There is recognition that in using the Service, the need for confidentiality is paramount. In keeping with the ethics of professional counsellors the boundaries of confidentiality are always discussed with clients at the outset. In local practice this means:
- that no-one should know who is using the Service, other than the member of staff (the client) concerned and those (Counsellor and Service Secretary) within the Service.
- that counsellors do not make reports to anyone, including Heads of Department, about their staff.
- that no information is disclosed unless the client (member of staff) gives permission or makes a request for such action.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
Confidentiality cannot be promised if any of the following is disclosed to counsellors:
- If you give information which leads the counsellor to believe that you or someone else is in danger of serious harm then, after careful consideration, the counsellor may take steps to minimize this danger. Any such action would be discussed with you first if possible.
- Exceptional situations may arise in which the counsellor will be legally required to disclose information, for example when ordered to do so by a court or by statutory obligation to disclose information to the authorities concerning knowledge of acts of terrorism, drug trafficking, child abuse etc.
- If contact with your GP (or other person/agencies) is needed, the counsellor will request your permission/discuss this with you in advance.
- Counsellors in the Service work as a team and may share information in certain circumstances, such as when a client has seen more than one counsellor. This is done only when required and with sensitivity to the fact that some counsellors may be known to clients in other contexts.
- All counsellors receive regular supervision of their work in accordance with BACP guidelines. Every effort is made to maintain your anonymity. In most cases supervision takes place with persons not employed by the University.