Counselling Statement of Understanding


DAAS provides a substance misuse counselling service as part of our role within the Derbyshire Recovery Partnership. We offer up to 12 sessions of confidential therapy with a counsellor who is a member of the BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) and therefore works to the BACP code of ethical practice. Counselling will encourage you to express your thoughts and feelings about issues that you face. Counselling is not about giving you advice. It is designed to help you explore the options open to you so that you may be better able to move forward.  This will require a commitment from you to attend sessions regularly to get the most out of the counselling experience and a commitment from your counsellor to provide regular sessions. This continuity is the key to the success of this therapeutic process.


The aims and purpose of DAAS counselling are:

  • to help you look at some of the underlying issues which may have contributed to substance misuse
  • to help you improve your self-esteem and confidence to make changes
  • to be more able to deal with negative feeling states without using substances

Type of counselling

The type of counselling used by DAAS counsellors will be based on a person centred approach but will be eclectic. This means that the approach used will reflect you and the best way to work with you, the problems you bring and what you want to achieve.  Our counsellors use the following approaches based on evidence based models:

  • CBT – Cognitive Behavioural therapy
  • Solution focussed counselling
  • Person Centred counselling,

Counsellors can also help you access, if available and where appropriate;

  • Trauma based counselling
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Psychodynamic counselling
  • Relationship counselling
  • Hypnotherapy and Relaxation techniques
  • Auricular Acupuncture

There are some important points we would like to expand on:




The counselling is a confidential service however there may be circumstances regarding risk of harm to self or others which necessitate breaking confidentiality. In the unusual event of necessitating a break in confidentiality this will be done where possible with your consent and only to those parties who have an absolute need to know.  With the exception of risk as stated above, the only information your Key Worker will receive will be appointment times and attendance.


Ethical Framework


In line with the BACP code of ethics it is a requirement that all counsellors have regular supervision where they can learn and reflect on their practice.  Supervisors are bound by the same code of ethics to ensure confidentiality and therefore clients will not be identified during this process. Some of our counsellors are student counsellors nearing completion of their qualification. In all cases they are closely supervised by Senior BACP affiliated  DAAS practitioners.


Record/note keeping and information management


It is a requirement of counselling professions that written records of sessions and contacts with you are kept. These records form the ‘client record’ and are the joint responsibility of your DAAS counsellor and of Derbyshire Recovery Partnership. The client record whether handwritten or stored electronically is kept in accordance with data protection requirements contained in The Data Protection Act 1998, and the IG  (information governance) toolkit and in adherence with  recent GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations). This means that we take seriously our commitment to ensure the information you give us is safe. It also means that you have the right to know how this information is stored, why we collect it, how it is used and when and how it is disposed of. Under the regulations you can   request sight of the records and information on you that we hold.  In accordance with GDPR rights of access we will respond to a request from you to view the information we hold about you within one month. You also have the right to request that personal information be rectified or removed. This is called right to erasure. However you would need to submit a formal request and application to Derbyshire Recovery Partnership. In cases where it is the view of clinical governance managers that adhering to this request may increase  significant risk to others or that  it is in the public interest to deny access or erasure, this can be refused  under article 16 of  GDPR.


Client responsibility

It is your responsibility to attend sessions on time wherever possible as the times of sessions cannot be extended resulting in your counsellor either providing a shortened session or suggesting you reschedule. DAAS substance misuse counselling is Free of charge and no charges are made in the event of failure to attend or cancellation. However, in the event of not being able to attend a pre-arranged session, you must provide wherever possible 48 hours’ notice of cancellation to your therapist to allow sufficient time for them to reallocate this session to others on the waiting list.


In the event of  2 consecutive missed appointments (DNA’S) your key worker will be notified that you are being discharged from the DAAS counselling service, however if you would like to reconsider counselling in the future you can discuss this with your key worker who can arrange a referral to DAAS. We actively encourage you to feedback about your experience of counselling and we will provide you with a confidential questionnaire on completion of your therapy for you to complete if you choose.


Counsellor responsibility

It is the Counsellor’s responsibility to ensure you are aware of the complaints procedure and the confidentially process as outlined above and to contact you by your preferred method i.e. phone, text, letter or email.  It is also the counsellor’s responsibility to ensure that the counselling they provide is effective and meets your needs. For this reason counsellors will use questionnaires to gauge your levels of depression and anxiety, and your general progress. You will be provided with information about how you can access our website, access client reviews and our annual report, access mental health and other services and provide feedback yourself through a service user focus group or annual general meeting.