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To give my counsellor a Christmas present

(19 Posts)
PastaPrincess Fri 04-Dec-15 07:25:52

Sorry if this contains a lot of irrelevant rambling, I don't want to drip feed.

I've been seeing my counsellor for around 9 months now. I was referred via GP for depression and anxiety issues I've had since I was a child. I've been through the mental health system as an in patient, day patient and out patient but managed by myself since I was 18. I'm mid twenties now.

My counsellor is lovely, has been incredibly supportive and I've opened up to her about some horrible things in my past that I've never shared with anyone before. I've put in a lot of work and am really starting to see an improvement in the way I see myself and handle certain situations.

So my AIBU, would it be strange/creepy for me to give her a small present, just a nice candle or something similar, as a way of saying thank you for all the support this year? Her role is voluntary if that makes a difference. I'm just not sure what the etiquette is here.

Thanks smile

MsVestibule Fri 04-Dec-15 07:31:45

I can't imagine that receiving a small, inexpensive gift as a gesture of thanks from a patient is against their code of ethics. Perhaps you could buy it and when you give it to her, tell her that you've bought her a small gift to say thanks for her help, is she allowed to receive them?

MsVestibule Fri 04-Dec-15 07:32:18

Definitely not strange or creepy, though!,

HeadDoctor Fri 04-Dec-15 07:34:28

It wouldn't be strange or creepy but she may want to talk about your motivations for doing it smile

EnthusiasmDisturbed Fri 04-Dec-15 07:40:20

Some agencies counsellors are not allowed to accept gifts others they allow the counsellor to choose

Of course she will analyse why you have given her a gift and what this means grin she might want to explore this with you too if she feels this needs to be done

chillycurtains Fri 04-Dec-15 07:42:52

It's not strange or creepy. I would go with a box of chocolates or biscuits that can be shared if she isn't allowed personal gifts. Also definitely keep it under £20 as that is often the price limit for receiving gifts in organisations. Gifts over that could be refused or passed up in the organisation.

It's a lovely thought OP. Very kind thinking of her/him especially as they are volunteering.

PastaPrincess Fri 04-Dec-15 07:46:37

Thank you all for taking the time to comment. I'm happy to explain to her that she's really helped me this year and I just wanted to get her something little to say thank you.

Chocolates or biscuits is a good idea, I hadn't thought of that.

PinotAndPlaydough Fri 04-Dec-15 08:16:16

Hi, my mum is a counsellor and she's not allowed to accept gifts from clients. It might be worth asking at your next session if she's allowed, although I appreciate this sort of ruins the surprise

Birdsgottafly Fri 04-Dec-15 08:42:37

I trained in counselling (went on to SW) and most of the Counsellors (and other helping professions) would rather not get gifts other than a tub of sweets, or box of biscuits, which is shared in the office.

It saves opening up a can of worms.

It might seem a cheesy cliche, but seeing people rebuild their lives, is reward enough.

Birdsgottafly Fri 04-Dec-15 08:45:10

""Very kind thinking of her/him especially as they are volunteering.""

I'm not dismissing the reasons why people volunteer, I have, but Volunteering can be mandatory to training/qualifications/professional body registration.

Chococroc Fri 04-Dec-15 08:53:50

I manage volunteers doing this sort of role. Our policy is that volunteers can only receive gifts if they're of nominal value and they must be logged. Very few clients do but the best option is as others have said something like a box of chocolates that can be shared so has less chance of putting the volunteer in an awkward position.
An organisation's stance on gifts would usually be in a volunteer policy, if it's a large organisation you may be able to find theirs online maybe.

Enjolrass Fri 04-Dec-15 08:58:03

It's not creepy or strange.

Unless you were planning on buying a new car or something. Then maybe. wink

A box of chocolates or something that can be shared is a great idea. As it can be an office gift then.

It's lovely of you to think of her.

catfordbetty Fri 04-Dec-15 09:18:39

I think a card would be better: "Happy Christmas and many thanks for your help this year. Best wishes, Pasta" A gift blurs the boundaries somehow and I would avoid doing that.

EnthusiasmDisturbed Fri 04-Dec-15 10:16:52

Would disagree that counsellors would rather receive a box of chocolates/biscuits in order for a cannot worms not to be opened - that is a huge part of the work

It can be very telling what a client buys for and this can be a very useful way for a therapist and client to explore what the relationship means to the client

Though a box of chocolates is most likely going to be nothing more than a show if appreciation but sometimes it can mean more than that every situation is unique (clients constantly dieting struggling with weight issues wanting the therapist to have what they can't) it's all so fascinating smile

Cutecat78 Fri 04-Dec-15 10:34:16

It's not best practise to receive gifts from clients.

As PPs have said a box of chocolates to share in the office is usually ok but if counsellor is in private practise they may politely decline your gift and do not give alcohol.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Fri 04-Dec-15 11:24:38

When I finished a long course of CBT, I gave my counsellor a gift I had made myself - a string of colourful, crochet birds.

The hospital where I had my therapy already had artworks by former patients up on the wall, so I thought that, if she wasn't allowed to accept the gift for herself, she could accept it for the hospital, and put it up somewhere where it would give a bit of pleasure to either patients or staff. Or if she was allowed to accept it for herself, she could put it up in her office or take it home.

She was really touched by the gesture, and was happy to accept it.

MsBrigit Fri 04-Dec-15 11:51:06

As Enthusiasm says it can be a useful part of the work you're doing. I've been on both sides: in therapy for years and have trained as a counsellor. I have accepted presents from clients (with full disclosure to my boss) and I have also given presents to my own therapist - if you talk about why you want to do it, what it means (why you fear she would find a gift 'creepy' ...?), it all contributes to the relationship and the work.

Bombaybunty Fri 04-Dec-15 12:00:19

My DS was seeing a counsellor for depression a couple of years ago.

She helped him enormously. I sent her a lovely bouquet at Christmas.

PastaPrincess Fri 04-Dec-15 12:18:10

MsBrigit I thought it might not be a 'done' thing, and she may view it as me seeing her as a friend. Creepy wasn't the best choice of word I suppose. I tend to over analyse every social situation I have, it's one of things we've been working on, so I might have thought into it too much. From other comments I can see that it is done on occasions, so the creepy part probably isn't relevant now.

Thanks all for your comments, it's interesting to read about different perspectives from both sides of the professional/client relationship.

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