Therapist (“I”): Ales Zivkovic
Practice details here.
Psychotherapy and Counselling Principles
In my work with you I will provide psychotherapy to facilitate your personal growth and change. I will provide a proper and confidential environment for you to work in.
I will also maintain ethical boundaries in the therapeutic relationship with you and will use both my life experience, skills, my knowledge and training to help you on your path of change.
As my client, you agree to engage, invest in, and commit to, your own personal development and change.
(To get a bit of insight into what therapy is about, please read: What to Expect from Therapy)
People are responsible for their own actions. You take the responsibility for your change and I am here to help you achieve your goal in therapy. It is you who will be changing yourself with my help and not me changing you.
People are responsible for their actions, feelings, thoughts and behaviour. In general, you cannot make others think, feel, behave or act in certain way and this also goes for others making you think, feel, behave or act. Everyone should take responsibility for their choices—even if they choose not to choose.
We treat each other with respect and as autonomous individuals. We will not judge or condemn each other or physically or verbally assault each other or others. We will be honest to each other. If you at some point tell a lie, you will find the most appropriate moment in the future when you are able to tell me that so that we have the chance to work on it in therapeutic space.
Boundaries are important and are of essence not only for us to be able to work together in practical regards, but also in order for the therapeutic relationship to be potent. This goes for boundaries of therapy time and space also. There will be no therapy actively performed outside therapy space—that is at our sessions together or over Skype. There will be no therapy done over phone, email etc..
Our sessions together will be held on weekly basis. Sometimes we might agree to more than one session per week, however, that is something we will discuss and agree upon as we work together. I am usually able and willing to support you also in-between regular weekly sessions, should you feel you need such support at any point and should we agree to it.
Due to the reasons of the loss of contact and momentum between us in therapy—especially if we are doing “deeper” work—I usually do not offer sessions that are less frequent than weekly. This, however, does not mean that you cannot miss a session should that be necessary.
You also agree to arrive at the agreed session on time. You will give 1 weeks’ notice if you have to cancel a session by calling or texting me. If cancellation is not made in the period of 1 weeks’ notice, you will make payment in full regardless of attendance.
You will pay the agreed fee at each session or in advance of session. I generally do not offer sessions over weekends or Bank Holidays. However, in the case we do agree to have a session on such days, I will charge a 40% premium to your regular fee.
I also run sessions over Skype, which we may agree to should sessions in person at any time not be feasible. You also agree to potential sessions over Skype in the case I am travelling. You are also fully aware that sessions that are not held in person pose higher risks in terms of maintaining confidentiality because of technology that is used and which I as therapist cannot influence. You, therefore, are aware and accept this risk by taking on therapy over Skype.
You will give at least 4 weeks’ notice of your intention to end therapy, to allow for closure of the therapeutic process.
(For more information on the therapeutic aspects of unplanned termination, please read this post: Terminating Psychotherapy or Counselling Unexpectedly)
(Related reading: Ending Psychotherapy or Counselling Naturally)
You agree to attend sessions regularly and will endeavour not to miss more than two consecutive sessions at any point. Should your potential non-attendance become considerable, we will explore it in therapy for potential ulterior meaning and discuss how to approach it.
You will keep yourself, others, the environment and me safe. This means no matter how you feel, you will control your behaviour and not act violently or threaten with violence to anyone or anything.
You will attend your sessions free from the influence of alcohol or non-prescription drugs. You will also get additional medical support if you need it. Your health and wellbeing is your responsibility.
I will maintain confidentiality of the content of our sessions except in the context of professional supervision, when your anonymity will be maintained.
I will also break confidentiality if I believe that a child is in danger and if I believe that you are at serious risk of harm to yourself or to others. I will attempt to let you know in the case I break confidentiality for such reasons before I do so, however, should this prove impossible, it will not hold me back.
I also attend supervision sessions to maintain my own good practice and continuous professional development (CPD) and will discuss elements of my work with my supervisor on regular basis. I may also use such information for other (e.g. research, academic etc.) purposes. The information I will share this way will remain completely confidential and anonymous and is fundamental to good practice.
These practice principles are constantly being reviewed and updated. The latest version is usually available on my website here.