Staying Safe

As a core professional value, I uphold autonomy for all clients to be responsible for their own health, safety and wellbeing throughout their time in therapy; as a client, you are personally responsible for staying safe. 

Counselling may assist you to ease suffering and distress, however you will remain responsible for your health and access to any additional help and support that you may need. Signposting may also be offered if appropriate. It's recommended that you keep your GP up-to-date with significant changes in your medical conditions, and do not stop taking any medication unless a thorough understanding has been reached with your prescriber.

Furthermore, you are responsible for taking care of your own safety and preventing illness or injury to yourself. This includes taking care of your surroundings when meeting in indoor, outdoor and online locations. Please bring whatever equipment that you feel you need to feel safe and comfortable - whether that's a cup of tea and a blanket for emotional support, or sun protection, warm clothing, water and medication when needed. If meeting online, please arrange to join an online call from a suitably private space where you will not be overheard and where there is no active threat to your safety.

It is important that upon beginning therapy, you provide details of your emergency contact such as a friend or relative who can attend to you if you are in any kind of emergency, and details of your GP or crisis team to be contacted in case of a risk of harm.

Privacy is upheld according to my privacy policy. If there is a crime or critical risk of harm affecting you or anyone else, then confidentiality may need to be breached in order to prevent serious harm, and this would hopefully done with your full knowledge. 

If you feel think that you may be at risk of harm/self-harm, then please let me know when we talk so that we can work together to create a personal safety plan. If you are feeling very on your own and overwhelmed or thinking about harming yourself between when we talk, then please call a helpline such as Samaritans on 116 123 who are open 24/7 to people in the UK. 

If you have any professional or legal complaints about another person, then you will be responsible for processing complaints through the appropriate portals. I do not act in any public capacity to make a complaint for you, though I can emotionally support you to explore your options.

If you are in the UK and need professional mental health support outside of therapy sessions then please contact your local GP, call NHS on 111 (non-emergency) or phone Samaritans. Please call 999 if you have a serious emergency, or go to your nearest A&E. If you're outside the UK, then you can look up which national/local services might be available to you. It's recommended that you keep your friends and family, or someone with whom there is shared personal trust, informed about your wellbeing, so that they can help you as your first port of call.

Counselling can help you to work on your personal issues in sessions, but it is crucial that you maintain or work towards good levels of social connection, healthy eating and drinking, exercise and suitable accommodation, work and fulfilling activities in your day-to-day life that will help to keep you happy, safe and well.