Counselling offers a confidential space in which difficult issues might be discussed and explored. This means that subjects which are deeply personal, and even taboo, can be considered. To maintain tight confidentiality I will not identify you to anyone else unless legally, ethically or professionally required to do so. Click here to see these limits explained as a part of the professional ethical code I subscribe to.
If I am working together with yourself and anyone else, as a couple or in any other capacity, I will maintain joint confidentiality, but cannot maintain individual confidences for you alone. I will maintain the joint confidentiality as I would for any individual, described as follows.
In order to review my work I work closely with supervision. In such situations, you will not be identified to any supervisor. Whilst I may discuss our work in depth at times, my supervision is there to help ensure that I am working ethically and effectively. They are not in a position to breach your confidentiality. In the extremely rare situation where they may recognise you through also separately relating to you, they are professionally required to maintain the same level of confidentiality that I myself offer.
Any notes I make will be anonymised and securely stored. I am willing to discuss and share your notes with you at any time. It is for you to decide if to then share them with anyone else. In order to anonymise notes, I keep them completely separate to personal details that identify you.
I make notes for a few different reasons. Unless agreed, I do not make notes with a view to supporting existing legal or professional proceedings. I do not offer any form of expert assessment.
Firstly, I keep initial notes to aid my memory. These are usually fairly sparse notes intended only to remind me of the themes of our work together.
Secondly, if I believe there is any legal, ethical or professional concern, I will keep what I believe are appropriate notes. These and the initial notes would be made available if legally or professionally required. My preference would be to agree any disclosure with you, but in extreme cases, like terrorist offences or money laundering, such agreement may not be possible. Often, these notes will relate to any potential for serious harm to yourself or others, or to potential legal procedures.
Thirdly, I use notes for personal reasons, possibly linking to my studies, research and professional development, workshop activities and possible publications. In such use you will not be identifiable to anybody else and your situation will be specifically anonymised. I will not link these notes to you unless legally or professionally required to do so.