When you attend a counselling session; no matter which therapist you see or where you see them, they will need to talk to you about confidentiality.
This is something we explain more during our initial appointments and your first session. However, to keep things very transparent here is a quick rundown of what you can expect from us with regards to you, or your young person's, confidentiality.
When you see a therapist and speak to them, the things you talk about remain confidential. Your therapist does not speak to anyone else regarding these matters. However there are three exceptions to this rule that are important to highlight:
Serious harm to self or someone else - if we were concerned for your welfare and thought there was a serious risk of something damaging or life threatening happening to you, then we may have to break confidentiality in order to keep you safe and well. In most instances we would try to make you aware that we were going to break confidentiality but sometimes we would not be able to.
Illegal activity - if we were told that you or someone you knew were taking part in situations or activities that were illegal then we would have to follow the law, break confidentiality and inform the police. In these situations we are not always able to inform you that we have had to break confidentiality.
Supervision - All counsellors are required by their membership bodies to have 1.5 hours of supervision each month. We use our supervision to talk about how we feel our counselling is going and this does involve us talking about our clients. The supervisor follows the same strict rules and guidelines so continues to keep your privacy very secure. Supervision is a mandatory part of being a safe and ethical counsellor.
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
The same confidentiality rules stated above apply to young people attending our service.
When a young person attends YIC their parents also sign a parent/carer contract showing they understand these rules and that they also understand that just because they are the parent does not mean that they will always be informed if there is a breach to confidentiality.
If there is a safeguarding risk or a reason to break confidentiality then Mollie and Kerry, who are both level 3 safeguarding trained, will decide the best course of action to manage the risk at hand. Sometimes this may involve letting a parent know, sometimes depending on the situation, this may mean you might not be informed.
We can explain this further and answer any questions you may have during an initial appointment.