Confidentiality is vital to the counselling work and to our professional therapeutic relationship. Even when a client believes that breaking that confidentiality might assist them in some way, I will still have a say on whether or not I will comply with the client giving their permission.
Ideally, the client(s) and I will discuss such matters before the client(s) take such action. Where no such discussion takes place, the client may wish to be aware that operate with certain boundaries in these matters:
- Solicitors letter – If I receive a letter from a solicitor asking to give information on our case, I will – for reasons of protecting confidentiality – decline to comment on our case. This will be so even if you give your authority for me to discuss our clinical work with a third party. Due to the paramount of the confidential nature of our therapeutic relationship I will not reveal any contents of our work, nor will I confirm nor deny if you have been in counselling with me. It is important that a client is aware of my position in these matters as to assume that giving your permission to your solicitor for him/her to contact me may surprise you by my response if you are unaware of my position. If I am required to write a response to your solicitor I will make a charge for doing so – even when it is to decline to respond to the request for information about your therapy with me.
- Attendance forms for a Student-of-Counselling‘s Therapy Hours – I will co-sign a form that you have prepared/completed that shows the number of sessions that you have attended. I will not reveal any information about our counselling work. Attendance forms that I am required to complete on your behalf (e.g. noting dates of your attendance) I may agree to complete this with you after first discussing it with you, however I will make a charge for completing the form and I will not reveal any information about the content of our work.
- Sponsorship/application forms – if I am asked to co-sign a form on your behalf (e.g. housing application form) I will decline.
- Summary of Sessions (eg Insurance) – Some insurance companies that fund counselling on your behalf may request that I summarise our work for them (eg a treatment plan, measurements & a written summary of each session – or an overview of the counselling work). It is important that you are aware that I will decline to do this.
- Receipt – if you require a receipt for your payment for counselling I will provide one that only shows your name, the amount the session cost, that the receipt is for counselling, and my name.
- Most other letters and/of forms that you (or a third party on your behalf) ask of me will require a discussion between you and I before I make my decision, but I will still not break our agreement with respect to confidentiality. Should I not invited to discuss this with you, my position will be to decline to give a response to any such requests. My position is that I will not choose to break the confidentiality of our work.
Charges for completing forms.
Should we have discussed, and I have agreed, to complete forms as discussed within the boundaries above, my charge will be my standard hourly rate for the type of therapy offered to you – rounded up to the nearest hour.