Online Counselling

Susannah Mcintosh

About me:  I have 18 years of experience as a face to face counsellor and work weekly with a wide range of clients on many issues. I completed my training in London at the Psychosynthesis Trust in 2004 and have a variety of experiences of working with many clients as discussed on my website.

What is Online Counselling?

Counselling is the process of working through difficult thoughts, feelings and situations in an individual’s life. This process allows individuals to see a situation or analyse thoughts in feelings in a more healthy way in order to find a solution to a problem or a way of working through emotions.  Online Counselling can provide you with a supportive, non judgmental and confidential environment to help you explore your emotions. I will not be in a position to offer advice. There may be occasions where I ask questions about what you have stated on your application form or during a therapy session

This is to help seek a clearer view of your difficulty or to clarify a misunderstanding in our communication. You are free to ignore my questions and responses, or alternatively spend time between sessions exchanges reflecting on them.

There are occasions where it would not be considered suitable, for example where a client is at risk for example or has a previous clinical diagnosis.  If this applies for you either when applying for support, or  during ongoing  sessions I will offer information of alternative  sources of  support,  which you can make contact with and request support from.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Susannah on 07736813579 or email counselling@wellbeingforwork.com

What sort of issues can I contact you about?

Online counselling may be able to help with a very wide range of issues including, abuse, anxiety, emotional distress, stress, depression, coping with cancer, loneliness, relationship problems, loss, self-esteem, sexual orientation, sexual abuse, discrimination, and many more.

Not all types of issues can be resolved through online counselling and I will advise you if face to face counselling, or some other form of support might be more suitable for you. This is not for people who are in an urgent crisis.

Where I consider that online counselling would not be the most suitable means of support I will make every effort to assist you in a referral to a suitable alternative source of support.  I am not able to provide online counselling to any person who is under the age of 18.

Online Counselling Agreement and Assessment form 

What does the service offer?

We will agree an ‘appointment time’. This might be via email, IM, voice only or webcam. If via email therapy the appointment time when you will receive my email reply via Protonmail, or the time agreed to meet on Vsee. (which is a secure and encrypted online platform used for online counselling). This could be weekly or more frequently if you request this.  As I will need some time to read your previous email I will need you to send in your therapy email at least 48 hours before I send you my reply.  You can download vsee software without charge at www.vsee.com.

Please ensure you have Vsee installed prior to the first IM, or webcam appointment and add me as Susannah Mcintosh: contact me on

counselling@wellbeingforwork.com.

You will need to email me at my Protonmail account prior to the appointment, to let me know your Vsee contact details. susannahmcintosh@protonmail.com.

If for any reason we experience technical issues during a ‘real time’ appointment I will try to re-connect with you, but if this is not possible we will make contact via the agreed alternative, such as by phone or email.

Payment for your sessions

Session fees are currently £40.00 per counselling hour (50 mins).

The initial appointment will include some further assessment questions to help my understanding of how I can help you find a way forward with what has brought you to counselling. See enclosed:

counselling online intial agreemment and assessment.docx

The above form needs to be completed and returned prior to starting.

The Payment of £40.00 for your session is due a minimum of 24 hours prior to the appointment time, using the sum up by text or bacs instruction will be sent by text via  www.counselling@wellbeingforwork website.

If you have made payment for a session but are unable to meet at the appointed time I will retain the fee for the session unless we have experienced a technological breakdown which prevents us meeting online or exchanging emails.

Where an initial block of three are booked at £110 or further six appointments are purchased at a reduced rate, these are valid for a period of 3 months. (6 appointments can be purchased as a block for a fee of £210.00).

Confidentiality, Security, and Data Protection Agreement details: This part to be sent electronically

The content of your emails or online appointments will not be communicated with a third party except for the purposes of supervision of my work. In this instance, your identity will not be revealed, and the presenting issues are discussed in a general context, to help ensure I am working ethically and safely with clients. I strongly recommend that online clients use an encrypted email server for sending and receiving email exchanges when engaging with counselling, this helps to ensure that our communication will not be intercepted by a third party. A free and secure email provider is http://www.protonmail.com . All information disclosed within sessions and written records pertaining to them are confidential  may not be revealed to anyone without permission of both parties.

