Trust is central to effective therapy. You need the confidence that your therapist has the expertise to support you, and that they will not break the confidentiality agreement established when you begin therapy. Knowing this will help you trust your therapist with your problems, so that they can help you to address them.
The professional bodies that our therapists are accredited, chartered or registered with all produce thorough confidentiality guidelines and training for their members. Your therapist will talk to you about confidentiality in your first session and reach agreement with you about its scope.
There are very few situations in which confidentiality would be broken and in most cases it would be under your control as the client and with your consent. They are:
- When someone is believed to be at risk of serious harm. That someone could be you, or a third party.
- If you ask your therapist to. For example, if you have suffered abuse of some kind and are involved in legal proceedings, or if you would like your GP to know about something.
Therapy is Confidential
- The information you share with your therapist will be treated by the therapist as confidential.
- A confidential client - therapist relationship will help you to air your concerns in ways not always possible in other types of relationships.
- Other people you know may have different definitions of confidentiality to the one held by your therapist.
- You and your therapist should discuss confidentiality and make a confidentiality agreement during assessment, prior to the start of therapy.
- Circumstances when confidentiality may be broken should be clarified, such as when someone is believed to be at risk of serious harm or when required by a court of law.
- Your therapist should always obtain your prior consent before involving another person, but if the situation is urgent and you are not available this may not be possible.