can only males access MANN uP services?

Anyone can access MANN uP services should they wish to do so. One of MANN uP’s core values is that of equality and females are very welcome to engage with MANN uP services should they wish to do so. MANN uP services are there for all who want to access them.

are services confidential?

In general terms, MANN uP services are highly confidential and an individual's participation in a programme, or any part of the content raised and discussed can not and will not be shared with others outside of a programme.

The level of confidentially will be different dependent on whether an individual is engaging in a personal, joint or collective programme.

When you commence with a MANN uP service you will collaborate in the drawing up of a programme service agreement surrounding your engagement with that service (which will include details relating to confidentiality).

MANN uP will never normally breach your right to confidentiality unless you give express permission (in writing), to share part or all of what has been spoken about and/or your participation in a programme with another party.

Limits on Confidentiality

For any personal/joint/collective programmes there are 4 main limitations to total confidentiality as follows:

Clinical Supervision: To ensure ethical and competent practice is applied in the performance of a contract that is in the client/participant best interests in line with the BACP's "Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions (2018)", all MANN uP Representatives will engage in clinical supervision. Whereby, they will meet on a regular basis with a highly experienced counselling supervisor and present an overview of all their client/participant work as 'cases' (i.e. they will refer to the client/participant using a Unique Identifier Code only. This is done to help ensure the best possible support is given to a client/participant (client/participant identification and contact details are not shared as part of supervision).

Third-Party Requirements: If the programme being provided to you has been commissioned/funded by or is being delivered in conjunction with a third-party, that third-party may require some detail on your programme participation to be shared with them. The extent of this will be made clear at time of programme contracting.

Enacting a 'Clinical Will': Should the MANN uP Representative become seriously incapacitated and no longer able to fulfil performance of a contract to deliver a personal/collective programme, access to client/participant contact details may be passed to a trusted representative so that client/participants can be contacted to be informed that a programme will not be able to continue.

Preventing Harm/Legal Duty/Public Interest: There are certain rare occasions when confidentiality might have to be breached (possibly without your consent) they are:

  • To protect and prevent you or another from coming to immediate life-threatening harm.
  • To comply with any potential legal obligation on MANN uP (such as reporting serious crime or cooperating with an HMRC audit) subsequent to seeking legal advice.
  • To comply with a legal obligation to comply with a court order.
  • To act in the public interest (to protect the wellbeing of others) subsequent to seeking legal guidance.

Should such an occasion arise, if appropriate, an attempt will be made to discuss this with you in detail and mutually agree a way forward (and legal advice may be sought by MANN uP with or without your consent), before any action is taken to breach confidentiality (this can be discussed in more detail at the contracting stage). Please note it may still be necessary to protect you or others to breach confidentiality without your consent.

can children and young people under the age of 18 access MANN uP services?

According to The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 and The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child a 'child' is defined as someone under the age of 18 years.

MANN uP currently does not provide personal or collective programmes to anyone under the age of 18 years of age.

can I book someone else in to access MANN uP services?

It is entirely understandable that if you are concerned about the wellbeing of another that you would want to take action to help them advance. However, part of what will contribute to the success of a programme will be the willingness and readiness of the individual(s) to engage with the process and their sense of control. Every individual also has the right to autonomy over their own wellbeing.

For those reasons, MANN uP would normally encourage self-referral (whereby the potential client/participant books his/herself in) to promote a sense of autonomy and empowerment right from the start.

If you feel someone you know would benefit from accessing a MANN uP service, why not encourage them to get to know more about the work of MANN uP and if they agree, you can accompany them for their first session or two.

You are also free to make contact with MANN uP to discuss in general terms what is involved in a programme to help gather information to help support someone you know make their decision on entering into a programme.

what types of issues do people access MANN uP services to deal with?

The list of reasons why an individual may wish to access a MANN uP service is exhaustive. Some may want support with a past, current or future life landmark issue. Others identify an aspect or aspects of their mental and/or emotional wellbeing they would like to work on and advance. Or it may be that there no particular issue they want to focus on but that they would like to proactively invest in building their levels of mental and emotional strength, stamina and resilience to develop their midfitness. Others come to MANN uP to work on improving and/or dealing with challenges in their relationship.

