In the first one or two sessions the counsellor will make a verbal contract with the client, which will include:
- The agreed day and time of meeting
- The agreed payment for the counselling session
- Arrangements for cancelled sessions and holidays
- The duration of the counselling
This contract is discussed and agreed, and represents the commitment for both parties to work together
Psychodynamic counselling may be time limited or open ended. In either situation, the ending of the counselling relationship is an important aspect of the work. The final session is agreed by both parties in advance or in the latter stages of the counselling process, to avoid a sudden or abrupt ending.
Confidentiality is important in therapy. The counsellor is bound by the BACP Code of Ethics on confidentiality and would only consider breaking confidentiality:
- If the patient discloses ongoing abuse and/or neglect of a child or vulnerable adult
- If there’s risk the patient will endanger himself /others or where there is a legal requirement to do so (e.g. under the Terrorism Act 2000).
- In such cases the counsellor would normally discuss the issue with the patient first.
In accordance with the BACP Code of Ethics, the counsellor will not discuss the therapy sessions with anyone except in supervision.