Frequently asked questions & Terms and Conditions of receiving treatment
How does Solution Focused Therapy work?
Thank you for choosing Somewhere to Talk. I use an Integrative type of Therapy, including Person centred therapy, Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy called Solution Focused Therapy. This differs from other types of treatment as it focuses on your preferred future. We often all know what we don’t want, but rarely do we consider what we do want. My role is to guide you in identifying small, achievable changes you want to make that will help you achieve your preferred future. Alternatively, I may help you cope so much better with something that you cannot change or have no control over. For example, improving your coping abilities with the anxiety, fear, stress and worries that might come with a serious illness, or a difficult relationship.
I also support people who have PTSD, specific phobia’s and those who wish to stop smoking. With this treatment I may sometimes use elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).
How do I know you are qualified to do the job?
My business is a member of, and therefore regulated by the following three regulatory bodies:
Association for Solution Focused Hypnotherapists,
National Council for Hypnotherapists
Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.
British association for Counselling and Psychotherapy BACP.
National Counselling Society (MNCS Accred)
I must adhere to their strict code of conduct and ethics, including having a recognised qualification, the right insurance, regular Continual Profession Development (CPD) training, and having regular supervisions with a regulated and qualified supervisor. To verify this, you can search for these associations online and then search its members.
What is the General Data Protection Regulations, 2018 (GDPR) and how does it affect me?
The GDPR replaces the 1998 Data Protection Act to ensure your personal and sensitive, confidential data is kept private and held securely, being processed in the way that you have agreed to. It is there to protect your rights as a consumer of a service or product that might involve your identifiable data, e.g. your name and address or whether you have a specific condition. It also covers any session records, text messages or emails we exchange. For more information your can read the policy documents accessible via your welcome information pack.
How long will you hold my information for?
I am regulated by the BACP and the CNHC, an organisation that stipulates I must hold your data for 8 years after your final session. Unless you are a child, in which case I must hold your data until your 25th birthday, unless you are 17 when treatment ends and then I must keep it until your 26th birthday. Therefore, all records will be deleted in the January after the above retention scales. This is in line with NHS regulations for holding data.
What if I don’t want my records to be held for that long?
Under the GDPR you can make a request in writing to me, for all your records to be deleted. In this case all your paper records would be shredded with a cross shredding machine and any electronic data such as emails or text messages would be permanently deleted from the devices they are stored on. I would have to save the request for deletion you made but would not save any other data.
Why do you need to record this information?
I collect information about; why you are using the service, a small amount of medical information and a small amount of information about your important others, alongside brief session notes. This information enables me to provide a high quality service to you, ensuring I am equipped with the knowledge of our previous discussions prior to each session. Your contact details / address and Doctors details will only be used with your explicit consent. See consent form below.
What lengths are made to ensure my information is held securely?
Hardcopy documents – Are all stored in a locked cabinet in a locked room.
Text messages – My work phone is secured with a pin code.
Emails – My email account requires a user name and password.
Email attachments – Any attachments sent by email to you containing your personal information would be password protected and the password would be sent to you via text message.
Electronic documents – Any electronic documents e.g. A letter to your GP, or an invoice, are password protected and stored on a password protected computer if they contain personal or sensitive information.
Is what we discuss kept confidential?
Everything we talk about during our sessions are strictly confidential between you and me. To ensure I am doing my job effectively and that I have the right support, I may discuss elements of our sessions with my supervisor. During these discussions I do not disclose any details that may identify you to my supervisor, and my supervisor also adheres to the GDPR.
What if I see you outside of the session?
If we see each other outside of a session I will smile but will not engage in any further conversation to ensure your confidentiality. You are welcome to share with other people about the therapy you are receiving, but I am obligated by GDPR law to ensure your confidentiality is protected. I would request that in order to ensure the success of your treatment, that you refrain from discussing your treatment with me outside of your sessions.
What about other Health and Social Care Professionals?
As I adhere to the GDPR any contact, relating to you, with other health care professionals would only be made with your signed consent. E.g. If I were to write to your GP to notify them of your treatment with me, and then notify them of the treatment ending, I would only do this if you were to sign the specific consent for this at the end of this document.
In order to safeguard you and the people around you, if you were to disclose that you were going to carry out harm to yourself or someone else, then under my “Duty of Care” I am obligated by law to inform the relevant authorities. This is to support you to live well, and I would always aim to discuss this with you prior to contacting anyone.
If I was issued with a police warrant or court order for your information, by law I would also have to provide them with your information.
How long will each session be and how much will they cost?
Sessions are usually 50/60 minutes but may sometimes extend into 90 minutes, if you choose to add Hypnotherapy to your treatment package. This is because I am keen for you to get the best out of your session and if you are in the middle of discussing something that is important to you, I will not move us on until an appropriate time for you.
Sessions will begin weekly at first, and then over time we will – in agreement – spread them out over longer periods. So, 10-12 sessions may cover a 4-5 month period, dependent on your individual needs and circumstances.
Smoking Cessation is a one-three sessions, to suit you, that lasts approximately two hours, and specific phobia’s usually take around four, weekly sessions.
Payment is to be made at each session, by cash or Card, or prior to the session by direct bank transfer. At the Initial consultation you will be required to pay a £25 deposit on your next session to confirm the booking, this deposit will be deducted from your final session.
What if I’m running late?
Please do your best to let me know if you are running late. There are some slots I have available that mean I am able to continue with your full session, but often I will have another client waiting and therefore it may mean our session has to be a little shorter.
What if I need to rearrange my session?
If you provide less than 48 hours’ notice, the charge for that session is still payable and if you cancel more than two appointments I will have to request that any future appointments are payable in full to secure your appointment slot.
This is a commitment between us both as therapist and client, and the treatment is unlikely to help if you are not committed to your appointments and the work we do together. This also protects stability relating to my own income and business sustainability.
If I need to rearrange a session I will let you know at my earliest opportunity and would hope you might approach our sessions with the same ethos. In extreme circumstances, I may choose to waver the cancellation fee e.g. severe disruptive weather conditions.
Would you as my therapist ever choose to end my treatment early?
If I am subjected to abuse by you, or by someone else acting in your interests, I may end our therapy with no notice.
By coming for this treatment, you agree to a commitment of weekly sessions at first, reducing to fortnightly and possibly monthly, after mutual agreement. Your commitment to these sessions is essential and if you regularly fail to attend sessions, or regularly cancel and rearrange sessions, I will have a discussion with you about whether this is something you are committed to. I do not believe in encouraging people to have sporadic sessions from the beginning as I know it is unlikely you will gain the benefits that come with weekly sessions. If you are not able to commit to weekly sessions at first then it is best to postpone treatment until you are able to commit to this, this may be approximately seven consecutive weeks but can vary dependant on individual progression and circumstances.