The therapeutic space is a space like no other, where we have the possibility of reaching into the most private areas of ourselves. This requires a certain level of safety – psychological safety, not just physical. Confidentiality of the meeting is a central part of this: I don’t discuss anything you say with anyone else, and I don’t mention to anyone that you may be seeing me (or not seeing me), nor whether I know you. There are some exceptions to this as below, but please note that if I do give information to others I would aim to discuss that with you first, if that is possible..
- If it seems that you are at risk of doing some harm to someone I may not promise to keep that confidential.
- If I am required by the legal system to provide information I may comply with their request, especially if I am legally compelled to do so.
- If you disclose something to me that the law insists that I disclose elsewhere I may do so.
- If you request me to give information to others I may do so.
All therapists in my professional organisation (BACP) are required to discuss their work periodically with another professional therapist, in a confidential and independent setting. This is called supervision or consultation, and I follow this practice. Indeed I offer this service to other therapists. It’s not as common in the USA but here in the UK it’s mostly compulsory. It’s a place where I can reflect on my work, so I can be of most help to those coming to see me for therapy.Material in supervision is anonymised. If you have any questions about confidentiality please ask me at any time.