I’m so glad we’ve connected. You’ve taken a courageous first step, and I look forward to supporting you to meet life’s challenges with greater self-kindness and self-awareness. Please read this document carefully before signing as it will form an agreement between us. If you have any concerns or queries, please don’t hesitate to ask me.
I am a Certified Practising Counsellor registered with the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. I am also a registered teacher in Queensland, and a Buddhist chaplain with the Queensland Sangha Association. I hold postgraduate qualifications in Counselling (Grad Dip Counselling – ACAP), Education (PG Dip Ed – UQ) and a Masters in Applied Linguistics (UNE).
What to expect
Counselling is a form of talk therapy designed to help you compassionately manage issues causing you distress or concern, improve your self-understanding, and learn effective personal and interpersonal coping strategies in a confidential environment. Whilst the type of therapy is important, evidence shows it is the relationship you build with your therapist which is the ultimate healing factor. You are most welcome to contact me for a free 15 minute phone consultation to see if we are a good fit before beginning therapy. You may also discontinue participation at any time, and for any reason.
Counselling involves the confidential sharing of sensitive, personal and private information that may at times be distressing or result in periods of increased anxiety or confusion. I encourage you to let me know if you ever feel uncomfortable. We can pause at any time and take the session at your pace. If you feel like ending all of a sudden or after a session that might have been challenging or painful, my recommendation is to reach out and talk to me about it so that we can work through it in relationship with each other – your feelings matter to me.
I am deeply committed to your recovery, growth and psychological safety. This is ultimately supported by the level of commitment you make to yourself – both in your individual sessions and self-care practices at home. However, if I cannot help you at any point in your counselling, I am required to refer you to another professional who may assist you further. This is especially important in the case of conditions which may require a medical or psychiatric diagnosis.
Please note that I offer counselling services by appointment only and am unable to provide emergency assistance. If you are in danger or are experiencing crisis, please immediately contact emergency services in your area.
If our phone or internet connection drops out during a counselling session, I will immediately attempt to contact you on the phone number you have provided. Your session can be rescheduled due to technological difficulties or we can continue it by phone. If my attempt to reach you is unsuccessful, I will send you an email. If I have not had a reply from you within 24 hours, I will then contact your emergency contact, as your safety is a priority to me.
Please be sure to tell me if you are away from your home address during our session, so I will know how to reach you if any issues arise. It is also essential that you only talk in an environment that is private (earphones may help with this) and safe (no moving vehicles or operating machinery please)!
It is important that you do not stop any existing medical treatment/s without consulting your doctor, as counselling is not intended to replace medical advice for your unique circumstances. Counsellors are not medical professionals, and it is important to get clearance from your doctor before making major changes to your lifestyle. In addition, deep emotional work can be triggering, so if you experience any concerning symptoms or a desire to harm yourself or others, please seek appropriate medical or emergency assistance as necessary.
As I operate a fully online and phone counselling service, this will not be the right fit for you if you do not have a reliable phone or internet connection, or if you do not have a safe and private place available to talk. Online counselling is also not suitable for clients in crisis, and for those suffering from serious psychiatric illnesses or complex mental health conditions.
Under most circumstances, I will not release any information you have disclosed within a counselling session without your consent unless I am obliged to do so by law, or by the ethical standards of my professional body. Some of my obligations to report include (but are not limited to) illegal activity, domestic violence situations involving children, suspicion of serious intent to harm self or others, cases of known or suspected abuse, harm or neglect, and court subpoena. Please note that as a registered teacher, I am also a mandatory reporter of known or suspected physical and sexual child abuse.
I seek professional clinical supervision for my work as a counsellor and as such, may have a need to discuss your case. Only details relevant to supervision are discussed – names and specifics are not supplied. This is considered an important aspect of professional practice.
To maintain client confidentiality, I cannot accept social media friend/contact requests from clients. I appreciate your understanding that it is inappropriate for either of us to discuss any details of your sessions on these platforms. In addition, I ask that you do not take screenshots, and that sessions are not recorded, in part or in full, to protect privacy.
Please allow yourself some time in advance to resolve any technical issues so that they don’t take away from your valuable counselling time. If problems occur, please call me on 0411 3939 34 to sort things out or continue the session by phone.
Fees and Payment
Because I work completely online and I really want to focus on supporting my clients instead of chasing up fees, I only take payment for sessions in advance. Making this payment confirms the time and date of your appointment.
If you have not paid by 5pm AEST on the day prior to your appointment, your session may be given to someone else on my waiting list. If you have paid for your appointment in advance but need to cancel, please contact me by 5pm AEST the day prior to your appointment and I will provide a full refund or reschedule your appointment according to your preference. No-shows will result in forfeiture of the prepaid session fee.
If you experience sudden illness or an emergency situation on the day of your appointment, please contact me in advance so we can negotiate a resolution – I understand that life can be unpredictable, and I will show you the same courtesy by informing you as soon as possible if I need to reschedule your appointment.
On the other hand, repeated cancellations at the last minute may result in a need to review whether now is the right time for you to go ahead with therapy.
Payment for my services is taken in advance due to the nature of the online work which I do, and I will email you an invoice prior to your session. Payment of these invoices is processed using Stripe. Please let me know if you would prefer to pay by EFT deposit to my bank account and allow time prior to your session to ensure payment has been cleared.
I do not have access to your account details. Any financial information you enter is stored under Stripe’s security policy: https://stripe.com/docs/security/stripe.
Sessions are by appointment only and run from 50-60 minutes. I currently charge $100 per session. Requests for record review are also charged at $100/hr inclusive of GST. I will provide one month’s notice of any changes to these fees. Ongoing sessions are subject to availability.
Please note that I do not prepare letters, forms or reports for any insurance, employer, educational, medical, government or legal entity. I do not provide recommendations or legal testimony on behalf of clients.
Code of Ethics
I am a member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. I adhere to their Code of Ethics. See: http://www.pacfa.org.au/. If you are ever unhappy with anything that has arisen in your therapy, please talk with me so that I can respond to your concerns. I will take your feedback seriously, and with care and respect.
I am committed to my own psychological wellbeing through self-care, continued professional development and clinical supervision. As I have been in counselling myself, I understand that sometimes it can be difficult to raise concerns (I have felt like that too!) However, therapy is a wonderful opportunity to build your confidence and assertiveness in relationship with others.
Thank you for taking the time to read all of the above. If you have any concerns, please be sure to bring them to my attention so that we can discuss them. By signing this document, you indicate that you have read, understood and agreed to all the terms and conditions in this Client Contract and Consent for Services.