Dr Michelle Benson, DPsych
counselling psychologist. 

Please kindly ensure you have read through our terms and conditions. By clicking CONSENT you are agreeing with these terms.

  1. Code of Ethics

I endeavour to abide by the ethical frameworks of the professional organisations to which I belong, including the British Psychological Society and the Health and Care Professions Council. 

   2. Length of Sessions 

Individual sessions are 50 minutes long. The number and frequency of sessions will be negotiated with you. 

   3. Lateness 

If you are late for a session, the extra time cannot be added on at the end; however, if I am late, the full session will take place if it is convenient for you. If it is not, I will reduce the fee for the session accordingly.  

   4. Cancellation Policy

Please give as much notice as possible if you are unable to make a session. I will need to charge the full fee if you do not appear for your appointment or if you cancel within 24 hours of your session. If I have another available time slot within the same week that you are able to attend instead, I am happy to waive this charge – however, please be aware that empty time slots are not always available. Occasionally clients are surprised by this policy, and I do understand that things come up; however, less than 24 hours’ notice significantly decreases the likelihood that another client can be booked in, and I will remain liable for the consulting room fee. I prefer that you cancel appointments via a telephone call or text to 07939 985919. I will notify you well in advance of any anticipated absences or necessary changes. 

   5. Fees and payment terms 

Insurance clients: If you have health insurance, please note that insurance companies only pay for sessions that have taken place and do not permit me to charge them for sessions that did not occur (regardless of the reason for or timings of the cancellation), so this cost must be passed on to the client. It is also integral that you inform the practice about your intention to use your health insurance to cover the cost of treatment at the outset, prior to treatment commencing, as it may not be possible to pay through insurance midway through treatment.  

Sessions are £180 for individual and £210 for couples or family sessions during regular clinic times. Remote sessions using Zoom may be available outside of clinic times after a face-to-face assessment.  

If you are paying for your therapy without claiming through insurance, an invoice will be sent to you following the appointment and should be paid within seven days. Failure to settle invoices may result in follow up appointments being postponed or cancelled. Please ensure that the email address provided on the personal information form is the email address that I can send invoices to. If this is a different address to the email address that you would prefer me to use for general correspondence please provide both email addresses and specify their functions.  

   6. Insurance

Insurance companies that cover my services include Axa, Aviva, Healix, Cigna International, Vitality and WPA. If I am not currently listed as a provider with your insurance company, it may very well be that this could be arranged – please inquire. Please note that invoices should be paid within seven days, and you will be provided with a receipt which you can pass on to your insurer to reclaim your payment.  We are unable to invoice your insurance company directly.

   7. Email contact 

My email address (admin@mbpsychology.co.uk) is intended for enquiries, appointment scheduling, and other administrative purposes. My personal assistant handles much of this and is bound by a confidentiality agreement. I am not able to provide email counselling and would not be able to respond to an email written in a crisis situation. Please email as far in advance as possible for cancellation or alteration of existing appointments or call 07939 985919. 

   8. Crisis 

Outside of scheduled sessions, I can only offer limited support in a crisis. You have several alternatives in a crisis situation (e.g., if you feel you/or your child are a danger to yourself/themselves or are otherwise in need of immediate help):  
– Contact your General Practitioner (GP).  

– Go to your nearest A&E Department.  

– Ring the Samaritans (116 123). 

– Ring the Mental Health Helpline (0300 304 7000). 

   9. Telephone contact outside of scheduled sessions 

If substantial telephone or video call contact of a therapeutic nature occurs outside of your scheduled face-to-face sessions, I may need to charge you for this time. If you are unsure, please clarify this with me. 

   10. Sharing information  

General Medical Council guidelines advise that best practice is for psychologists to communicate with a client’s General Practitioner (GP); this is one reason why your GP’s name and address is requested on the client information form. I do not, however, liaise with GPs or other parties unless this is deemed necessary and/or helpful. I will discuss this with you in the first session. In instances of perceived risk to self or others, I will need to communicate with your GP. If you wish me to be able to discuss your situation with another health care provider (e.g., a specialist, another psychologist, a previous therapist) or any other person (e.g., a school counsellor, your spouse), I will ask you to sign a third party consent form. For children under 16, I will assume permission to share information with the parents if it is deemed necessary. 

   11. Confidentiality 

Information on and details of sessions are confidential but may also be shared (minus any identifying information) in the context of clinical/peer supervision. There are some limits to confidentiality, which may have to be broken if: 
– I am of the belief that serious injury or harm may occur to you or someone else; 

– Child abuse has been disclosed; 

– A miscarriage of justice will occur; 

– Information is disclosed about an act of terrorism; or 

– I am summoned by a Court of Law. 

In the first instance, I would at the very least contact your General Practitioner and the next of kin given on the client information form. Where possible, I will always inform you first and discuss it with you if confidentiality is going to be broken. My personal assistant also has access to emails and other client information and has signed a confidentiality agreement. My PA may correspond with you about appointment scheduling and other practice matters. 

   12. Record keeping and data protection  

Your data is processed in line with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and professional practice guidelines. Your personally identifiable data is only processed by and between myself, my personal assistant, your insurance provider, and any other parties to whom you have given data-sharing consent, to include other health-care providers. When making process notes in session, I do not include any identifying information (e.g., name, initials, or time/date of session). 

Any electronic client records, and/or the devices on which they are kept, are encrypted and/or password protected. I will obtain your consent to use email and/or SMS to correspond with you. I do not transport paper material with identifying information. If I receive information at my rented premises, I will record information in an anonymised or password-protected format for safe transport. I take steps to ensure that no one else can access your personal data without your specific consent. In the unlikely event of a data breach, I will report this to you and to the Information Commissioner’s Office within 72 hours. You are able to request copies of the data I hold about you. I will respond within 30 calendar days. There is no fee for this. After your therapy has ended, I will retain your data for seven years, in line with professional practice guidelines. At that point they will be destroyed/erased, to include all electronic communications. In certain circumstances, you may wish to have your personal data permanently erased sooner than this. This is known as the right to be forgotten. To allow me to do so, I will need a clear and specific request from you via email to admin@mbpsychology.co.uk.