Confidentiality is very important for the integrity of the counselling relationship. Counselling services for children, youth, adults and families are confidential with a few limitations. The law for counselling protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and counsellor. No information can be disclosed without prior written permission from the client or parents/guardians.
The limitations to confidentiality required by law which include:
If there is reason to believe, or a suspicion that a child is in danger of being abused, is currently being abused; the therapist is required by law to report this to the Ministry of Child and Family Development (MCFD) or police.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, the therapist is required to notify the police.
If an adult client intends to harm himself or herself, the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, the therapist is professionally bound to notify someone who has the ability to protect the client. Underage clients who disclose an intention to attempt to fatally harm themselves, or are suicidal must be reported.
Confidentiality + Minor Clients
Children and adolescents have a right to confidentiality, and will receive the same right to privacy as adult clients at Kindred Counselling. It is important for the integrity of the child and for the development of trust in the counselling relationship that the child does not feel pressured to talk about what happens in each of their counselling sessions with their parents/guardians. Children may sometimes be encouraged by the counsellor to share their counselling experiences with their parents/guardian, however it is their choice whether or not they want to do this. I do provide progress updates and feedback to parents with permission from the child/youth and explain to them in the onset of counselling about this. More specific details on this matter are outlined in the Informed Consent form.
Storage of Information
All client information is stored either in a locked filing cabinet or in a secured PIPA approved computer storage. This includes all forms, assessments, information requested from other health agencies (with permission) and session notes. Also, any art or creations that occur during sessions are considered confidential information and will also be stored in a safe location and will not be discussed with other clients. However, at times children like to display their art and with permission I will allow some art to be displayed in a designated area in my office.
Social Media + Electronic Communication Policy
It is no secret that in our day and age social media and electronic communication has become commonplace. It is a more convenient and often preferred way of communicating. However, in counselling situations it is important to keep your information private and confidential which is not guaranteed in these forms of communication. For this and other reasons, I do not engage in social media with my clients. I do make every effort to use secured sites and use password protected documents in all work related to my clients. I use email frequently and I am open to texting as a form of communication. Once we start this kind of communication when we are first connecting into a professional relationship, I assume that you are comfortable with this kind of communication despite there not being 100% assurance of confidentiality being maintained. Once you have verbally agreed as well as have read and signed the Social Media + Electronic Communication Policy clause, electronic communication is acceptable to use between us. Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about this.