Contracts in Counselling & Psychotherapy, Second Edition is a practical guide to an essential area of professional knowledge and skills. It provides a unique and informative guide to the nature of counseling contracts, why they are needed and how they are made. For the Second Edition, the book has been thoroughly updated to take account of the BACP ethical framework. New chapters have been added covering legal aspects and making contracts with trainees.
Chapter 7: Contracts and Harmful Behaviour
Contracts and Harmful Behaviour
This chapter examines the place of ‘no-harm contracts’ in the practice of psychological therapy. Such contracts are described and are contrasted with conditions and promises. My primary focus will be on the use of contracts in the prevention of suicide and self harm, although I also refer to the use of contracts in other potentially harmful situations.
The therapeutic process can be likened to making a casserole or soup. The first task of the clinician is to ensure that a suitable pot exists, within which this can safely be done. Inevitably, there are times at the start or during clinical work when the therapeutic vessel is under threat. There is a danger of the soup spilling in a messy ...