My protonmail address is: susannahmcintosh@protonmail.com  All contact after our initial communication would be via this email provider.

In respect of online counselling via email, SMS, and webcam the UK police force and other international government authorities can ask for access to an individual’s email account or synchronous messaging account where there is suspicion of illegal activities. On this basis I am not able to guarantee confidentiality in circumstances which lead to access being granted.

Where a complaint is made by a client to my professional body I reserve the right to breach confidentiality and to use my session notes in order to address any grievances which might occur within Susannah Mcintosh’s counselling practice.  Wherever possible you will be informed of this.

At the end of our counselling agreement copies of our exchanges will be stored securely offline for a period of 7 years and then destroyed by shredding after this time. I am a registered Data Controller and Data Processor and abide by the regulations imposed by such procedures.

My registration number is: Z3569486 and I use ICO policy for data processing and storage.  The procedures in this document have been compiled in relation to GDPR (General Data Privacy Regulations 2018).

What information is kept about me and who has access?

As the Data Controller and data Processor I maintain and store brief notes relating to your sessions. I will not share this data with someone other than yourself, unless required by a court of law.  Under GDPR you have the right to request a copy of session records. Where requested by you these will be within 30 days in electronic format, Under GDPR you have the right to ask for records to be amended if you feel they are inaccurate. If you wish to ask for an amendment or if you raise objection to any data kept by me, such objection will be stored with the original session notes.

Client and counsellor online Data Agreement :

How is my information stored? The Client agreement /assessment form you are completing here and any brief session notes will be stored on a secure cloud system. All hardware which is password protected is stored in a locked room and secured.

All electronic contact we have during the process of assessment and ongoing sessions will be deleted from my computer at the end of our agreed work together.  Your phone number may be stored anonymously on my phone if we engage with ‘real time ‘ sessions using Vsee or  Whatsapp and is deleted at the end of the counselling contract

Please take time to read through the guidelines above accessible on my website www.wellbeingforwork.com for ensuring privacy and security of your online communication with me.

Please indicate if you give your consent for me to maintain these records under the conditions described above   YES  /  NO

 Social Media

It is not permissible to publicise the content of our exchanges or share them with a third party using social media or other aspects of personal and public forums. I will not be able to accept any invitations for contact with current or past clients via social media, nor will I endeavour to initiate contact with clients via social media sites or forums.

If you have any questions regarding the content of the agreement, or would like further information, please contact me at: (susannahmcintosh@protonmail.com) , or text 00447736813579.

Please ‘sign electronically’ here with your name if you agree to the general data protection policy and GDPR points within this agreement (including data storage procedures).

Name……………………………………………………………………………………………………Date

How is my information stored? The Client agreement /assessment form you are completing here and any brief session notes will be stored on a secure cloud system. All hardware which is password protected is stored in a locked room and secured.

All electronic contact we have during the process of assessment and ongoing sessions will be deleted from my computer at the end of our agreed work together.  Your phone number may be stored anonymously on my phone if we engage with ‘real time ‘ sessions using Vsee or  Whatsapp and is deleted at the end of the counselling contract

Please take time to read through the guidelines on my website www.wellbeingforwork.com for ensuring privacy and security of your online communication with me.

Guidelines for Emergency Contact

Online counselling cannot provide an emergency service for clients.

In the event of an emergency arising whilst you are engaged in online work or if you were experiencing suicidal thoughts, I would discuss with you the appropriate support that you could access during this period.

Some examples of referrals are

Samaritans contact; 116 123. Email: jo@samaritans.org

Breathing space contact; 0800 83 85 87 (6pm to 2am, weekdays and 24 hours at the weekend).

NHS Direct: phone 111 emergency line.

 

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