Dorchester Trust for Counselling and Psychotherapy (DTCP) has a Complaints Procedure to look into situations where clients are concerned or feel they have not had a good service. This sheet explains how to make a complaint and what you can expect to happen when you have.
Some issues can be dealt with quickly and informally by speaking to your counsellor or phoning the administrator; an example might be finding the room you meet in noisy. A note will be made of the issue you have raised and the matter put right as soon as possible. If the complaint is to do with your counsellor it is again usually best to speak to her or him about it first, and often being angry or disappointed with your therapist is part of your work together. This is not the same as a counsellor behaving unprofessionally by for example suggesting you meet socially.
If you are not satisfied with our response to a raised concern, or you wish anyway to have it in writing, you can do so by letter addressed to the Clinical Manager at 1 Colliton Street, Dorchester DT1 1XH or email to email@example.com. If your complaint concerns the Clinical Manager, send to the Trust Director at the same address. You can have support in writing the letter but it needs to be signed by you.
You should receive an acknowledgement within five working days and be given the name and position of the person conducting the investigation. We then allow another fifteen working days to look into the matter and we may need to speak to you if we are not clear about something or need more details. If we cannot complete the investigation within this timescale we will write again and explain the delay.
The Management Committee and Trustees of the organisation may be informed of your complaint, but otherwise it remains confidential to those directly affected, and the investigator.
At the end of the investigation we will write to let you know the outcome and invite you to meet with the Clinical Manager or Director so that you have the opportunity to comment on the conclusion and any resulting actions. You can bring someone with you.
What happens if I am not satisfied?
If at this point you think that there is still a case to answer, you can appeal against the decision of the investigator. You need to write now to the Chair of the Trustees, within twenty-eight days, to the same address as that given above, being as clear as you can about what you do not agree with, and what result you would like from the appeal. This helps us think about whom else might need to be involved if we are to resolve the issue. If someone else is called on we cannot be precise about how long it would take to arrange an appeal but we will aim to do it as quickly as possible. If the Chair of Trustees does not agree that there is a case to answer and/or it does not seem appropriate for DTCP to involve someone outside the organisation, you will be invited to meet with him/her to let you know this and we may be able to suggest other courses of action such as referring your complaint to a counsellor’s professional body.