Notes on Choosing a Contract Form

For a psychotherapist or counsellor, handling a new client can be challenging. Specific concerns may arise. You’ll need to think about these thoroughly, and on top of that, make sure that they are incorporated in the counselling contract.

With that, be aware that every contract can be different from another. Your client’s particular situation and needs are major considerations. Still, this doesn’t mean you need to start from scratch for every new client that comes in. You can get a template from online resources. You only need to fill in the correct details and add the necessary clauses for specific clients.

Be careful though as not every counselling contract example you find would serve your purpose. The primary characteristic that a contract must have is clarity.

With that, here are some recommendations:

  • Find an agreement form that is easy to use. If you don’t find difficulty in putting in your details, chances are the client can easily read the finished contract as well.

  • Choose a contract that uses comprehensive terms.

  • It’s best if your contract doesn’t appear as a technical mumbo-jumbo to your client. So choose one that’s written in plain English.

You’d also want a versatile form so you won’t need a new form for different situations. Choose a form that is usable regardless of theoretical standpoint and client grouping (e.g., 1-on-1, couple, or group).

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