Policy On Confidentiality
Confidentiality is one of the fundamental tenets of counselling. The confidentiality is necessary both ethically and practically because without an assurance of confidentiality, many of those who seek help from counselling would not do so. The protection of confidentiality ultimately protects sensitive client information. However, there are limitations to confidentiality, which are outlined below:
There Are Three Areas Where Confidentiality Might Be Breeched:
Firstly, I may need to discuss my work with my supervisor. Counsellors are professionally required to have regular supervision, in which they reflect upon their work with an experienced and appropriately qualified supervisor. Client confidentiality is strictly preserved during supervision. This is standard practice for all psychotherapists/counsellors.
Secondly, if I suspect a client is at risk of self harm or harm to another I would seek suitable professional help and would make every effort to discuss the situation with the client in advance. I have an ethical obligation to seek to put supports in place for clients where I believe clients are at risk of causing harm to themselves. Where possible this will be done through discussion with you. In addition to this I also have a legal obligation to advise outside agencies where there are grounds for believing that a client, or a person identifiable from information provided by the client, will cause harm to another. In the event of these situations arising, I will endeavour to get your consent before taking any such action.
Finally, I would break confidentiality if required to do so by the law. Under Children’s First Legislation I am a Mandated Person. As a mandated person, I am required to report any knowledge, belief or reasonable suspicion that a child has been harmed, is being harmed, or is at risk of being harmed. This includes assault, ill-treatment, neglect or sexual abuse, and covers single and multiple instances. Where possible I will try to support you in reporting such matters to the relevant authorities themselves. I will consult with you and my supervisor, in advance of any such report. However, in emergencies, I am required to make my own judgement as to what action is required.
If you have any questions about anything within this policy, I encourage you to bring them up when we meet.