Some examples of the types of things you may choose to work on can include:

  • Generalised feelings of unhappiness or unease.
  • Relationship wellbeing issues (including: family, social, romantic and sexual relationship issues).
  • Work wellbeing issues (including: workplace stress, workplace bullying, career stagnation, career change).
  • Issues connected to sexuality, sexual identity or sexual functioning.
  • Physical health wellbeing (including: illness or dissatisfaction with current levels of fitness or physical appearance).
  • Unresolved issues from your past that are still impacting on your mental and emotional health.
  • Bereavement, loss and grief.
  • Low self-esteem or confidence levels.
  • Patterns of unhelpful thinking or behaving that are damaging you or holding you back (including: social anxiety or withdrawal, substance misuse, lack of assertiveness).
  • Issues connected to handling or expressing your emotions (including feelings of emotional turmoil or detachment, or difficulty containing and expressing emotions such as love, sadness or anger).
  • Challenges affecting a romantic relationship such as infidelity, parenting, addiction, financial issues or poor communications.

What is the difference between face-to-face vs online services? 

Face-to-face services will involve you and a MANN uP Representative meeting at a venue and working together in a private space.

Online services will involve you and a MANN uP Representative working together online using a video conferencing system called Zoom

There are advantages and considerations with both ways of working, and the important consideration here is which way of working is more convenient and suitable for you.

Working face-to-face will usually mean you will have to travel to your service location, whereas with online services you can login from a location of your choice. This may be more convenient and discrete as you do not have to travel to your service and will not be seen by others entering a location.

If you do decide to work online, you will need access to the internet, an email account and a device with a camera capable of using the Zoom software. If working online it is also important to plan for somewhere to engage in your session where you will not be disturbed/overheard to protect your privacy.

Please note: MANN uP can only work with clients in either a face-to-face or online format who reside in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).

Download the MANN uP Online vs Face-to-Face Counselling Leaflet (Dec 21)

can I access MANN uP services if I am currently engaging in substance use or living with a physical/mental health issue?

If you are currently engaging in substantive use of any substance (e.g. alcohol or drugs), or living with a physical or mental health diagnosis, MANN uP makes no judgement on you for that and would wish to do all it can to help guide and support you.

However, there will need to be a consideration on how that substance use, or physical/mental health diagnosis will affect your right and ability to be fully autonomous throughout the duration of a MANN uP service and your ability to access, fully engage and collaborate in a personal or collective programme offered.

You have the right to decide what to work on and what should or should not be discussed or covered during a programme. If use of a substance and/or a physical or mental health diagnosis has the potential to impair your cognition (thinking), it would not be fair to continue in a process where you are not able due to that impairment to always be making conscious and informed choices.

Furthermore, if your cognition is impaired it may limit your ability to actively engage in a programme which would mean you would not be getting full value from it.

If this may potentially be an issue for you, consider sharing the information with MANN uP. It may be that you would most benefit from specialist support from a counsellor/agency that specialises in an area such as addiction or supporting people with a physical/mental health diagnosis.

what is a referral and how does that work?

Sometimes the issue you want to work on and/or the life landmark or challenge you want to get help with may benefit from specialist support from an individual and/or agency who can offer targeted expertise and support in that area.

This may be something that is known at the start of your journey when you contact MANN uP, or may become apparent during an Introductory Session discussion or in the midst of delivering your MANN uP programme (if an issue emerges). Areas where specialist support can be useful at times include the likes of:

  • Eating disorders.
  • Addiction.
  • Sexual abuse.
  • Mental health conditions.
  • Psychosexual therapy.

In such a circumstance, to ensure you get access to the best possible support, your MANN uP Representative may:

  1. Suggest that you make contact with a specialist individual/agency to embark on your self-advancement work via that specialist route rather than with MANN uP.
  2. If and issue emerges in the midst of a programme that could potentially benefit from specialist support, discuss with you and if you agree, support you to self-refer to a specialist individual, or with your written consent, make a referral approach on your behalf.

