Counselling is about understanding, support, choice and change. Your therapist will listen to you in a way that does not judge you. They will not take sides or tell you what to do. They can help you to explore your thoughts and feelings and enable you to make your own decisions.
An essential feature of the Counselling is that the information disclosed is treated confidentially. It enables you to open up and share feelings without fear of blame or reprisals. It is also a time when it is acceptable to talk about concerns without fear of them being discussed elsewhere.
Although the contents of the sessions will be confidential, we require the right to breach confidentiality in some specific circumstances:
Please note: We have a statutory duty to co-operate with local authorities and other agencies, in child protection and safeguarding vulnerable adults procedures including information sharing and inter-agency working. The therapist would seek advice from Time to Listen’s Safeguarding Lead on such important matters should any such concerns arise through the course of your Counselling sessions.
If your therapist sees you outside the counselling sessions (i.e in a public place) they will wait for you to acknowledge them first.
Each counselling session will last 50 minutes to one hour, usually weekly, and will be reviewed on a regular basis. You have the right to ask for a referral to another therapist or agency at any time and, after discussion and agreement with you, the therapist also has the right to suggest a referral, if this is thought to be more beneficial to you. We also ask that you do not come to any counselling session whilst under the influence of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs and that you respect both the therapist and the building.
If your sessions are being funded through a local organisation such as an educational placement or by an employer we are usually required to provide information with regards to attendance and the effectiveness of the therapy provided. This is generally provided through a brief Therapy Review summary. The contents of which will be discussed and shared with yourself so you are able to provide full consent to the sharing of this information. The confidential details of your sessions will not be disclosed unless this is something you specifically request.
If your sessions are being funded through the Adoption Support Fund (ASF) or another fund arranged through your family’s allocated Social Worker, Time to Listen are likely to be contractually committed to holding Planning and Review Meetings involving yourself and the Social Worker involved. The Social Worker will also expect Therapy Review Reports from your therapist at agreed points throughout the therapeutic process (often mid-way and end-points). Your therapist will explain and discuss this with you and ensure you are fully involved in this process. This is usual practice to ensure your needs are being adequately fulfilled.
If your therapy sessions are being funded through a charitable grant such as the National Lottery Community Fund or Children in Need we are required to provide information with regard to attendance and the effectiveness of the therapy. This is provided through an anonymised project evaluation report. No identifiable details will be included.
You will be expected to complete a Client Evaluation Questionnaire at early, mid and end-points of your therapy sessions. This evaluation process will be explained to you by your therapist. The evaluations will determine how satisfied you feel about the help you are receiving from your therapist throughout all stages of your therapeutic experience and what you may feel our service needs to improve on. The evaluations are available as a paper and online evaluation forms. A paper copy can be provided by your therapist and the online version is available via https://www.timetolisten.co.uk.
All completed evaluations will be collated, analysed and reviewed in an anonymous way, in order to determine whether Time to Listen are meeting service standards and, where relevant, project objectives and what, if any areas may require further improvement. An anonymised summary of client evaluations will be used to inform Project Evaluation Reports when therapy has been funded through a charitable grant such as the National Lottery Community Fund or Children in Need.
To provide a holistic evaluation of this intervention and to learn and improve upon our service as we go along the therapist or Project Administrator (for charitable funded intervention), with your consent, may ask others involved for feedback to help demonstrate how our work makes a difference to the lives of young people, parents / carers / guardians, adults and families as a whole. This may involve speaking to your educational provider, a worker from a statutory or charity organisation (such as a Family Support Worker, Social Worker, Early Help Worker, if involved) or another close family member such as a parent. This would involve asking any person/s identified between yourself and your therapist what difference they think the interventions being offered by Time to Listen are making.
Sometimes we need to record sessions and to use (anonymous) case material for the purposes of supervision, therapist’s training and research. All such material is treated with your confidentiality and respect. We will not do this without asking you and gaining your permission.
