The Counselling Process

ACCORD’s Approach

ACCORD offers counselling to couples and individuals in marriages and relationships to support and help them to address difficulties that arise in their relationships. ACCORD’s approach to counselling is a person centred, non directive approach that believes its clients have the innate potential to explore, address and manage their difficulties in the most appropriate way for themselves, with the support of professionally trained ACCORD counsellors.

ACCORD selects individuals who are warm, understanding, genuine, supportive, and non judgemental and trains them to a professional standard to work with its clients.

Counsellor's Role

ACCORD counsellors deliver a professional service in a non judgemental, safe, reassuring atmosphere. They listen to you, help you to clarify your difficulties, facilitate you to express your thoughts and feelings, help you to explore your options and decide an appropriate course of action. ACCORD counsellors are familiar with a wide range of issues that bring couples and individuals to counselling and they will not be shocked by or trivialise issues that couples and individuals bring to counselling.

Working with couples and individuals ACCORD counsellors provide a safe environment where spouses and partners can express thoughts and feelings, that may be very difficult to express in the home or may lead to conflict and further difficulties at home, in a calm, measured and safe environment. This can lead to spouses and partners gaining further understanding of themselves, their spouse and partner, and their situation, which can in turn lead to better communication, an improved relationship and better management of existing difficulties and those that may arise in the future.

Qualifications & Experience

All ACCORD counsellors, men and women, undergo a rigorous selection process before they can commence training to ensure they have the appropriate personal qualities of warmth, understanding and genuineness, required to train as ACCORD counsellors. If selected they are then trained to a professional standard as marriage and relationship counsellors.

Supervision & Training

All ACCORD counsellors receive ongoing supervision for their caseload, in line with professional guidelines, and also training and continuing professional development in marriage and relationship counselling. This ensures the service you receive from your ACCORD counsellor is a high quality professional service.

ACCORD is committed to supporting its counsellors to maintain and further develop their knowledge and expertise as marriage and relationship counsellors, in order that all clients availing of ACCORD’s counselling service can be assured of a quality professional service.

The Needs Assessment Session

When your first appointment is made you will meet a counsellor who will carry out a Needs Assessment with you. This first session explains the terms and conditions under which ACCORD counselling is offered, the process of counselling and the commitment necessary. It also helps to establish the nature of your problems, as you see them, so that ACCORD can offer you the most appropriate support. If you need help and support other than marriage and relationship counselling ACCORD may make you aware of other appropriate services that you may chose to access.

Records

ACCORD maintains details of clients and also notes of their counselling sessions. These notes do not contain any identifiable information. They are stored in a secure locked cabinet and will generally be shredded one year after counselling ends.  In certain circumstances it may be necessary to retain records.

Access to Case Notes

Clients may apply in writing to access the case notes of individual sessions they attended. They may only request access to notes of joint sessions with the written consent of their spouse or partner.

Code of Ethics and Practice

All ACCORD counsellors work under the ACCORD Code of Ethics and Practice. This code outlines the standards inherent in ACCORD, its counselling service, and the ethos and mission of the organisation. It also serves to guide ACCORD counsellors in their work and to ensure ACCORD clients receive an ethical, quality and professional service.

ACCORD Policies

In order to provide a high quality professional counselling service to its clients and in the interests of accountability and transparency ACCORD has a range of policies which set out the terms and conditions under which its services are provided.

ACCORD clients are made aware,  in advance of counselling, of the terms and conditions under which counselling is offered, and are requested to agree to them in writing before counselling commences. Policies are available on request from ACCORD centres nationally.

Complaints

ACCORD welcomes and values the opinion of its clients. If clients are unhappy ACCORD would like to be informed. ACCORD has a Complaints Procedure which is available on request from ACCORD centres. Initially, complaints are handled by the centre that clients are attending or have attended. If complaints cannot be resolved locally clients have the right to contact the relevant ACCORD Regional Officer/Director and/or Central Office.

If you are interested in becoming a member of ACCORD please click here.