Respecting your confidentiality is not only of upmost importance to me but also an integral aspect of successful counselling in building trust. However, there are occasions when you may be at risk of significant harm and it may be important to share information with others such as your GP. This will be discussed and explored at an introductory session and contracted before counselling begins. If I am concerned for your welfare, I will let you know.
Confidentiality and Children and Young People
Confidentiality is just as important to children and young people as it is to adults. Children of any age have the right to respect of a private life. Young people aged 16-17 years have the same entitlement to confidentiality as would an adult. Under the age of 16, young people in England and Wales, with ‘sufficient understanding’, are deemed capable to consenting. However, if a child or young person is believed to be at risk of harm from themselves or others it may be necessary to share information.
The child or young person will be notified of this at the time of contracting and will enter into counselling knowing this is the case before any sessions commence. If information sharing is to occur the child or young person will be informed of this decision and supported through the process within the professional relationship.
There are also times when the client wishes their parents or carers to be informed about the content of counselling. I will only contact parents or carers and discuss the contents of a session with the child or young person’s permission.