Client Agreement & Consent For Online Therapy

Please read this Client Agreement before starting your therapy session

We want to ensure that your time with Gaia Medical is as successful and helpful as possible for you. We want to support you as best as we can, and in order for us to do that, it is important for you to know exactly what you can expect from our service.

Firstly, it’s important to confirm that by using Gaia Medical, it means that you not only agree to this client agreement, but that you also agree to our Privacy Policy, our Terms and Conditions For Online Therapy Services and our Website Terms & Conditions.

Please note: there are some terms that we use interchangeably, for example “counsellors” and “therapists” are used interchangabley, as are “clients” and “users”.

1. Gaia Medical is not a crisis service

You should do not use our service if you are in crisis

We are not an immediate crisis service and we don’t employ staff to be on call. We’re also not a medical service. If you are in crisis and need help urgently, please visit this page to contact one of the hotlines listed for your country. If you think you might harm yourself or someone else, please call the emergency services, or go straight to an emergency hospital department.

2. Gaia Medical is not a replacement for medical treatment

The support we can provide you is limited

Gaia Medical therapists are able to support you if you want to keep on top of your emotional wellbeing. They can work with you if you experience anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems, so long as you’re able to manage your wellbeing day-to-day and aren’t considering causing harm to yourself or others. If you need more support than Gaia Medial can offer, we will work with you to help you find that support.

3. Gaia Medical is confidential within legal and ethical limits

We have legal obligations according to the laws of the UK

According to UK law, our therapists have to contact the emergency services if they believe you might hurt yourself or someone else, or if you mention terrorism or money laundering. If you are based outside of the UK, our therapists will have to contact the emergency contact you gave us and ask them to contact the emergency services on their behalf as they cannot contact emergency services internationally.

If you’re involved in a crime, a UK court might ask us to share any information we have on you and we’d legally have to agree, even if all the information we hold about you is your session booking details.

Our therapists must have clinical supervision

All of our therapists are required to have a clinical supervisor in accordance with their professional body’s ethical guidelines and the BACP’s ethical guidelines which we follow.

This means that our therapists may discuss some of their work with their Clinical Supervisor, but if they do, they may share your first name, but they won’t tell their Clinical Supervisors anything that could identify you – they will only discuss clinical matters, such as what technique to employ or how they can support you better.

If you would like details of your therapist’s Clinical Supervisor, you are able to ask your therapist for this information.

If your therapist is worried about you (for example, if you miss a session without giving notice after discussing a difficult situation with them), then they may seek advice from their Clinical Supervisor on what they should do. They may get in touch with you to make sure you’re OK. If your therapist needs to contact you outside of your session, they will use the email address and phone number you gave Gaia Medical when you booked your session, or any other contact details you gave them directly.

Please let your therapist know during the consultation if you’d like them to do anything else in case they feel concerned about you, such as call a friend or family member.

There are a few reasons why we may need to break confidentiality

If your therapist has a reason to believe that you are at risk, or that you are putting others around you at risk, they may need to break confidentiality in order to protect you and those around you.

Your therapist and Gaia Medical will do their best to try to speak to you about our concerns before breaking confidentiality, and we will do our best to at least notify you before it happens. However, please be aware that there may be times when we are unable to do this because of UK law.

Please do your best not to share any sensitive information in emails

It’s important that you do not share any sensitive information when you email your therapist or Gaia Medical. Although you are always welcome to contact your therapist or Gaia Medical with any questions you have or any technical support you may need, please do not share sensitive information regarding your health or circumstances in these emails. For example, you are welcome to discuss arranging your sessions, or ask questions about our policies, but you should do your best not to share detailed information about your symptoms or mental health.

4. Gaia Medical does not offer advice

Therapy is not advice

Our therapists can’t tell you how to live your life. Therapy is about helping you find your own answers.

Our therapists will use their training and clinical experience to offer you the best guidance and mental health support possible. If they are concerned about you, they may encourage you to work with us to find further support. Or it may be that during therapy, our therapists ask you questions that challenge your assumptions. None of these things mean that they’re telling you what to do.

