Sunday, November 4, 2018

Confidentiality Rules - How Secret Are Our Sessions?

Want to reach out but aren't sure how safe your secrets are? Check out the rules that govern confidentiality.

If you don't have 5 minutes to watch it, the take-away is this:

I work over Skype, WhatsApp and Messenger video streaming, so you sit in your space, I sit in mine, and nobody knows we're talking. There's no waiting room, no secretary, nobody to see us. It's super secret. 

Confidentiality is absolute except for when:
  • You are in immediate danger of suicide or self-harm 
  • You make a credible threat about killing or injuring someone else
The emphasis here is on safety: yours and other people's. As you most likely live far away from me, it's not like I can rush over to help. Therefore, when we have our first session, you designate an emergency contact.

Your emergency contact need not know we're talking. You just give me their name and phone number. Then, if there's an emergency, I contact them and we all work to make sure everyone stays safe.

Confidentiality is also breached if:
  • The police come knocking on the door because you are a terrorist, serial killer or other threat
  • A judge asks me questions in court
This has never happened but I'm putting it here just in case. If you're going through a divorce or other legal issue, ask your lawyer before you contact me.

Confidentiality is also breached if: 
  • You ask me to talk to someone for you
If you want me to disclose information to your teacher/doctor/employer, I write a letter and I email it to you. Then you hand it over at your own will and discretion.

Basic rule: what we discuss stays private unless there's a real danger to someone or if the law is involved.

I hope that helps. 

Note: This is my first ever video, and I'm still learning about presentation, lighting and editing. If you've any comments or suggestions for improvement, please do let me know.

Also, if you have questions, you can read my therapy agreement in full here.