Client Confidentiality and Privacy in Counselling
At Melbourne Counselling we take confidentiality and privacy very seriously. Having a high degree of confidentiality is an essential part of creating a safe space for therapeutic work. We aim to offer a caring therapeutic environment where you feel free to openly explore and share parts of yourself which you may not otherwise choose to share with others. Client confidentiality is kept in accordance with the ethical guidelines of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA). Please be aware that your personal information and anything you share during the sessions will be kept confidential, except in the following circumstances:
(1) When failure to disclose the information would place you or another person at risk of harm; or
(2) It is subpoenaed by a court; or
(3) Your prior approval has been obtained to:
(a) provide a written report to another professional or agency—e.g. to a lawyer; or
(b) Discuss the material with another person—e.g. an employer or agency.
(4) As part of the ongoing professional supervision that all registered counsellors are required to undertake, details of your case may be shared with a supervisor in a way that does not expose your identity. Only relevant client case history may be shared during supervision. Any information that may be disclosed in supervision is also protected under a contract of confidentiality.
Your Client Record
Your counsellor will take case notes either during and / or on completion of a counselling session or other communication with you. All notes taken in the course of your treatment and all communications relating to your treatment become a part of your client record. Your client record is stored primarily electronically and is encrypted. Handwritten notes or records are securely stored in a locked cabinet.
You have a right to access your record at any point by making a request in writing. We are required to store your client record for 7 years after you cease engagement with your counsellor. Melbourne Counselling complies with the Health Records Act to protect the privacy of our clients personal information.