5. You need to cancel sessions on time

Please respect your therapist’s time

We understand that there may be times when you are not able to attend your sessions due to certain circumstances. However, last minute cancellations mean lost therapy sessions – for you, for your therapist, and for anyone who could have used that session instead.

This is why we need you to give us 48 hours’ notice if you can’t attend your therapy sessions with Gaia Medical. If you can’t make a session, just reschedule by logging in to your account here and updating your appointment, or email us as soon as you know you can’t make it.

If you give us 48 hours’ notice or more, you can just reschedule the session for another time. If you cancel late, or if you arrive late for the session, we’re going to have to count that session as used, and we will need to charge you for it whether you were there or not. (We always pay our therapists for booked sessions.)

6. You must prepare for your sessions

Preparing for your session will help you get the most out of it

We do everything we can, on our end, to make sure that your therapy sessions with Gaia Medical run as smoothly as possible. However, there are some things that you also need to do to ensure that you make the most of your time with your therapist.

You’re responsible for finding a private and safe location to have your session, a space where you can speak without fear of being overheard or interrupted. Please make sure that there is no external noise, or other people present during your session. If you have your phone next to you during your session, please make sure that this is turned off or put on silent.

Doing these things will help ensure that:

  • You are free to speak and what you say is confidential
  • You are not distracted during your therapy session
  • There is no interference with the audio quality during the sessions

If you live with other people, you’re also responsible for letting those around you know that you don’t want to be interrupted during your therapy session.

It is also important that your screen is not visible to anyone else (e.g. through a window behind you).

Finally, you need to make sure you have a good enough internet connection to attend the session, as poor internet connections may affect the quality of your session. So please check the quality of your internet before your session begins. If your therapy session is considerably disrupted by having a bad connection and your therapist informs us that you’ve missed a significant proportion of your session because of that, we will happily re-arrange that session for you. However, you must ensure that during the re-arranged session, you have access to a better internet connection.

You can read more about how to prepare for your session here.

7. Your responsibilities as a client during therapy

Successful therapy is not a passive process

It is important to understand that therapy is not a passive process. Your therapist will do the best they can to support and guide you through the process, but you will also need to commit to doing your part.

We know that it can sometimes feel uncomfortable to share personal details about yourself, but it is very important that you communicate as openly and honestly as possible with your therapist, so that they are able to properly understand your concerns, and develop the most appropriate approach to help you. Your therapist will always work collaboratively with you to develop your goals for therapy.

In order for your therapy to be as successful as possible, you should be open to change and committed to the process of therapy. It’s tempting to quit when things get intense, but we encourage you to stick with it through these difficult times. 

Between your sessions, you should also take time to reflect and think through the concerns you are addressing in therapy.

8. You must understand that no online service can totally guarantee complete online security

We do as much as we can to protect your data

The security of your data is incredibly important to us. Gaia Medical will always do everything in its power to make sure that your data is secure, that we only use secure services, and that we put in the appropriate security measures against data breaches.

However, as with any online service, it would be irresponsible of us to totally guarantee complete online security. Unfortunately, we live in a world where viruses and hackers are commonly found. Whilst we do our very best to protect your data against such attacks, we cannot guarantee that this will never happen.

If you have any concerns about this, or would like to know more about the security measures and data protection measures we have in place, please email info@gaiamedical.co.uk and we would be happy to talk through your concerns before your start therapy. 

9. Gaia Medical works under the laws of England & Wales

All legal issues must be taken up in a UK court

Gaia Medical and all of the Gaia Medical therapists are insured and practice under the laws of England & Wales. If you are living or are based in a different country, this means any legal action would have to be raised in a UK court. Obviously, we hope it will never get to this.

We also take the privacy and security of your data very seriously. We are compliant with the UK GDPR laws that dictate how we should collect, store and use your data. 

If you’re not sure about anything written in this agreement, have any questions, or would like to give us feedback, you are welcome to send us an email at info@gaiamedical.co.uk.

If you wish to raise a therapeutic concern or complaint about a therapist, please email info@gaiamedical.co.uk. We begin a full investigation for any complaint sent to this email address.

By signing up for an account and/or booking an appointment with Gaia Medical, you agree to this client agreement, the online therapy terms and conditions, the website terms and conditions and the privacy policy.

Last updated: 1st June 2021