Confidentiality is an integral aspect of counselling and psychotherapy and is essential to building a solid therapeutic relationship and also to ensure a sense of safety. All information will remain confidential unless we both agree to discuss something with a third party. The following are the limits to this confidentiality and if needed, I would endeavour to consult you wherever possible prior to doing so.
- Psychotherapists and counsellors regularly present their work in clinical supervision. The aim of this is to monitor and improve the clinical work undertaken. All supervision is done on a confidential basis and only using the client’s first name.
- At times the therapist may need to contact the client’s GP or other professional involved. This would normally be done with the client’s permission and would be discussed in the session prior to any contact. However, if I believe there to be a risk to the safety of you or another person, I may contact the external services without prior consent and in such cases, only relevant details will be shared such as start date, duration and broad outcome of the work.
- There are legal limits to confidentiality around disclosure of committing or intent to commit criminal offences, such as Prevention of Terrorism, Drug Trafficking Acts and Child Protection Acts.
- In a court of law, a therapist may be required to answer questions about a client.
Personal Records and Data Protection
All records are held electronically and securely in accordance with professional recommendations. I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998) and for the General Data Protection Regulations (2018) for the information I hold about you. Your consent given by signing a psychotherapy contract at the start of therapy together is the legal basis I have for storing your information. I store your name, address, contact details, a medical history, your doctor’s names and contact details, and any other relevant medical or psychiatric notes. I also record our sessions with your consent. These are also securely deleted at the end of our work unless specifically agreed otherwise. I make brief therapeutic notes on the content of our sessions, these are kept in an anonymised form and as such do not identify you in person.
You have rights with regard to your personal information and these are outlined on this website.
Length of Therapy and Notice Period
The length of the therapy contract will depend on your needs and it will be negotiated and reviewed between us. I offer the first 4 sessions as an opportunity for us to review our work together. In regards to ending, I suggest an agreed notice period of not less than one session, with two sessions more appropriate. This allows us time to resolve any unfinished issues and finish in a safe manner for you.
Insurance, Ethics and Professional Practice
As part of my practice I am fully insured for professional liability with a specialist provider of insurance for Psychotherapists. I also maintain third party accident insurance should any accident occur whilst you are on the premises.
As a member of various professional bodies, including the United Kingdom Association for Transactional Analysis (UKATA), the European Association for Transactional Analysis (EATA), and the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP), I abide by their code of ethics and professional practice. Copies of these are also available on request.