Terms & Conditions

Counselling sessions will take place once a week and will usually be for 60 minutes. Your counsellor will hold regular reviews with you once every 6-8 sessions to help you explore your ongoing counselling goals. How many sessions you will need depends entirely on your own personal circumstances. You are free to stop counselling at any time.

If you feel for any reason that your counsellor isn't the right counsellor for you, in the first instance we would encourage you to talk about this with your counsellor. However, if you'd prefer, you may contact the office to speak to the manager so that we can try and find you a new counsellor. This may mean another wait before we are able to reassign you.

We are a busy agency committed to helping people in our community and missed sessions can be very disruptive for our volunteer counsellors and staff. If you do not attend your counselling session and you don't let us know at least 24 hours before your appointment, you will need to contribute 100% of your agreed Olive Branch donation. This helps cover the cost of your missed session.

Persistent non-attendance or cancelled sessions diminish the effectiveness of the work you can do with your counsellor and prevents us from helping other people. Therefore, should you miss 2 sessions in a row without contacting us; we will notify you of the termination of your counselling. Your time slot will then be offered to someone on the waiting list. If you continually cancel your appointments your counsellor will discuss the impact of this with you and explore whether this is the right time for you to access counselling. We may have to terminate the counselling in the case of multiple cancelled or late sessions.

All of our counsellors are professionally trained to a minimum of a level 3 qualification. Some of our counsellors will be on placement with us whilst they are increasing their level of qualification. All work voluntarily for Olive Branch. Our counsellors have regular supervision to ensure their work with clients is ethical and in their best interests.

We are affiliated to the National Counselling & Psychotherapy Society (NCPS) and all our counsellors' work within their Code of Ethics and Practice, a copy is available from our office. Anything you share with your counsellor will be treated as confidential and confidentiality is maintained within the agency. However, certain legal and ethical guidelines require that should your counsellor consider you or someone you talk about to be at risk of serious harm, further action may be required and other agencies may need to be informed. In most cases, your counsellor would discuss this with you.

At Olive Branch our counsellors will work in a therapeutic setting with issues which impact the way in which you deal with life and engage with others; we do however reserve the right to terminate counselling for physical or verbal abuse of any kind directed towards our counsellors. Your counselling will not continue if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs whilst in the Olive Branch building.

Please also note that we only work with you independently, we don't offer therapy to to those currently engaged in therapy elsewhere (unless it is couple's therapy).

Once you have decided that you no longer need counselling, should you decide to contact us for more counselling, a period of at least 6 months will need to have elapsed before we can re-assess you. There is no guarantee that you will be able to see the same counsellor. If it is important to you to see the same counsellor, we will endeavour to accommodate this.

If you are attending in person sessions at the premises in Chippenham, please be aware that the car park attached to our building is not for the use of clients of Olive Branch. There are plenty of car parks nearby and on road parking if needed.

If you should have a complaint about any aspect of our service please put this in writing and address it to: The Manager, Olive Branch, First Floor, 21 Gladstone Road, Chippenham. SN15 3BW. Alternatively please address your complaint to The Chair of Trustees.

If you are a UK tax payer, can we send you a gift aid form to complete? For every £1 you donate, we can claim 25p from the government.

Please note we will only try contact you 3 times following receipt of your referral form.

Cancelling sessions with more than 24 hours notice attract no fees. Cancelling sessions with 24 hours notice or less mean you will be required to pay 100% of your session fee. Missed sessions and no contact also require your full session fee to be donated.

Continual missed payments, even if later met, will result in your counselling being discontinued.

Olive Branch Counselling is required by law to break confidentiality in relation to the following:

  • acts of terrorism
  • drug trafficking and money laundering
  • court orders or subpoenas

Further to this, discretionary disclosures may also include:

  • child protection and safeguarding issues
  • protection of vulnerable adults
  • risk of suicide or serious self-harm or harm to others

Olive Branch has a zero tolerance policy with regards to abuse, threats, or violent behaviour.

You are required to inform Olive Branch of any changes to your contact details, medication, medical diagnosis, or anything else that may affect your counselling.