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Our Policy

Hills Relationship Centre is a warm, safe, welcoming and non-judgmental space, and our team are committed to providing you with the best possible counselling experience from the start. Our policies are designed to ensure that each client's experience is respectful, empathetic, and conducive to the therapeutic process. 

Our Approach

Hills Relationship Centre believes in a collaborative approach to the well-being of our clients. This means that we work alongside you, and if you'd like us to, your other health professionals (G.P, Psychologist, Psychiatrist and so on) and your family and friends to help and support you on your journey.

We embrace diversity and respect the full spectrum of human identities. Our team are experienced in working with individuals, couples and families from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, and are GSRD (Gender, Sexuality and Relationship Diversity) friendly. You will always be wholeheartedly welcome and safe at Hills Relationship Centre. 

We value your feedback as it helps us improve our services and provide you with the best possible counselling experience. Please feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions with us at any time.​

Intake Form Policy

When making an appointment for the first time, you will be required to complete an intake form, which will be emailed to you at the time of booking. This ensures we have your correct information on file, and that you understand our policies.

This form is a legal requirement, meaning we will be unable to see you at the centre unless it is completed. It must be completed within the required timeframe to secure your booking. If it is not completed, your appointment will be cancelled.

It is very important that the details we have on file remain up to date. This includes your address, payment details, and contact information. If any of these things change throughout your work with us, it is important that you notify our team as soon as possible.

If you are an existing client and have previously completed an intake form, you will not need to complete it again unless it has been a significant amount of time since your last appointment.

Confidentiality & Privacy Policy

Confidentiality is very important to us because it helps you to feel more comfortable and have trust in us. We typically keep all shared information confidential, except in specific situations:

a) If legally required by a court subpoena.

b) If there's a serious risk of harm to you or others, we may need to involve relevant authorities, such as child protection or the police.

c) With your written consent, we may collaborate with other professionals or agencies, such as your doctor or other mental health care professional, or we may discuss your progress with specified individuals, such as a parent or partner.

In such cases, we'll communicate with you about who will receive the information, what will be shared, and why.

Additionally, all counselors under The Australian Counselling Association or similar bodies undergo supervision to ensure industry standards. While discussing cases in supervision, no identifiable information is disclosed.

Working with Families

When working with families and children, there may be times where we speak to you individually. When our clients are preschool-aged children, we generally only see them with a parent or guardian present and involved in the sessions, so parents are aware of all the information being shared.

For older children, it is often beneficial for them to spend some time alone with their counsellor at some stage, but only if and when the child and family are comfortable with this. If children spend some time in session alone with their counsellor, confidentiality also applies for them as clients, in that we would request their permission to share specific information they have shared with us, even with parents (though there are still the same exceptions, such as when there are concerns about risk of harm). 

A certain level of confidentiality is required in order to build a trusting and therapeutic relationship with a child, which is necessary for effective counselling treatment. It can also ensure a safe space where children can share their worries and concerns without fearing negative consequences from others. Please be assured that we are happy to provide parents with general feedback and we aim to keep parents informed and involved in the therapy work, especially when we are working with children. 

We believe it is important to share information with parents to help them understand the work children are doing in therapy, how they can help support this work at home, their child’s progress, as well as any other specific feedback likely to be helpful for the child and family. We do this in consultation with the child to protect confidentiality, while working overtime to ensure that parents are provided with all the information that is important for them to know. For example, we often provide feedback to parents of primary-school aged children together with the child towards the end of any child session.

Confidentiality applies to family sessions, as well as any one-on-one sessions with parents or individual adults.

Family Law, Legal Matters & Safety Concerns

In situations where there are Court Orders or Parenting Plans in place relating to your children, or if family therapy has been Court Ordered, we may need some additional information from you.

We may also request that the parents/caregivers enter into a contract, which aims to outline the terms of family therapy and facilitate the therapeutic process. This helps us to ensure the best interest of all family members.

