Confidentiality of Information
Confidentiality is a means of providing clients with safety and privacy. Confidentiality of information between the therapist and the client is protected, with the following exceptions
- When the information given in a counselling session, indicates that minors (under 18 years) has been or may be at risk of being physically, sexually or emotionally abused
- Where there is a serious risk of harm to self or to another
The issue of confidentiality will be discussed during the contracting stage prior to the first session where any concerns can be addressed at this stage. In order to protect client anonymity, client codes are used on notes and client identity is protected when engaging in supervision.
General Data Protection Regulation
Client information is generally provided by the clients to the therapist. However, there are exceptions when information is obtained from external sources:
- You have been referred
- Other services are involved and have provided information
- Other persons are involved – parents/guardian
Therapists are legally and ethically obliged to maintain basic notes and records. Client notes facilitate therapists to track progression in therapy. Information recorded includes details of themes discussed in sessions, plans, interventions used, observations made during sessions, contact between sessions, artwork. Details regarding GP contact details, medications, next of kin are also retained on file in case of emergency. Client information is stored on an encrypted lap-top and written notes are retained in a secure locked storage area.
Access to client information is protected. Clients have a right to request your notes in writing under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000. In addition, notes can be court ordered. Information can be shared with other professionals with your consent or where there you, or someone else or a minor is deemed to be at risk.
Legally it is required for information to be maintained for a minimum of seven years after therapy ends.