AFTER YOUR GP
REFERRAL TO ARC...
Your allocated counsellor will contact you, often by phoning you, and set up an initial meeting to listen to your concerns, answer any questions and help define what you want to achieve in therapy.
Putting Personal Recovery at the Heart of what we do...
Our personal recovery is about discovering, often re-discovering a sense of identity, separate from illness or disability. The helping relationship between therapists and clients is a partnership on a journey of personal discovery. As such, struggles, challenges, feelings and emotions are explored as part of being human.
"Retrospectively, I think I was heading for some kind of breakdown. I had never experienced such ups and downs and I was frightened, very frightened at how debilitating my situation had become."
CONTRACT FOR SESSIONS
Arc offers provision of one to one counselling and also specialist trauma treatment such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) - The normal duration of a session is between fifty minutes and one hour. At the end of your initial meeting, a mutual agreement for further counselling is likely to be made, six further contracted sessions in the first instance after which the work will be reviewed. Attendance to the sessions is often weekly. Fortnightly or even monthly sessions can be offered at the maintenance stage of your recovery.
Please try and give as much notice as possible if you are not going to come to a session. If you do not attend your appointment and do not make contact we will assume you no longer require our services. As the counsellor to client relationship is exclusive, there is usually no cover if the counsellor is on short vacation, ill or otherwise absent. However, cover can be negotiated with your counsellor if necessary.
We can only remain a free service if clients who can afford it make a contribution towards the cost of their sessions. Each session costs Arc £45 so no matter how small, all donations help towards the cost. Collection boxes are placed in the counselling rooms.
ARC (Axminster) Ltd and all our counsellors adhere to the ethical framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
A counsellor does not work in isolation. Each counsellor works with the guidance and support of a supervisor. This method of working has been found to benefit both client and therapist and is now a professional requirement. This clinical supervision does not breach confidentiality as clients are not identified.
The matters discussed in counselling sessions with ARC are treated as strictly confidential. This means that we would not normally reveal any information to other people, including spouses, partners, parents, children, relatives, teachers, employers, social workers, health professionals or probation officers, other than at your request or with your agreement.
As your GP has referred you, your referral letter to Arc will be in your medical record with a summary of your concerns. It is our clinical practice, with your consent, to enter small entries to record our involvement in your emotional health. These careful notes do not divulge the content of the sessions but its clinical process.
There is a legal requirement to report information relating to an act of terrorism or money laundering through drug trafficking. For very serious reasons, it is also possible for a judge to demand access to confidential information.
If you disclose that there is s serious risk to your own or someone else’s life, we have a procedure to evaluate the risk and we would wish to support you in acting to remove that risk. In any case, we will inform the authorities if the risk is evaluated as serious.
If you disclose that a child is currently experiencing or is in danger of experiencing abuse, as designed by the Children Act 1989, we would wish to support you in acting to protect that child. If the abuse is serious we have procedures to act for the benefit and protection of the child that do not necessarily require the source of the information to be revealed. Wherever possible, if we feel that we need to suspend confidentiality for one of these reasons, we would discuss the matter with you and arrange appropriate support before any action was taken.
It can be common practice or a counsellor to write additional notes on each session. These constitute factual details, reflection on the counselling process, the making of therapeutic contracts and progress towards goals. With some notice a client may view the records of their sessions.
All records either written or on computers are secure and access is limited
As part of our child protection policy, sessions with those under 18 may be recorded. This is done unobtrusively but always with the consent of the client.
With clients over 18, the counsellor may also request the client’s consent to record some or all of the sessions, either to be used for clinical supervision or the counsellor’s exams. When used in this way, the identity of the client is never revealed. Special permission for this use would be sought and a separate form provided to record agreement for this use. The client can, at any time, ask for the recording to stop.
COMPLIMENTS AND COMPLAINTS
It is important to our service to take into account all feedback. Clients are offered Feedback forms that they are welcome to use at any stage of their therapeutic work. The nominated Service User's Advocate is also available to any client who has any complaint that cannot be resolved with the counsellor directly. They can be reached in the first instance in writing at the Medical Practice. Any complaint that cannot be resolved will become formal and be passed to the trustees for investigation and appropriate action.
HOW DOES EMDR WORK?
(Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing)
When a person is involved in a distressing situation or environment, they may feel overwhelmed and their brain may be unable to process the information like a normal memory. The distressing memory becomes frozen on a neurological level. This can manifest itself in intrusive thoughts, disturbing dreams, distressing flashbacks, avoidance of reminders, or simply in being bothered now by something in the past. If there are no clear memories to recall it can still work.
During EMDR, the client is shown eye movements, similar to the rapid eye movement (REM) that occur naturally whilst in dream sleep. Sometimes sounds or tapping are also used. This alternating left-right stimulation of the brain seems to activate the frozen or blocked information processing system.
In the process the distressing memories lose their intensity and become more like ‘ordinary’ memories.
EMDR light bar,
funded by Awards for All.
The effect is believed to be similar to that which occurs naturally during REM sleep, when deep neurological processing takes place. EMDR helps reduce the distress of all kinds of memories, whether it was what you saw, heard, smelt, tasted, felt or thought.
This means that a person’s trauma-related symptoms can be completely relieved in a very short space of time. Moreover, this change is permanent once processed, the traumatic experience has lost its power to distress.
EMDR, as a powerful psychological treatment method, is recognised by NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) and WHO (World Health Organisation).