Confidentiality is taken very seriously and I make every effort to ensure that all clients’ personal details and any records of counselling sessions are kept in a secure locked file. It is vitally important that you feel able to talk openly and as your trust in me grows you will feel safe to disclose your emotions freely. I have an obligation to work within the Ethical Framework of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and follow their strict guidelines around confidentiality. There are exceptions to the boundaries of confidentiality as highlighted in bold below. These exceptions are described in the BACP website thus:
‘Exceptional circumstances may prevent the practitioner from seeking client consent to a breach of confidence due to the urgency and seriousness of the situation, for example, preventing the client causing serious harm to self or others. In such circumstances the practitioner has an ethical responsibility to act in ways which balance the client’s right to confidentiality against the need to communicate with others. Practitioners should expect to be ethically accountable for any breach of confidentiality’.
A point to note is that counsellors’ have an obligation to participate in regular supervision in order to discuss their work with someone who is experienced in both therapy and supervision. My clients’ identities are withheld during our meetings but the cases are discussed in order to ensure best practice is maintained.
Finally, to protect our confidentiality: if you are choosing to contact me via e-mail please ensure that your computer is secure by means of password protection and also by having Anti-Virus/Firewall software. It is recommended that you only use your own computer system and not one that is available to the public. Also make sure that your computer is only ever accessed by others that are trusted by you. As computer systems contain ‘cache’ and ‘temporary’ file data, it is important to ensure your system is secure. Even after files have been deleted, traces of any activity may still remain on your system.