainted with the latest version of the terms.

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

Psychotherapist (UKCP Reg), Counsellor, Supervisor, Trainer