LIFE COACHING AGREEMENT (Updated January 2, 2022)
Welcome to my coaching practice. By scheduling a coaching session with me, you are indicating that you have read and agree to these terms. Please review this information carefully, as this document constitutes a contract between us (the “AGREEMENT”) please read carefully and raise any questions and concerns that you have during your first session.
Mia Vivone offers non-clinical services as a Master-Level Certified Life Coach, and is not a psychotherapist. The services provided by Mia Vivone include instructing clients in performing self-care activities, developing coping strategies and emotional regulation techniques, and expanding their support networks. All services provided are holistic and alternative in nature, are referred to as life coaching or tele-coaching as designed jointly with the client, and are not to be confused with clinical psychotherapy. Mia does not accept insurance as payment and offers individual pricing using a sliding scale. Mia Vivone does not diagnose or treat diseases. Please refer to the Life Coaching FAQ and the references made in the paragraph below, for information about the differences between coaching and therapy.
Canceling and Rescheduling
Kindly give 24 hours’ notice by replying to the text reminder for your session if you need to cancel or change the time of an appointment. Otherwise, you will be charged 50% of the session fee, and starting with the second such incident, all future cancellations will be charged in full. Mia Vivone agrees that every effort will be made to reschedule sessions which are canceled in a timely manner, although not all scheduling changes can be accommodated.
Life Coaching is Not Psychotherapy
While there are some similarities between coaching (aka holistic counseling) and psychotherapy, they are very different services. Psychotherapy is a health care service provided by a licensed health care professional. Coaching, holistic counseling, and psychotherapy all utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation and behavioral change, and interactive counseling techniques. The major differences are in the goals, focus, and level of professional responsibility.
The primary foci of psychotherapy are the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of mental disorders. The focus of life coaching is the development and implementation of strategies to reach client-identified recovery goals that increase in client’s quality of life. Coaching may address specific personal projects, work-life balance, job performance and satisfaction, or general conditions in the client’s life, business, relationships, or profession. Coaching utilizes personal strategic planning, values clarification, brainstorming, motivational interviewing, and other counseling techniques.
The relationship between the life coach and client is specifically designed to avoid the power differentials that occur in the psychotherapy relationship. The client sets the agenda and the success of the enterprise depends on the client’s willingness to take risks and try new approaches to problem solving. The relationship is designed to be more direct and challenging, and this is one of the reasons that my clients see results fairly quickly. You can count on me to be honest and straightforward, asking powerful questions and modeling techniques that will help you move you forward.
The roles of a life coach and psychotherapist are often misunderstood. The roles are distinct. Still, if I recognize that you would benefit from psychiatric evaluation and/or psychotherapeutic intervention, I will refer you to the appropriate resources. In some situations, I may insist that you initiate psychiatry and/or psychotherapy and that I have access to your psychiatrist and/or psychotherapist as a condition of my continuing as your life coach.
It is also important to understand that coaching is strictly a professional relationship. While it may feel like a close relationship, it is not one that can extend beyond professional boundaries both during and after our work together. Considerable experience shows that when boundaries blur, the hard-won benefits gained from the coaching relationship are endangered.
I am ethically and legally bound to protect the confidentiality of our communications. I will only release information about our work to others with your written permission. There are some situations in which I am legally obligated to breach confidentiality in order to protect you or others from harm. If I have information that indicates that a child or elderly or disabled person is being abused, I must report that to the appropriate state agency. If a client is an imminent risk to him/herself or makes threats of imminent violence against another, I am required to take protective actions. These situations tend to be rare in coaching practices.
As you are no doubt aware, it is impossible to protect the confidentiality of information that is transmitted electronically. This is particularly true of e-mail and information stored on computers that are connected to the internet, which do not utilize encryption and other forms of security protection. Your personal information (e.g., name, phone number, email address), your appointment information, and your payment information are secured with software measures that ensure privacy. Personal and credit card information is not stored on my computer or in paper files.
Some sessions are available in a group format. If you choose to participate in group sessions or classes, by reading this agreement, you commit yourself to maintain the confidentiality of all information communicated to you by other clients and by your coach. We both should understand that progress is often enhanced when clients are allowed to discuss their coaching relationship with trusted colleagues and friends. You can have these discussions, but you must in no way share information that leads to the identification of others in the group. If you are ever in doubt regarding what to reveal and what not to reveal, err on the side of protecting the privacy others, a vital and non-negotiable element of such group interactions.
If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Mia at email@example.com.