General Terms and Conditions
(June 2023)

All counsellors who work with International Counselling Connections are members of a professional body in the Netherlands and practice under the highest professional standards, following the ethical framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). A copy of this framework may be downloaded from the BACP website.

The Therapeutic Relationship

Counselling involves meeting online or at an agreed-upon location at a specific time, as agreed. The sessions are conducted according to the accepted practices of counselling and psychotherapy, and last approximately 50 minutes.

In accordance with the ethical principles of the BACP, ICC counsellors exercise the utmost care in their practice, providing a sincere, respectful, confidential, and understanding relationship with the client, in addition to being impartial and objective.

As a client, you are asked to be honest and open and to participate actively in the therapeutic process, remembering that as client, you are responsible for your own choices and decisions.

The counselling process can start if the client has indicated that s/he wishes to start with the counsellor involved and that the counsellor believes s/he can provide the support the client requires.

At the first session, the counsellor will present the client with a contract that outlines the conditions of the therapeutic relationship. The counsellor might also request further information from the client (such as GP's name, medications used, etc.).

The therapeutic relationship between counsellor and client is entered into for a period of time specified in the contract, which can be modified at any time by mutual agreement.

Either party may terminate the contract verbally or in writing at any time.

The counsellor is not liable for damages of any kind that arise from incorrect and/or incomplete information provided by the client.

Absence

The counsellor will make arrangements for holiday periods or in the case of illness. If that is not possible, the client can, if desired, contact another counsellor. In the event of a prolonged absence, another counsellor can be assigned to continue the client's therapy. This will not be done without the permission of the client, which, if given, enables the substituting counsellor to have access to the client-counsellor contract and accompanying file. The client must give written consent for this.

Clients are requested to give a minimum of 24 hours' notice if they need to miss a session. Without such notice, the counsellor has the right to charge the client in full for the missed session.

If the counsellor is unable to attend a session, s/he will inform the client in good time, no less than one hour before the session. The counsellor cannot be held liable in case of force majeure for costs or other matters accrued by the client with regard to a missed session.

Confidentiality

Both parties are bound to secrecy regarding all confidential information they have obtained within the scope of their agreement.

Personal information about the client will only be passed on to a third party with his or her consent, unless the counsellor believes that there is a risk of harm. The counsellor will always try to discuss this with the client first in order to establish the best way forward. If it is not possible to discuss it with the client, the counsellor will contact the client's GP or other relevant authorities. Please see our Privacy Declaration for more details.

If, on the basis of a legal provision or a court decision, the counsellor is bound to reveal confidential information designated by law or a competent authority, and the client cannot invoke a legal right in this regard or a right of non-disclosure recognized or permitted by the competent authority, then the counsellor is not obliged to pay damages or compensation to the client, nor is the client entitled to dissolve the agreement on the basis of any damage, that might arise as a result.

The client may access his or her personal information upon prior request. Please see our Privacy Declaration for more details.

Complaint Procedure

ICC counsellors who are members of the Algemene Beroepsvereniging voor Counselling (ABvC), registered with the Kamer van Koophandel in Amsterdam under number 33299478, are subject to their complaints procedure. Such complaints are overseen by the Stichting voor Complementaire en Alternatieve Gezondheidszorg (SCAG), a foundation for complementary and alternative healthcare. You can download a PDF copy of the SCAG brochure in English here).

However, such issues often arise from simple misunderstandings and can be easily resolved; the first step in the complaints procedure is to discuss the problem with your counsellor, if possible. The next step is to contact the complaints officer of the ABvC (klachten@abvc.nl). If you are still not satisfied, the complaint will be submitted to the SCAG.

Fee

The contract specifies the fee that the client will be charged for each session. This fee is calculated according to the usual rates for counselling and psychotherapy in the area and applies for the duration of the agreement, unless it is agreed in writing that fees for specified therapeutic approaches are greater that the fee stated in the contract.

Clients being seen in person are requested to pay the fee for the session in cash at the time of the session, unless other arrangements have been made. An invoice will be provided for clients who wish to claim reimbursement from their insurer. Clients who are seen online will be sent an invoice for their session. Outstanding amounts arising from the sessions must be paid within 14 days after invoice date.

The fee is exempt from VAT with regard to counselling/psychosocial therapy.

In line with inflation and in conformity with the market, the counsellor is entitled to adjust the fee on 1 January. Furthermore, the counsellor is entitled to pass on price increases if, between the moment of the offer and the implementation of the agreement, the rates with regard to costs (such as room fees) have increased.

All items loaned to the client by the counsellor, including any designs, sketches, drawings, films, books, software, files (paper or electronic), etc., remain the property of the counsellor unless both parties agree otherwise in writing.

Collection Costs

If the client is in default or fails to comply with one or more of his or her obligations, then all reasonable costs to obtain payment will be incurred out of court at the expense of the client. If the client remains in default in the timely payment of a sum of money, an immediately due and payable fine of 15% on the amount due will be incurred (to a maximum of 50.00 [fifty euros]).

If the counsellor has incurred reasonably necessary costs in addition to the fee, these are also eligible for reimbursement.

Any reasonable legal and enforcement costs incurred, as well as interest, are also included in the account of the client.

International Counselling Connections
reserves the right to change these terms and conditions
without notification.
All clients are responsible for keeping up to date with the information we provide on our website.

June 2023