Terms of service
Please be aware that booking or paying for an appointment with Sarah Paton Briggs is deemed to be acceptance of these terms of service as the contract for our work together.
Confidentiality, ethics & supply
Confidentiality: The content of sessions and any correspondence is confidential, according to the professional codes for my work. There is a limitation on confidentiality if sufficient concern arises about the risk of harm to client(s) and/or other(s). In such cases I may need to fulfil my duty of care by breaking confidentiality in order to minimise risk of harm. I am happy to discuss the specific context and implications of this with any client or supervisee.
As guidance for informed consent, I am professionally obliged to report information related to acts of terrorism, money-laundering, child pornography. If a dual relationship is identified, I will attend to developing a protocol for managing confidentiality boundaries.
Ethics and scope of practice: Sessions with any client or supervisee are held in accordance with the ethical code of practice provided by my professional bodies: BACP, COSRT, NCP, EMDR UK, Imago UK. I have an unswerving commitment to providing a professional and private service for all my clients, to ensure quality standards and psychological wellbeing. I pledge to work within my scope of practice and according to the ethical codes of my professional organisations. The code of ethics for each professional body is available online or I can provide this documentation, along with details of how to make a complaint within this framework.
Appointments & Cancellations
Appointments: Bookings can be made either as a regular weekly arrangement if you are looking for a standing appointment at the same time each week. Or bookings can be made from session to session, if you prefer to adapt if your own schedule varies. If we can find a mutually convenient alternative time the same week, the charge will apply for the rescheduled appointment only (without charge for the cancelled slot).
Cancellation or rescheduling: Appointments are charged in full unless notice of cancellation is received at least 3 working days in advance. I am committing to be present for your appointment time and I expect the same of my clients in return. If you become aware of anything which affects your ability to attend a booked appointment, please let me know as soon as you know. I will respond according to the prevailing circumstances. This cancellation policy applies whether the appointment is a regular weekly occurrence or an appointment made from session to session.
This policy is applicable for therapy or for supervision.
Timing: The session will run from the scheduled start time until the scheduled ending time, even if the client arrives late. Full payment will be expected. If the client is absent from the appointment or Zoom call for 15 minutes from the start time, the appointment will be terminated.
Payment: For an initial appointment, I request payment in advance. Invoices are payable within 2 working days of issue unless other arrangements are mutually agreed. My preferred payment method is online funds transfer to my private practice bank account in the name of Ashlar Evolution. Please note that further sessions may be suspended if any session fees remain unpaid.
Ending for therapy & couple therapy
Ending therapy: If more than one session is attended, an agreement is in place to hold a pre-planned ending session when the time comes to bring a close to our work together. In my view, sadly and all too often, endings don’t receive the attention they deserve. I’d like the chance for us to do things better. So I would want us to commit to attending an ending session together within a month of notice being given by the client(s). It is the responsibility of the client(s) to notify me about any intention to end therapy, so that a mutually-agreed ending can be arranged. However, if I determine a reason for ending therapy with a client or clients, I will give notice with a rationale. Depending on the circumstances, I would use best endeavours to provide referral recommendations or signposts for onward therapy provision.
Couple/relationship therapy: The start point is that I will support your relationship to continue, unless I hear one person or both parties say they wish to separate – at which point we would review the role of therapy. If I am contacted by one party in couple, I will usually reply to both. Any correspondence or information which I receive by any mode of communication can be shared transparently as part of the couple/relationship therapy process which has been jointly instructed by both clients. I am willing to work with trauma presented by either party, in order to support the relationship. This may involve at times attending to one person with the other client witnessing in support, by agreement of both clients. Usually all sessions take place with both parties present. I believe that this supports the growth and connection of the couple. That said, I am happy for either or both clients in couple therapy to undertake simultaneous individual therapy with another practitioner.
Diversity & data protection
Diversity and respect: I am committed to the provision of therapy which is inclusive for clients from a diverse range of backgrounds and identities. I uphold therapy which respects differences in ability and disability, age, sex and sexual preference, gender diversity, race, religion, and culture. I would want each client to feel seen, heard and respected during their therapy with me.
Data protection and privacy: Client information is kept according to strict security protocols and confidentiality guidelines, according to my ethical codes, legal requirements and appropriate provisions for data protection. I work in Ashlar Evolution as a sole practitioner. However, in order to provide a professional service, it is necessary to process personal data as part of my remit.