Is Therapy or Counselling Confidential?

Is therapy confidential?

The APA definition of confidentiality is professional ethics, which requires mental health professionals to limit the disclosure of the client’s identity, their condition, or treatment. However, the real question is, “Is therapy or counseling confidential?” What are the confidentiality exceptions in counseling?”

Many people want to seek therapy and counseling but are hesitant to share private matters or stories with strangers. The hesitation may stem from fear of being judged by the therapist or psychologist. To overcome this fear, trust must be built between the client and the psychologist.

Is therapy or counseling confidential?

Almost all of the therapeutic and counseling settings are confidential. In the beginning of the counseling session, the psychologist will ensure confidentiality and explain the exceptions to maintaining confidentiality. Psychologist will maintain confidentiality about everything said in the counselling session. Psychologists also record the session either by using a recording or by taking notes, all of which will be kept private. There are laws and regulations that are essential parts of the psychology code of ethics.

Is there a limit on confidentiality?

There are exceptions, which are also stated in the ethics of psychology. These exceptions are for the well-being of the client and people in the client’s life. In situations where the client reports harming themselves or others, confidentiality is breached. The psychologist is responsible for reporting it to the emergency contact and recommending hospitalization. When the client is stable, the psychologist will work with close friends and family to formulate an intervention plan to support the client and maintain a sense of stability.

In cases of abuse or child neglect, the psychologist has to report to the authorities, law enforcement, or child protective services to ensure the safety of the client. In the case of children, the parents are obligated to be informed when the child is in danger.

Psychologists are trained to make their clients feel comfortable sharing and openly discussing the matter that concerns them. A psychologist will assure you that the information is safe. Remember that you can always ask your psychologist if you have any questions about the confidentiality agreement between the psychologist and client during the session.

In a situation where you are accompanied by family or a friend, the psychological ethics allow the psychologist to talk with the family or friends about the mental health treatment. In case the client is not able to make a sound decision, family members are involved in the treatment. The psychologist may use their own reasonable judgment to share the clinical information with the family or friends who are directly involved.

If medication is required to treat the mental health condition, client reports and records are circulated among the mental health professionals and family members, as they are professionally obligated to know the treatment.




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