What can I Talk about in Counselling?

Confidentiality is one of the most vital services that a counsellor can provide for his client – but British law can have precedent over such confidentiality. A counsellor should discuss this during the first meeting with the client – and, where possible, should remind the client if the client strays into discussing illegal matters.

Counselling focuses on you and the problems that you’re bringing into therapy.  So, it may not be such a surprise that you can talk about anything you wish to in counselling.

[iC_leaflet type=”bacp_c1″]You might be worried that your therapist may be shocked or distressed about what you might need to talk about.  This is usually not the case, but many trained counsellors also focus on keeping their feelings and responses contained so that the counsellor does not distress you.

You may even discuss your concerns about your counsellor if you wish; what they might think about certain topics.  Different therapists will respond differently, but they’re all focussed on the benefit of you.  Be assured that your counsellor is ready to hear what you need to talk about.

Counselling and the Law.

You should be aware that there are some subjects that would come under the law.

For example if you wished to talk about your part in terrorism, intended harm to self or others, you talk about a child who is in distress, not being looked after well or is being abused, or any other criminal activity, then your counsellor would be obligated by British law to break confidentiality.

This does not mean to say that your counsellor will immediately run out of the room to dial 999.

Again, different therapists will treat different matters with different approaches.  Most counsellors should inform you about confidentiality before the therapy begins (usually the first session).  Some therapists will give you a document that has everything written down.  Some therapists will remind you, if you begin to stray into legal subjects like these, about the law and confidentiality.

Sometimes, the law requires a counsellor to take action without informing the client – matters such as terrorism or child abuse can fall into this category.  Again, the client should have been informed at the start of therapy about this  – and whilst a counsellor may always wish advise clients beforehand that a subject which has been brought for discussion requires the counsellor to take action, the counsellor may be legally bound not to tell the client of the action before it is taken.

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