Files, Report Writing and Court Attendance

By law we are required to create and keep a confidential file for each of our clients. At any stage you may request a copy of your file. If you require a copy of your file, an admin fee will apply. Please contact our team to arrange a quote. 

In the event that you require a letter of support, or a report to be written, a fee will apply, and you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit. Please note that letters and reports can take several hours to compile, especially in matters where there are court orders involved that we must adhere to. Please contact our team to arrange a quote. 

If you require your therapist to attend court, a legal meeting, or mediation with you, our hourly rate applies. You will also be charged for our travel time, and any miscellaneous fees we incur.

Cancellation Policy

We understand that life can be unpredictable. If you need to reschedule or cancel your appointment, please notify us at least 2 business days in advance. Cancelling or rescheduling an appointment with insufficient notice will incur the full fee of the appointment, regardless of the reason.

All cancellations should be made via text, phone call (0410 549 930), email (hello@hillsrelationshipcentre.com.au), or by clicking the cancellation link in your booking confirmation email.
Please do not use social media messages to cancel or make changes to an appointment.

If you fail to show up for your scheduled appointment, you will also be charged the full fee. We offer confirmation and reminder emails for appointments as a courtesy to our clients, however, the onus is on the client to ensure they arrive for their scheduled appointment time.

We require credit card details to be kept on file in case of cancellation. You will be asked to fill in your credit card details before your first session. Your details will be held securely and will be destroyed when you are no longer a client of Hills Relationship Centre.

Payment Policy

Our fee structure is designed to be transparent and fair.

Hills Relationship Centre has a strict card-on-file policy. All clients are required to provide us with payment details at the time of booking. These details will be collected and stored securely and will be used to process payment in accordance with our policies. Your payment information will be destroyed when you are no longer a client of Hills Relationship Centre.

Payment will generally be processed 2 business days prior to your scheduled appointment. That means if your appointment is on Wednesday, you will be charged on Monday. If your appointment is on a Monday, you will be charged on Thursday the week before.

Payment will be processed using the card details provided to us.

It is your responsibility as the client to ensure your payment details are up to date and that funds are readily available for us to process payment. If we are unable to process payment due to incorrect information, expired card details, or insufficient funds, we will be unable to go ahead with your booking, and your appointment will be cancelled.

All appointments must be paid for in full prior to attending. We do not offer payment plans, discounted rates, or invoices that you can "pay later".

Safety

At no time will any inappropriate or aggressive behaviour be tolerated. To ensure Hills Relationship Centre remains a safe and respectful space, we reserve the right to discontinue any appointment with a client where inappropriate, disrespectful or aggressive behaviour is being displayed. We expect that you treat all our staff with the same respect we give to you.

Health

To ensure the health and safety of our staff and clients, please only attend your appointment if you are in good/full health. We reserve the right to refuse services if you present at your appointment as unwell, and you will be required to pay the full fee. We offer Telehealth sessions as an alternative to attending in person. If you are not well, please contact us prior to your appointment to arrange a Telehealth session.

Communication Between Sessions

To provide you with the best possible experience, we operate by appointment only. We are unable to provide support between sessions. We do not provide counselling outside of sessions or via phone, text, or social media. If you need additional support, you can book an additional appointment with your counsellor.

Counsellors working at Hills Relationship Centre cannot be your ‘friend’ on social media networks. Their privacy is equally as important as yours. 

Urgent and Crisis Support

Our counsellors are not available 24/7 and we are therefore unable to offer urgent or crisis support counselling. In case of a mental health crisis, please seek support by contacting one of the 24-hour support services listed below. In a situation where you or someone you know are at serious risk, call 000.

Lifeline - 13 11 14

1800 RESPECT - 1800 737 732

Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800

Mensline - 1300 789 978

Suicide Callback Service - 1300 659 467

QLife - 1800 184 527 (3pm to midnight)

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