About HYA Counselling
If you would like to start online counselling with us, we will ask you to read and agree to our online counselling agreement below. This explains exactly what you can expect from us and what we will ask of you.
We understand the agreement is a bit long, so please choose a time when you have a few quiet minutes to read it carefully – your counsellor will be happy to answer any questions you have about it before you agree to it.
HYA counselling agreement
When you register for HYA, you are asked to confirm that you want counselling and that you are not being pressured into doing so by someone else.
We also ask you to read and agree to our Confidentiality Policy. Counselling is private and confidential although at times we may need to share information to keep you safe for example:
If we believe that you are not able to take responsibility for your own decisions
If we believe you are at risk of serious harm
If someone else may be at risk of serious harm
In an emergency situation where we think you or someone else is in immediate danger
If ordered to by a court of law
Keeping you safe:
If we become concerned about your safety or the safety of someone else, then we will follow the steps outlined in our Confidentiality Policy.
If we need to share our concerns with someone outside of HYA, we will always try to talk to you about this.
If we are unable to make contact with you on HYA, we will try to get in touch using the information you provided on your registration form, so please keep this up to date if you change phone number/ email address or move house.
Struggling in between sessions
Your counsellor is only available to work with you once each week. Once your counselling sessions are underway, your counsellor will have a live chat session with you once a week at the same agreed time just like you would for face to face counselling. If you message in between this time, your counsellor will probably not respond until your next session.
Sometimes when people start counselling, emotions can rise to the surface that may have been hidden for a long time. In online counselling it can feel easier to talk about deep things more quickly than face to face. If you find, at any stage in between sessions, that you are in crisis, feeling suicidal or having thoughts of self-harm, please click the 'I need help now!' button to inform you what to do next.
Number of messages/sessions
We usually offer six, 50minute counselling sessions, plus a session to ask a few questions to start with which is called an assessment session. Administrative messages such as emails exchanged when asking for help using the platform are not counted within those sessions.
If you have a live chat arranged and you cannot attend, please send your counsellor a message as soon as you know you are not going to be able to attend the session.
If you have not told us you cannot attend your counselling session, your counsellor will send you a message to find out if you plan to attend your next session, if you do not attend the following session we will think you have changed your mind and your counselling will come to an end. If you want to re-register at any stage this is an option for you.
We understand that you might go away for a while because things have been getting better, however we ask for you to let us know that you've decided to end your counselling.
You can come back to HYA if things get difficult again in the future. All you have to do is re-register which is the same way you registered the first time, we will then make contact with you within 48 hours; however, please note we may not be able to allocate you to the same counsellor you were working with before.
Your counsellor will ask you to complete a form called the CORE form each week just before you have your session although this form will be sent out to you at the end of each session for you to fill it in and send back just before your next session is due to start.
The CORE form contains questions for you to answer based on how you have been feeling over the last 7days which is why we ask for you to send it back to your counsellor just before your session rather than in the week.
The forms take only a couple of minutes to complete which helps us to understand the best way to support you. Please make sure you leave time to complete your form.
Seeing Your Counsellor Online outside your session time
Your counsellor will only be able to offer counselling to you once each week. This time will be agreed when you first start working together. Outside this time, your counsellor will not be able to respond to messages.
If you log onto HYA outside of your agreed counselling time and see that your counsellor is online, it may be tempting to message them to ask them to speak to you now.
However, your counsellor will not be able to do this as they will be working with other young people and will need to give them the same focus and concentration they will give you during your sessions.
From time to time there may be problems with computer or internet connections, either at your end or with us at HYA.
If we have a technical issue - we will normally contact you via email or phone, using the details you give us when you register.
If you are having technical issue - and are unable to email us at email@example.com please call 02382 147755 for further support.
It can be annoying and even upsetting if technical problems get in the way of your counselling, however briefly. It can help to be prepared for the possibility (maybe speak to your counsellor in advance if you think this will stress you out a lot, so you can come up with a plan to manage it together) and remember that we will be keen to keep working with you as soon as we can.
Feedback and Complaints
Feedback is very important to us and we want to hear about your experience of using HYA, whether it is good or bad. To give feedback, please use the button on our homepage 'I want to give feedback'.
If you wish to make a complaint please find out how to do that here.
Please take a moment to check you have read and understood this agreement and the confidentiality agreement fully. If you have any questions, please ask your counsellor.
If you are not signed up for online counselling and want to talk to someone in more detail about how it will work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02382 147755 for more information.
You can download your counselling agreement, click here.