I am bound by ethics, and privacy, for all my Clients.
The service I provide is 100% confidential and private. I do not ever reveal any of your contact information or our sessions together, unless I believe you are at risk of harm or am leagally required to by law (Counsellor/Client Contract below).
When I see a Counsellor myself, as required, and undertake any supervision, I never reveal any information and details of any of my Clients.
Due to the fact that my service is solely on the computer, I do what is necessary to protect privacy.....I use an up-to-date firewall, and antivirus software; suitable password protection on everything; for email sessions I use www.hushmail.com and https://mail.protonmail.com in accordance with the BACP's mandatory guidelines for online counselling; if I have to leave my computer when it is on then I lock it, and it self locks at 5 mins of inactivity if I did forget to do so; all information and contact details used, and stored, between us is only ever used on accounts which are solely mine (name, pasword, etc.), and not associated with any of my personal systems; you can request at any time for your details and information to be deleted, plus any information and details regarding any person who has not replied to contact for a period of 12 months will automatically be deleted (unless otherwise requested).
Please try to ensure security at your end, wherever possible. Try to make sure that you use, for example, a different email address and password protection. Everything we say together should be totally private, so try not to use anything which is shared.
When it comes to social sites I will never discuss anything about any of my Clients, never. I will always discuss issues, etc., but everything will always be generalized. Please do the same, and never comment anything about details we may discuss together during sessions...thank you. Everything I write, on any sites, I would appreciate that if it is shared that it is done so under my name and not take credit for by anyone else.
Please note that counsellors are professionally and ethically bound not to continue with therapy if it appears not to be beneficial to the client and reserve the right to decline clients if the counsellor feels that a client's needs may be best met elsewhere.
This counselling contract outlines the confidentiality and boundaries that a counsellor offers. Confidentiality is absolute and whatever you disclose in a counselling session is never revealed outside the session in connection with the client’s name, neither is the identity of the client ever revealed to anyone. This has certain legal exceptions ie if you threaten to seriously hurt or kill others (if the counsellor feels you really mean it) or if you tell the counsellor that you have seriously hurt someone, sexually abused a child or killed someone already. Also, if you state that you intend to kill yourself and the counsellor believes that you mean to do so, then the counsellor will need to inform a doctor or emergency services that you are in danger. The counsellor must inform the appropriate authorities in all these exceptions to complete confidentiality and will tell you that he/she is obliged to do so. This is to protect the counsellor, yourself and others and is a legal requirement. If important information is not supplied by the client, the counsellor can not be held responsible for any events which may happen to the client, or others, due to lack of disclosure. The contract also specifies that after the session, confidential notes may be made by the counsellor about the content and process of the counselling sessions but that you will not be identified in any way. The notes are to help the counsellor follow the counselling process and identify patterns etc. Also, the counsellor will explain that he/she has supervision, either with one supervisor or within a confidential peer group setting. Supervision is something that every practising counsellor must have to maintain client and counsellor safety during counselling. The supervisor will not be told anything which identifies the client - it is the counselling issues that are discussed - perhaps there are problems with client/counsellor transference or the counsellor is having difficulty dealing with certain issues because they impinge upon his/her own experiences.
NB: Proceeding with my Counselling/Therapy is in itself acceptance of the above contract, and must be ahered to by both parties.
All Counsellors use to be bound by a Code of Ethics and Practice, but that was recently replaced by the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, by the (BACP) British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy....to which membership is voluntary. The framework is, as it should be, very extensive and inclusive....the link below is open to everyone.
When conducting online therapy it is good practice to abide by the Professional Conduct and Code of Ethics, by The Association for Counselling and Therapy Online (ACTO)....membership also being voluntary.
I believe in a Counsellor/Client relationship based on mutual respect.
I will not promise to cure you, that is within your own power, but I will promise to listen, guide, and act....and you will change for the better.