Confidentiality & Disclosure Information
My psychological services are a private and confidential form of help. I hold information about my clients and the therapy they receive in confidence. This means that I will not normally give your name or any information about you to anyone else. However, there are exceptional cases where I might ethically or legally have to give information to relevant authorities, for example if I had reason to believe that someone, especially a child, is at serious risk of harm or to prevent a miscarriage of justice.
If you come with a partner or your family, I may suggest seeing each of you individually. It is important for you to know that what is said in those individual sessions will be confidential and not shared with your partner or family.
In accordance with the ethical standards and Code of Conduct of the BACP, COSRT, BPS, EMDR UK & Ireland & ATSAC I have regular supervision. This is where I discuss clinical matters with another professional who is also bound by confidentiality and abides by the same professional ethics as I do.
Violence and abuse is an issue for many people who come to me for help with their relationship. I know from experience that in this situation, working with couples or family members together may not be safe. If this is so, I will help each person to get individual specialist support from another practitioner or agency.
The information about confidentiality in no way contravenes your rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 to access personal data. I keep confidential records and statistics about my clients. All records are kept securely. These records are subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. Some of the information I collect is classified as sensitive personal data and I can only use such data where I have your explicit consent. This data may include: racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, trade union membership, physical or mental health, sexual life, criminal proceedings and offences. Your personal and sensitive personal data will only be used in order to provide the service to you and for managing and quality assuring the service. Records are kept for a period of 3 years and are then destroyed.
Please switch off your mobile phone during your therapy sessions as it can create an unhelpful distraction and interruption.
Unauthorised electronic recording
In order for you to work safely and effectively with me, it is important that the privacy of the work is respected. Please, therefore, do not attempt to record your therapy session using devices such as mobile phones or Dictaphones. If it is found that recordings have been made covertly, therapy services for the individual responsible will be discontinued immediately and I reserve the right to seek legal advice regarding possible further action.
Authorised electronic recording
Occasionally I undertake further professional development, research or training courses that require me to record a therapy session. In these circumstances I may ask if you would consent for this to happen. The consent would be written and will specify all the ways in which the recording will be used (for example training, supervision or research) and will specify how and when the recording will be destroyed.
Codes of ethics and practice
I am a registered psychotherapist and counsellor with the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). I am an accredited member of EMDR Europe, BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and COSRT (College of Sex and Relationship Therapists), a member ATSAC (Association for the Treatment of Sex Addiction and Compulsivity) and a graduate member of the British Psychological Society (BPS).
I abide by the Ethical Framework and Codes of Practice of each of these professional bodies. The Code of Ethics and Conduct Procedure can be found on their websites.
Reports and client records
I am registered with the Information Commission (Register No: Z9994120) and keep my records in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
Occasionally I am asked by clients or by external agencies such as Social Services or the NHS to write reports on the progress made in counselling. I am not normally in a position to do this because of my duty of confidentiality to my clients. However, I can in some circumstances, and on receipt of written consent from the client(s) who attended therapy, provide brief information about the dates and number of sessions attended.
In addition I am also asked by clients, their solicitors, the police and the courts for access to the client records. These are not suitable as evidence in legal proceedings and I reserve the right to resist legal requests to produce the records in court. I do this in order to protect my duty of confidentiality to all my clients and to preserve my reputation as the provider of confidential therapy.
Below is an example of the consent form to be signed, to acknowledge that you understand and agree with my policy regarding therapy notes.
Example Data Protection Statement
I consent to Barbarette Mortimer* using my personal and sensitive personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of delivering therapy to me, for managing and quality assuring those services.
I consent to Barbarette Mortimer using the information on my forms to improve her services.
I have read and understood the information about confidentiality, domestic violence and client records.