Skype Video Therapist Online, Terms and Conditions of Use
Age Limits: I hate having to put age limits on this service, but to make your own choices to use this service, you must be over 18 years of age. If you are younger than 18, I am still happy to talk to you, but you must have your parents permission, and it must be they who initiate any contact, and it must be they who pay the invoice for the session. I assume then, that if they pay, they also agree for you to talk to me via Skype video link.
Confidentiality: Anything you tell me stays with me. Nobody will know you are talking to me, unless you tell them yourself. Any note taking I do during a video session is kept securely locked in a filing cabinet. These will be destroyed by shredding and then fire, after we have finished our sessions, at your request, or after 2 years, if I have not heard from you in that time. This is purely in case you wish to work with me again on another issue before 2 years is up.
Confidentiality on Skype: How I understand it at present, Skype calls are encrypted when travelling back and forth over the phone lines. Any breach of security is going to be due to viruses or trojans or malicious software on the computer of one of the participants. We must both endeavour to use best practice in ensuring that our computer operating systems are up to date, and by installing effective anti-virus and anti-malware software, both with regularly updated software and definitions, have a firewall in place, and regularly delete history, temporary internet files, and deleted emails. Most modern email programs are good at sniffing out malicious emails and junking them, so keeping your deleted items folder empty can help keep these things off your machine.
Your computer security: You understand that it is your responsibility to maintain the security of your computer and to have installed an active and up-to-date anti-virus program, internet security and firewall.
Suicidal? If you are at all suicidal, then Skype therapy is perhaps not your best choice. Please contact one of the charities on the sitemap page, they are standing by and are always ready to help you.
Method of payment: All single sessions must be paid in advance, using either Paypal, a BAC's method (direct bank transfer), or by cheque/cash through the post. Details can be found here: Ways to Pay.
Do you refer? Yes. There are occasions when perhaps another therapist that I know may be better placed to help you than I am, perhaps through specialist training or experience. I may suggest that you make the change, but it is only a suggestion, based on my belief that you would be better served. You do not have to switch, but if you do, I will support you whilst you make the change. Alternatively, if I feel that you are not making any progress with online therapy, I may suggest, and then offer to find someone closer to you, who could help you with face-to-face counselling. Again, I would be happy to support you while you make the change.
Emergency contact: The reason I ask for offline contact details from you at the start, is purely for emergency use. For example, if my (or your) phone line goes down during a video call, we would have no way of knowing if the other party was waiting endlessly for it to re-establish, or if some other problem had cropped up. We could sign off the session by text, just so that the other side knew it was impossible to continue temporarily.
Past health problems: You understand that it is important to disclose any medical history pertaining to your struggles, including past mental health problems, or medication you are taking. You further understand that this service cannot and does not provide any kind of medical diagnostic service, does not provide medication, or advice on taking your medication. You also agree that any opinion I express is just that, my opinion, and is not medical advice.
Guarantees: You understand that this service cannot and does not guarantee you will see improvement in your condition, or emotional freedom. What is guaranteed, is that all best efforts will be made to give you the best opportunity and chance to make the changes you seek.
Cancelled appointments and time keeping: It is your responsibility to give a minimum of 48hrs notice of cancellation. Missed appointments will mean the fee for that appointment is forfeit. If you are late starting your session, it will still need to finish at the agreed time, so as not to interfere with subsequent appointments. If for some unforeseen circumstance it becomes impossible for me to continue with your session, at whatever notice is necessary at the time, then no compensation becomes payable, other than to offer you a new free session at a time convenient to yourself and myself.
Commitment to therapy: You are not tied into any form of contract and can therefore leave or discontinue at any time. You further have the right to stop your session, and/or any further sessions, at any time now, or in the future.
Updates: Continuing on with Skype therapy, means that you have read the terms and conditions and accepted them prior to moving forward. These terms may be revised at any time and such ammendments will be posted on this page. Please check this page from time to time so you can remain familiar with these terms and conditions.
Online video calling is a fast growing way of providing interactive therapy, and the demand is increasing all the time. This is not something to be frightened of, but rather something to be embraced. Because it means that if you have a particular skill in an area of therapy, that is not very well catered for in another geographical area, residents in those under served areas can get the help they need, in exactly the same way as everybody else. How cool is that?