Central to any discussions on referral will be endeavouring to ensure that an individual has access to the best possible and most appropriate types of support for them.

what is MANN uP's approach to note-taking and record keeping for programmes?

Individuals engaging either directly or indirectly (via a referral from a third-party such as an Employee Assistance Programme) in a MANN uP programme will be initially assigned a Unique Identifier Code so that any identifiable personal information on them can be held separate to Introductory Session/programme files.

If you decide to exploring entering into a programme with MANN uP via an Introductory Session, a coded Introductory Session File will be created to act as an 'aid-memoire' of key themes and discussion points at that first session. This is done in anticipation of an individual entering into a programme with MANN uP to support eventual performance of that contract.

Then, if you decide to engage with a MANN uP programme you will be asked to complete either a Personal/Joint/Collective Programme Service Agreement. This will be a record of your identification and contact details and date of birth (provided by you) to facilitate communication delivery of your contracted programme. In that contract you will be asked to provide contact details of your Next of Kin and General Practitioner.

In the case of personal programmes, a coded Personal Programme File will be created to act as an 'aid-memoire' of key themes and discussion points covered in programme sessions to aid programme delivery. It will incorporate into it your Introductory Session File (if applicable) and will also include copies of any assessments, programme plans and worksheets completed as part of programme delivery.

In the case of joint programme, a coded Joint Programme File will be created to act as an 'aid-memoire' of key themes and discussion points covered in programme sessions to aid programme delivery. It will also include copies of any assessments, programme plans and worksheets completed as part of programme delivery.

All MANN uP programme records are held as securely as possible in a mix of paper/electronic formats utilising robust coding, password protection, encryption and/or locked storage and access to records is restricted. Programme records will be retained for no longer than is necessary.

For further information, please read the MANN uP Data and Privacy Notice

Why do you ask for details of a General Practitioner (GP) and Next of Kin?

First and foremost in any MANN uP programme will be a ethical commitment to keeping clients/participants safe and well and to protect them (in line with the BACP's "Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions (2018)" . Clients/participants are asked to provide details of their General Practitioner (GP) and a Next of Kin.

On very rare occasions during the delivery of a programme session (or between sessions), it might become apparent to the MANN uP Representative that a client is extremely mentally/emotionally distressed and at immediate risk of doing some life-threatening harm to themselves.

Or a client may become very physically unwell in a session, or be engaging in a practice which is made known to the MANN uP Representative that also puts their life at immediate risk of life-threatening harm.

Or the client through their actions or intended/possible actions, may be putting someone else's life at immediate risk of life-threatening harm.

Should such occasions arise, it is the MANN uP Representative's ethical duty to do all they can to protect life. If possible, every attempt will be made to discuss the risk directly with the client/participant and mutually agree a way forward to protect them (or another) from life-threatening harm before any action is taken.

However, if this is not possible, the MANN uP Representative may still be obliged to act at that point and breach confidentiality to protect against immediate risk to life of the client/participant or another. You will be asked to give your consent to this potential action to protect vital interests at time of contracting (known as an Emergency Referral).

This can involve the MANN uP Representative taking any of the following emergency referral actions:

  1. Contacting the Next of Kin: Explaining they are working with the client/participant and have serious concerns that the client/participant is at risk of immediate life-threatening harm.
  2. Contacting the General Practitioner (GP): Explaining they are working with the client/participant and have serious concerns that the client/participant is at risk of immediate life-threatening harm.
  3. Contacting the Emergency Services : Explaining they are working with the client and have serious concerns that the client/participant is at immediate risk of life-threatening harm to self, or at immediate risk of causing life-threatening harm to another.

Please note: General information/detail on the content of programme sessions (including health/'special category' data would not be shared by MANN uP with a third-party in these instances unless deemed essential to ensure appropriate life-saving support can be offered. All that would normally be shared would be sufficient personal/contact details for the client/participant to make sure they could get access to immediate emergency support, or an immediate emergency intervention could be made to attempt to prevent harm coming to another.

what if I want to end the service I a receiving from MANN uP?

If participating in a programme, you are free to end it at any time you wish. You do not have to give advance notice to end a programme.

