What's the catch with the free session? Would I have to sign up to a plan or pay in advance?
There is no catch with the free initial consultation session; this video-call/telephone session is there to give you a chance to ask me any questions you may have about CHIME to Thrive and about what to expect from future sessions, if you choose to book any in future. The free session also gives us a chance to get to know each other a bit and allows me to begin to get a picture of what life looks like for you at the moment and how I can help you. There is no obligation to book any future sessions following this session and you will not have to pay for this session whether or not you choose to have future sessions.
Can I 'bring' another person with me to the sessions?
Absolutely - friends, family and/or pets are very welcome to attend at any time as long as you consent; whatever makes you feel the most comfortable.
Other services have said I can't work on my mental health problems while I have an addiction. I want help but it's not as simple as that. What criteria do I have to meet to access this service?
There are no requirements in terms of substance use or other medical conditions; I understand that people don't fit neatly into boxes and that other things often go hand-in-hand with mental health problems. My supervisor is a Clinical Phsychologist and expert in substance misuse and will be able to guide me on how to best support you.
The main thing I ask is that you commit to trying your best both within and outside sessions, and that you are open to the idea that things can get better, even if you don't fully believe it right now.
What personal data do you collect and what happens to it?
I will ask you to complete an emergency contact form, prior to the first session. This form will be stored securely in line with GDPR and will only be used in exceptional circumstances e.g. if I am worried about your immediate safety during a session - we would discuss this at the time, if this was the case, and I would listen to your preferences around who to contact and encourage and support you to do this yourself if you felt able. Unlike certain organisations though, because I believe things can and will get better for you, should you find yourself in a crisis situation, it is my duty to you to act on this and to use the emergency contact details and/or emergency services even if you . Again, this will only be in exceptional circumstances.
This form as well as any other personal data e.g. emails, session notes or 'homework' tasks will be deleted as soon as you tell me that you no longer wish to work together - this may be as soon as the initial free session, or may be after a period of time working together, unless you specify otherwise - e.g. you would like a break from sessions but plan to return in future - I would get your consent for this.
Will what we discuss stay confidential?
The only person I will discuss clients with is my Clinical Supervisor who is a trained Clinical Psychologist. The reason I discuss clients with a supervisor is to get a trained and experienced mental health professional's perspective and guidance on how to best support you. I also discuss my business with him more generally to ensure that I keep well; all supporters need support.
Other than this, everything we discuss will be confidential unless you ask me to share information with others e.g. letters/reports or to advocate on your behalf.
The only exception to confidentiality being broken would be if I became concerned of risk of harm to either yourself or others, as discussed above.
i DON'T HAVE A DIAGNOSED MENTAL HEALTH condition BUT i STRUGGLE WITH MY MENTAL HEALTH. dO I NEED A DIAGNOSIS TO ACCESS THIS SERVICE?
You are the expert in your mental health and you know whether or not your mental health is affecting your ability to lead the life you want to lead. If your emotions, physical symptoms or behaviour are negatively impacting you on a regular basis and you are struggling to find support or a way forward then you are able to access this service whether or not you have a diagnosis.
Is there a maximum number of sessions?
No, there is no quota on the number of sessions you can access; as long as you feel the support you are receiving is benefitting your mental wellbeing then you will be able to continue to access this service. We will regularly review together whether this is still the right service for you to ensure you are not paying for something that you no longer need. Some people may want to take breaks from sessions at different points and come back at a later date so that their sessions 'go further', which is absolutely fine.