I've spent a lot of time reflecting on how to transparently and collaboratively work with others, and this is an important piece - the basic principles of our working relationship.
That being said, I'm a business owner who needs to survive within capitalism so I do have some collaboration guidelines;
I've been living with chronic fatigue since 2015-ish, and rely on the people in my life to help protect me from illness. Something that might seem minor for you, can have a significant impact on my health for weeks or even months.
For face-to-face sessions I require that;
- you're currently well (no colds, flus, or other lurgies) AND
- have had a least 10 days pass since a COVID infection AND at least 3 symptom free days
If you're unwell on the day of our appointment please let me know ASAP and we can either reschedule or switch to an online format.
I use Acuity Scheduling for bookings which means you schedule your own sessions.
I suggest you book in advance so you get the time that works for you! I have limited calendar flexibility which I navigate on a case-by-case basis.
Rescheduling is easy too - you do that via the link in your confirmation email, up to 24 hours before your session.
Cancellations with at least 24 hours notice can be rescheduled for a later date.
In the current climate, COVID or illness related cancellations are cool right up until the buzzer. Like, if you're sick, please don't come! In that circumstance I'll allow last minute rescheduling at my discretion. One time - for sure. Twice - mmmm maybe. More than that? Probs not.
Not showing up is considered a cancellation with zero notice. That's never happened, but it's good to be clear.
You can cancel any online class up to 24 hours before the event. Cancellations within 24 hours of the class date are non-refundable, but attendees may transfer the entire fee, one time, to another class within one year from the date of the cancellation.
PLEASE NOTE: All class fees are non-refundable after the commencement date of the class.
3 month coaching programs (6 sessions) expire 4 months from the date of your first session.
This is because I limit the number of clients I work with to make sure you get my time, energy, and attention. Open programs with incomplete sessions means I can't start with new clients, and sessional clients have fewer booking options.
I'm open to negotiating extensions or pauses at my discretion. You need to make this request in writing via email, so that we both have a clear record of what we have agreed to.
Money can carry some weird vibes & it also gatekeeps accessibility. I'm committed to changing the way navigate it together;
You are contractually & relationally bound to the financial agreement we have made. This includes allowing automatic payments by entering your credit details and enabling automatic payments.
If for any reason (even a bad reason) you're unable to make a payment, or you would like to put your program on pause, please make this request in writing via email, so that we both have a clear record of what we have agreed to.
Longer term payment plans are available at my discretion.
Payment plans include;
- programs where sessions are completed in advance of your payments
- longer term payment plans
I'm cool to put a pause on your payments for up to one month, this paused payment/s will be added to the end of your payment schedule.
All refunds are at my discretion, please make any requests in writing via email, so that we both have a clear record of what we have agreed to.
- Coaching Programs.
$387 of a program is non-refundable once you've had your first session. This applies regardless of your payment frequency.Program payments for months two and three may be refunded at my discretion.
- Payment Plans.
If you've paid for more sessions than you've had, I will refund the balance (with the exception of the first month as described above).
If you've paid for less sessions than you've had, you need to complete payment for those sessions at $193.50 per session.
Digital items including;
- downloadable audio
- downloadable video
- workbooks and digital documents,
- and online self-paced courses,
are all non-refundable.
I am always available to you on email.
For folks who are currently working with me I invite you to email me to;
- ask questions
- share progress
- vent or share frustrations
- request support or specific resources
- give me feedback about my approach, your program, our work together.
This is something I do because it is important to me. It's a service I offer outside of your paid program and at my discretion.
I won't always reply right away; It's not unusual for me to take a day or two to read & process emails, and another two or three days to consider and formulate a thoughtful response.
The culture of urgency and the constant fragmentation of time are neither compatible with the relational work that I do, the kind of life I want, nor the world I'd like to live in. Thank you in advance for your support & understanding.
Once your program is completed, I like to make sure you're okay!
Depending on the work we've done, your current circumstances, and our previous patterns of communication, I'm likely to check-in with you from time to time.
That might happen a few times in the first month (like a text or email), monthly for a few more months, then less often after that.
I send a more formal check-in after 3, 6, and 12 months. Most people find this helpful, some as a reminder of how far they have come, some as a prompt to do some maintenance sessions, and some realise they need to book their next program.
12 months after our work together I will send you a link to redo your Initial Questionnaire for comparison (if you like!) This is totally optional. It's also usually the last time I check-in unless you have specifically requested I continue.
