Every service I provide starts with an initial consultation. Depending on your preference, you can arrange this online, by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone on +49-152 53 16 05 07 or +49-221 95 81 72 31 (confidential answer machine). Appointments are available face-to-face in Cologne, Rodenkirchen or online by Skype.
The initial appointment is completely without further obligation. It gives both of us an opportunity to get a feel for each other and it will enable us to make an informed choice if we would like to work with each other or not. If you commit to counselling it is important that you feel comfortable enough with your therapist. A good therapeutic relationship will be essential and supportive as counselling can be challenging at times.
During the meeting you would tell me what brings you to me and we would discuss your options. You would also have the opportunity to ask what you need to know about counselling and you can experience how I work. If we decide to work with each other, we will arrange weekly appointments and agree on the number of sessions or how we would progress over time.
The German word Gestalt is not easily translated into a single English term. Its meaning encompasses: the shape, the pattern, the whole form, the configuration and much more.
The Gestalt approach has influenced and enriched many other therapeutic models of working with people. As a Gestalt therapist, I follow the basic principle that the whole is different from the sum of its parts. In other words, the whole (e.g. a picture) carries a different and altogether greater meaning than its individual components (paint, canvas, brush, paint).
In other words, the question is: What are you about? What is the whole picture of you? This requires a lot of thinking and feeling and can be challenging at times.
Sessions are strictly confidential except under the following circumstances:
I would be obliged by law to break confidentiality:
If a client told me that they were involved in, or had information about, acts of terrorism either being planned or which had already taken place, then I would be legally obliged to contact the police about it, without informing the client that I had done so (Terrorism Act 2000, section 38B).
If a client told me that they had been the driver involved in a road traffic collision, and I was then approached by the police for further information about the incident, I would be legally obliged to pass on what I had been told (section 21 of the Road Traffic Act 1991).
If a client told me they had information about the whereabouts of a missing child who is in care, under police protection or subject to an emergency protection order, I could be obliged by order of the Family Court to pass on that information (section 50 of the Children Act 1989).
Courts can also demand disclosure of information in other circumstances. It is a very complex area and as your counsellor, I would always seek professional advice before breaking confidentiality on a legal issue.
Furthermore, I reserve the right to break confidentially in order to prevent harm. This might be if I believed that you are at risk of seriously harming yourself or others. However, I would only do this in extreme circumstances and I would always try to discuss this with you first before taking any action
last but not least, I do discuss my work regularly with a clinical supervisor. This is standard practice and helps me to work as well as I can with you. When I bring my client work to supervision I only use first names or a pseudonym for my clients and I do not reveal any identifying details. In this process your identity is not revealed. My supervisor is bound by UKCP's Ethical Framework for good practice.
To safeguard confidentiality, all computer-stored client records are password protected. However, if you choose to communicate with me by email, you should be aware that email is not a 100% secure medium and confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
I may keep short notes on you and our sessions such as background information and issues worked on. Notes are kept securely and anonymously in accordance with the data protection rules principally contained in the Data protection Act 1998. Notes will be held for seven years (BACP requirement).I am registered with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The ICO is a independent regulatory office, which deals with the Data Protection Act 1998 across the UK. My registration number with ICO is ZA071024. My entry can be found on the register of data controllers at www.ico.gov.uk.
You have a right to access notes kept about you. If notes contain references to other individuals these may not be available to you, as protection is also granted to third parties. It will be important not just to show the notes to you, but for me to discuss the contents of the notes with you. Some notes might need explaining. If you wish to see your records, please give me at least four week's notice.
I may ask your permission to tape record the session. This will allow me to reflect in details on what we have discussed. If you agree, you may change your mind at any time and I will erase the recording accordingly.
For the purpose of further accreditation and continuing professional development, I may submit written or taped material of some sessions for evaluation. Any such written material will be disguised to protect your identity and will only be reviewed by clinicians bound by a suitable Code of Ethics. I abide by BACP’s (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) Ethical Framework for good practice in counselling and psychotherapy.
To safeguard confidentiality, all computer-stored client records are password protected. However, if you choose to communicate with me by email, you should be aware that email is not a secure medium and confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
For face-to-face sessions in Cologne, Rodenkirchen or in your home: You can pay in cash at the beginning of the session. Alternatively, you can pay in advance via PayPal or by BACS - please ask me for details.
For Skype sessions: Please use PayPal (including credit/debit card payments) or BACS (details available on request). Please make sure that the payment arrives prior to the start of the session. Thank you.
Regular sessions last 50 minutes. However, I recognise that different people have different needs. Therefore, I do offer extended sessions of 75 minutes for individual and couple work. We will discuss the length of sessions, the duration of contract and the fee at the initial meeting. The fee is open to review once a year, usually in September.
Please arrive at the time of your appointment, as I may be unable to answer the door before the time agreed.
If a session is cancelled within 72 hours prior to the appointment an alternative time within the same week will be agreed where possible. If this is not possible the full fee will be charged. No fee is payable when you cancel with 72 hours or more advance notice. If an appointment is missed the full fee will be charged for the session. Prices are available upon request.
Yes. From time to time I will discuss my work with a clinical supervisor. This is standard practice and helps me to work as well as I can with you. In this process your identity is not revealed. My supervisor is registered with the UK Council for Psychotherapy and complies with UKCP's Ethical Principles and Code of Professional Conduct.