We believe you have a right to privacy and we work hard to ensure your privacy is maintained. We define confidentiality as maintaining the privacy of what is discussed in the therapist-client relationship. We strive to maintain your confidentiality in many different ways. For example, we assign you a client number to avoid using your name. This is useful where there is a potential for others in the office to see your name. At intake, we gather information about how you wish to be contacted. When we phone, we will not leave our name or number unless you have previously told us this is okay. Information you share in therapy is kept private. We will only share information with family members or other professionals with your written permission. This includes children aged 12 and over. We only release statistical information to EFAP employers. We book appointments 15 minutes apart to minimize clients running into one another. Please note: if you have a heightened need for privacy and discretion, please make your concerns known when booking an appointment.
Most professionals consult and receive supervision of their work. Some agencies require therapists to review their files in case management meetings with a team. At Walmsley we consult with each other about our work with clients. The purpose of consulting is to focus on the counsellor’s work, to provide guidance and support, and to grow as counsellors – resulting in better service to all clients. While counsellors discuss their cases with each other in an effort to provide best practice of care for our clients, whenever possible, cases are discussed in a manner that does not reveal the identity of the party or parties involved.
In some jurisdictions only lawyers, doctors and clergy are immune from prosecution by withholding information from the court. If a court subpoena’s your file, there is a possibility that information may have to be presented to the court. While these situations are rare, usually the client is aware of the subpoena before we are. If we do receive notification from a court, we will notify you and discuss the possibility of challenging the subpoena. In addition to a subpoena from court, there are three legal situations that do not allow any adult to keep information private: If we receive information that leads us to believe someone is at risk of harming themselves, we must take steps to protect them by notifying the appropriate authorities. If there is a suspicion of child abuse, by law it must be reported to the appropriate authorities. If we learn that someone is about to be seriously harmed, we must report the information to the police. It is critical that you feel confident that the information you entrust with Walmsley and your counsellor is treated with the utmost privacy and respect. If you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call.