Notes of the sessions are kept on an internal, secure electronic record keeping system, in line with current data protection regulations. Only the allocated therapist involved and Time to Listen’s organisational management (for supervision and auditing purposes) have access to these. This information will be held for seven years and then disposed of in an appropriate manner that ensures the preservation of confidentiality. All records and information remain the property of Time to Listen.
The service works within the Ethical Framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and within DDP Connects UK. If there is any cause for complaint, you are welcome to discuss this with your therapist or Time to Listen’s Operational Service Manager who will try to resolve any issues of concern. The Operational Service Manager can be contacted via Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or be telephone: 07920 036737. Alternatively, you can access our compliments and complaints procedures on our website at https://www.timetolisten.co.uk.
In cases where you do not contact us and you fail to attend a session, we will contact you in order to discuss and review your availability and your commitment to ensure future, regular attendance.
Some or all of your sessions may be delivered through remote, online sessions if this is more convenient or should heightened restrictions be re-introduced due to the COVID pandemic.
The following provides you with some practical information to help you understand what to expect with online sessions and also provide some tips to make sure the process runs smoothly:-
It might feel scary or uncertain to have some sessions online but they can be as effective as meeting face to face, so long as you follow the tips below. Our goal is to create a safe and contained space to work with you. We have carried out numerous sessions or meetings online with positive effect. If there are some materials/documents that we need to use for the sessions (e.g., handouts, practical exercises), the therapist will make sure that they have emailed this through to you before the session.
Our current preferred online service is Zoom. This is an encrypted service and is free for you to access and download: https://www.zoom.us
A video on how to use Zoom is here:
If we are using Zoom you will be sent an email requesting that you join the session. Please make sure that the therapist has your correct email before the session. If you click on the link it will take you to Zoom and you can then connect with the therapist. Alternatively, you may be emailed before the session which contains a meeting number. When you open Zoom, it will ask you to enter the meeting number so that you can join the therapist. Please do NOT join the meeting until the agreed time.
Another alternative is using your mobile phone and if you have iPhone FaceTime. Please make sure that the therapist has the correct number to contact you on in advance of the session.
Here are some useful tips for remote / online sessions
Please make sure that:
Time to Listen CIC requires a clear commitment to regular, scheduled and consistent counselling or therapy. We will not accept or agree to any extended interruptions in the counselling / therapy process above and beyond a two-week planned period (to allow for a family holiday, for example). Sessions will not be ‘put-on-hold’ for any duration beyond this two-week agreed period unless a retainer fee is provided through the person / agency that is responsible for funding your sessions. The retainer fee will be 50% of the agreed session fee for each session that is requested to be kept ‘on hold’. The retainer payments must be paid on a monthly basis within our payment terms and conditions as stipulated within our invoicing. Within a ‘retainer’ situation when you are unable to attend sessions either face to face or remotely for a period beyond a two-week interruption in your regular and scheduled pattern of sessions, a clear plan will be agreed and documented between yourselves and your Counsellor with regard to maintaining an appropriate level and form of contact and a timescale for re-starting your sessions. Alternatively, you could seek a re-referral into the service at a future time but we would not be able to provide any guarantee that we could offer sessions with the same Counsellor or the same appointment day or time due to the demands upon the service.
Should unexpected circumstances arise and your therapeutic support needs to be discontinued for any reason, your Counsellor will discuss with you how best an ending to the therapeutic process can be facilitated. Abrupt endings can be very difficult to process alone. As our Counsellors all work within a relational approach, they regard endings to be an equally essential part of the therapeutic process to be worked through. The Counsellor will discuss with you any recommendations they may have for addressing any ongoing therapeutic needs you may have within the therapeutic ending process.
By signing this, I confirm that I have read, understand and agree to the information above and that I have had any concerns explained to me. I confirm my consent to my information being held and I agree that I will NOT record any part of my sessions or let anyone else listen in to the sessions (via phone or any other device or means) without prior agreement with Time to Listen. Please use the link below to download the form as a pdf, complete the fields and return via email using the link in the pdf below the form.
Funding grants successfully awarded from the following have enabled Time to Listen to thrive and grow as an essential therapeutic service despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding has enabled Time to Listen to continue being responsive to the needs of our local communities.