We have found some academic references which highlight the importance of the therapeutic agreement:
The BACP Ethical Framework for good practice says it is essential that clients must be able to give adequately informed consent. Bad information can lead to misunderstandings and potential complaints.
Dale, H. (2010). P11 information sheet -making the contract for counselling and psychotherapy. Lutterworth: BACP
“Therapists cannot not make contracts”. “The existence of such agreements is one of the defining features of formal counselling or psychotherapy”
Sills, C. (2012). Contracts in counselling and Psychotherapy. London: Sage Publications ltd.
Counsellors and psychotherapists work in a wide variety of contexts, all operate in the general framework of the law but therapists don’t have to become lawyers. Discussions on terms on which therapy is based does not need to be difficult, protracted or legalistic but it does provide an opportunity to be a helpful part of the therapeutic process providing an opportunity to explore relevant issues create mutual understanding and develop a therapeutic alliance.
Mitchels, B and Bond, T (2011). Legal Issues Across Counselling & Psychotherapy Settings. London: Sage