Confidentiality can feel complicated depending on who you are, and what you situation is. Here are some basics:
I work within the law and the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy.
The respecting of client confidentiality is a fundamental requirement for keeping trust. The professional management of confidentiality requires the protection personally identifiable information from unauthorised disclosure.
I will not share information about you unless required to do so. I will want to know that you are registered with a GP and in contact with them, particularly if you have been feeling unwell or simply not yourself, getting any symptoms checked out is important. I will not advise your GP that you are attending counselling though you may wish to.
I will only have contact with you personally and we will agree how any contact in between session is made. I will not communicate with any relative or partner or indicate that you are attending counselling.
There are some exceptions to maintaining confidentiality:
Safeguarding Children: If information is disclosed that a child is at risk of significant harm, has a duty under the Children Act to pass on this information to Social Services or the Police in order to do what is possible to see the child protected. I will discuss this with you if possible.
Serious Harm: If planned serious harm to the life of self or another person is disclosed I have a duty to in order to do all that is possible to see the person protected. I will discuss this with you and will work with you on a resolution. In some cases I will need to pass information on.
Offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 1987: If information is given on any planned act of terrorism, I am, by law, obliged to report this to the Police without informing the person who gave the information.
Drug Money Laundering: I have a duty to disclose any information given in regards the laundering of drug money.
Court Cases: There are times when a solicitor or court may ask for information.
Please advise me if this may be the case in order that we may discuss further.
Counsellors are obliged to discuss their work in supervision, however no client is identifiable in this professionally boundaried and contracted relationship.