Safety & Confidentiality
Everything I am told during counselling remains strictly confidential. The only exceptions to this are where:
- I am required by law to break confidentiality e.g. about a terrorist act or if a court orders disclosure, or
- where a client is at real risk of seriously harming him or herself or another, in particular if a child or a vulnerable adult is at risk.
For further information about 'professional boundaries' in counselling see:
What do counsellors and psychotherapists mean by ‘professional boundaries'?
Supervision & records
I have regular supervision as required by the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. I am supervised by a highly qualified and experienced consultant psychotherapist This is to ensure that I am adequately supported and able to work in the best interests of my clients. I do not disclose the surnames or addresses of clients to my supervisor.
All records belong to me and are kept in accordance with ethical framework of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (‘BACP’). I am registered with the Information Commissioner's Office under the data protection (registration reference ZA120878). Clients can request a copy of the information I hold which will be provided within a month. I keep records for up to 6 years after the completion of the therapy. I retain two types of records:
- Key Information
I keep paper records of a client’s full name, date of birth, contact details, GP details, a copy of the counselling agreement, any completed evaluation forms, the contact details of any other relevant professionals involved, any relevant correspondence and any family trees. I also keep electronic records of my clients contact and GP details whilst I am working with them. These are kept separate to the 'therapeutic records’ and contact details may be shared with a colleague in the unexpected event I am unable to make contact with a client myself e.g. through illness.
- Therapeutic records
These cover the main themes of the sessions, any changes in ways of relating, progress towards the client’s goals in counselling, any risk issues and how they are being managed and any discussions about the counselling agreement as well as a record of payment and attendance. The therapeutic records are kept to help me to enhance the therapeutic process and to manage risk.
The therapeutic records are recorded electronically on a system called BACPAC set up as a a joint venture between BACP, and Mayden, which has been vetted by the NHS for hosting confidential medical information. These therapeutic records are kept separately to the 'key information’. They do not include information which could identify an individual such as names and addresses.
For further information about counselling generally see: