Questions About Confidentiality, with Damien Haigh

Telephone 01924 332 154 or 07504 744 086, or e-mail info@damienhaigh.co.uk

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Will the things that we discuss in counselling remain private and confidential?

Counselling is a confidential process, under most normal circumstances. Knowing that your discussions will be kept secret will build trust between us, helping you to feel safe to discuss your most personal thoughts and feelings.

In the first session together, we will make an agreement that, in most normal circumstances, the things that we discuss in counselling (your personal details and all personal information) remain confidential between you and me, so nothing is revealed to your doctor, partner, family, friends, or employer, or any other parties, without your permission.

I discuss my work with a supervisor (who is another well-qualified counselling professional) in order to: ensure client safety; check the effectiveness of my work; and develop myself further as a counsellor. However, care is always taken in these discussions to protect clients’ anonymity. Like me, my supervisor is bound by a code of confidentiality and works within an ethical framework.

You may also wish to keep our sessions confidential. Friends may be interested to hear about your counselling, but their comments could affect your view of our working relationship.

Are there any circumstances where a counsellor might break confidentiality?

Counsellors would only break confidentiality in very rare circumstances in order to protect the safety or wellbeing of clients or other individuals. They would do this if they thought that there was a danger of clients harming themselves, or of harm being done to others, or if clients were unwilling or unable to seek appropriate additional professional support in such circumstances.

Even in these circumstances, I would usually discuss the situation with you first, to consider the choices available to us, and to try to obtain your consent before contacting anyone else. Ideally, clients can take part in any disclosure process, and receive support in doing so.

Counsellors also have legal obligations to disclose information to relevant authorities in certain rare situations. The Children’s Act requires counsellors to inform authorities about any abuse or neglect of children. The Prevention of Terrorism Act requires people to disclose information about acts of terrorism, and there are also laws requiring disclosure about drug dealing or drug trafficking.

Please ask me if you have any questions about my policy on confidentiality.

Will you contact my doctor about my counselling?

I will ask you for the contact details of your GP before we start our counselling work. This will allow me to get help for you if there is any risk to your own safety, or to the safety of others, or if you are unable or unwilling to get help yourself, during our work together.

Please note though that I do not routinely contact your GP or share information, and so the fact that you are in counselling will not appear on your medical records in most normal circumstances, unless you disclose this yourself.

In addition, if you choose to contact your doctor for help with your emotional problems, then it may be helpful if your doctor also knows about your counselling work, and if we both have your permission to discuss how best to help you. Again, though, please note that I will not speak with your doctor without your permission, and I will always try to discuss the situation and explain it with you first.

Will you contact anyone else about my counselling?

If you are also under the care of any other mental health professionals (e.g. psychologists or psychiatrists) whilst having counselling with me, I may ask you for their contact details too. This will allow me to contact them to discuss whether it is advisable for you to have counselling at the same time as you are seeing them (other professionals are usually supportive of clients having counselling). Normally, I would write to them after your assessment if you wished to proceed into counselling (please bring contact details if applicable).


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Posted: 27 September 2016.

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Damien is a registered, accredited member (number 052900) of the
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“We are travellers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
(1850-1894)

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E-mail:
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To make an appointment, please telephone
01924 332 154
(office)
or
07504 744 086
(mobile/text)

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