If this sounds like something you don't want, just let me know.
I believe that feedback is a conversation, and in inviting yours I'd like to also ask for permission to give feedback to you.
I commit to only ever giving you feedback that is well considered, framed constructively, actionable and offered in a timely manner. I also commit to ensuring that you get lots of feedback on the things I think you do really well!
I will always respond with appreciation for your feedback, and incorporate it into our session & future work.
In any session, at any given moment, I am juggling a whole lot of things; what's being said, what's not being said, body language, your coaching goals, what is informing this dynamic, what would be most helpful right now, and more.
That means sometimes I miss things, make mistakes, say the wrong thing, don't say the right thing, or otherwise fuck it up. AND everyone has different preferences for approach, communication style, pace, intensity, and all the other variables!
Your feedback allows me deeper insight into something I have missed or incompletely understood, and allows us to do really important work together. If you think I've missed the point, if you're feeling frustrated, or if you don't feel like the work we are doing is effective, then sharing that feedback means I can adjust so that our work is meaningful.
It's also a meta-relationship skill that we can develop together!
Privacy & Confidentiality
I take notes for Zoom sessions, and take photos of the whiteboard/blackboard that we use in our session.
I keep those as a reference for myself to make sure I circle back to important moments, and so I remember the content and trajectory of our work. I save those electronically in Trello & archive them later on my hard drive. They're usually pretty high level & mostly nonsensical to anyone but me.
If you'd prefer that I destroy those, I'm cool with that and have a hungry hungry worm farm who love to bed down in my work.
I will never share identifiable details about you, your partner, your relationship, or anything else you share with me.
There are a few exceptions to this;
- danger to life
Even in those instances (especially in those instances!) I will collaborate & consult with you to make a plan of action.
I may share the content of a challenge you are having with a mentor or supervisor to seek insight & guidance, but will never include specifics that might identify you to them.
I will never share a confidence or private information with your partner.
I am walking a fine line here between maintaining confidence versus secrecy. There may be times where you share something with me that I feel impacts our ability to do couples work in good faith. If that occurs, I will collaborate & consult with you to make a plan of action.
If you live in this area, we might see each other in the street!
I mean, I'm a total introvert so it's unlikely... but maybe we're both in Aldi one day at the same time. Usually I just casually say "oh hey!" and keep on moving. If you'd prefer something different we can work that out together.
In Australia, coaching is an unregulated industry.
I do not have mandatory reporting requirements, and I also believe that unilaterally involving third parties in complicated situations can cause more damage than good (for example; police, mental health crisis team, legal representatives, or even families).
Having said that, I have a strong moral & ethical code.
I am always striving to hold the health, wellness, safety, and happiness of all partners as my highest goal. Sometimes that might mean I strongly suggest support from additional allied health professionals, but I will do this in collaboration & consultation with you.
The only exception to this is in situations of Intimate Partner Violence (including physical, financial, emotional, sexual, coercive control).
I am 100% committed to providing you with tools & insights to support you in developing relational skills.
- seeking input from you about your relational goals
- collaborating with you on session content & priorities
- continued professional education.
Working with a couples therapist is kind of like working with a personal trainer;
You go to your session and they formulate a plan, guide you through a program, give you feedback on your skill, and provide tools for you to implement between your sessions.
It is what you do in your gym time consistently week to week that creates the change & results you are seeking.
Couples therapy is the same.
I'm committed to formulate the plan, guide you through the program, give you feedback on your skill, provide insight, and provide tools & resources for you to implement between sessions. It is what you do in your life consistently week to week that creates the change & results you are seeking.
AND sometimes life gets in the way and for whatever reason you don't, can't, or won't implement the things.
That's all good data for our work together! There's no shame or blame in not doing homework, in fact the feedback & insights we can gain from looking at what kept you from implementing the experiment might be the very information we need to find the thing that DOES work.
Please don't apologise or feel like you can't book your next session if you haven't done anything in between.
The work that we do in our sessions is my best (well informed) guess in a complex and dynamic situation.
That means I can't guarantee your results.
(Also anyone who is guaranteeing your results in this kind of work ought be viewed with healthy skepticism)
You may not like the results;
Sometimes one partner unilaterally decides they want to end a relationship/s as a result of the work we do together. I have no skin in this game and am committed to working with each of you to become clearer on what is best for you, then supporting you to achieve that in a healthier way.
If I were to position myself to encourage folks to stay together no matter the cost, that would not be doing anyone a service.