Planned Ending: However if you can give an indication that you would like to bring your programme to an end, that will give time and space for both you and the MANN uP Representative to plan and prepare for a positive ending experience that works best for you.

Unplanned Ending: If you decide to have an unplanned ending to your programme (by simply stopping coming to sessions and/or being in contact) your MANN uP Representative will not usually make contact with you to find out why you have ended your participation in the programme or check how you are. Please do not misinterpret this lack of contact from MANN uP as a lack of interest in how you are. This is done to preserve your autonomy as the client to decide if you want to participate and when you no longer wish to do so.  An important exception to this may be if you have broken off contact and the MANN uP Representative is concerned that may be connected to some risk of imminent harm to self/others.

how does the MANN uP Waiting List work?

If there are no free programme slots available, interested parties can ask to have their name and contact details added onto the MANN uP Waiting List, so that they can be informed if a slot becomes available.

If a slot does become available, the first entry on the waiting list will be contacted and offered the free slot on a 'first refusal' basis, and so on down the list if that person does not take up the slot.

Name/contact details are retained on the waiting list for 3 months from date of contact, after which they are deleted.

what is meant by professional conduct and boundaries in counselling?

MANN uP Representatives subscribe to the BACP's "Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions (2018)" and the ethical and good practice principles contained in it. This includes making a commitment to clients to:

  • Put the client first.
  • Work to professional standards.
  • Show clients respect.
  • Build appropriate relationships with clients.
  • Maintaining integrity.
  • Demonstrate accountability and candour.

In practical terms, this will involve in the provision of any MANN uP programme the establishment of a series of protocols and boundaries (normally contained within the programme service agreement signed by both the client(s) and the MANN uP Representative).

Some key aspects that will be covered as part of the programme service agreement to ensure professional conduct with appropriate boundaries is established and a client can give informed consent to participate will be:

  • Details of programme costs, payment, cancellation and ending processes.
  • Approach/ways of working to be applied.
  • A commitment to respect and equality of treatment for the client/participant.
  • A commitment to challenge assumptions that any sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently preferable to any other and will not attempt to bring about a change of sexual orientation or gender identity or seek to suppress an individual’s expression of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Record keeping, confidentiality and data capture, storage and processes.
  • Means to raise and share feedback/concerns/complaints.
  • Dealing with interruptions to service provision (such as illness or technology failure).
  • Boundaries around contact and personal relationships between the client(s) and the MANN uP Representative outside of programme delivery.

what if I am not happy with the service I am receiving from MANN uP?

Please say and as soon as possible if you are not happy with any aspect of the service you are receiving from MANN uP. If is your journey of advancement and you are entitled to have services delivered in the way they you want and which is best for you so that you can take full advantage of the process and receive maximum possible benefit from it.

Feedback is always welcomed (it is the only way things can be improved upon), and the approach to addressing any issues raised will be to collaborate to find ways to change or improve things. Which will not only benefit your sessions, but could also improve things for other MANN uP clients/participants too.

Any MANN uP Representative will be required to be registered as a member with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Clients can also consider making a complaint via the BACP Professional Conduct process.

as a male-affirmative service, does MANN uP favour the male half of any couple undertaking a joint programme?

Most definitely not! One of MANN uP's core values is that of equality and fair treatment for all.

In any joint advancement programme the MANN uP Representative will be there to act as a neutral advocate on behalf of the relationship, and will endeavour to not side with one partner or another.

Not only is this a value's position, it is also an ethical and professional expectation on any MANN uP Representative to treat all parties to a programme with equal time, respect and consideration.

Can only one partner attend a joint programme?

For a joint programme to take place, both parties have to fully be on board with participating and be willing to attend sessions together with a spirit of willingness, openness, honesty, respect and consideration.

Will partners be worked with separately as part of a joint programme?

Generally speaking both partners are present with the MANN uP Representative for the entirety of all sessions.

There may be on occasion a rationale to have a session with each partner individually. If this is done, both partners will be given equal solo time, and anything discussed in solo sessions will be usually expected to be brought back into joint sessions.