Confidentiality

Service Record Keeping 

When you contact the Service, a record is created. The purpose of this is to record your contact with the Service and appointments with your counsellor/therapist.

This is held securely in electronic form and paper file within the Service in line with the University’s Records Retention policy. 

For more information, please see http://www.gcu.ac.uk/dataprotection/retention/

Confidentiality  

Confidentiality is a very important aspect of counselling and psychotherapy, enabling people to feel they can talk freely about their concerns in a safe environment.

Staff working in the Counselling Team will not pass on personal information about clients (including information on attendance) to anyone outside the Service (including academic staff). However there are a very few occasions when we would consider it necessary to break confidentiality.

These are:

  • when you have given us your consent to disclose information.
  • if we believed you were in serious danger of harming yourself or another person.
  • where we have been given information which would render us liable to civil or criminal court procedure should it not be disclosed.

In such situations we would normally encourage you to disclose the information to the relevant person/agency. If there is no indication that this has happened, or is likely to happen, or if the crisis or danger is sufficiently acute, the counsellor/psychotherapist may pass on the information directly.

Consent to disclose information will be sought from the client, if at all possible.

Access to Records

Under the DPA you have the right to see records that are kept about you.   For information on how to access your record please see http://www.gcu.ac.uk/dataprotection/personalinformation/

If your record includes a letter or additional information from a third party, consent will need to be obtained before the contents of this are disclosed as data protection is also granted to third parties. 

Access to counselling/therapy notes

 Your counsellor/therapist may record background information and key issues worked on in the counselling sessions.  If you ask to see these notes, it is important that these are discussed with your counsellor/therapist as they may be in code or abbreviated and may need explaining.  

If you wish to see your record please speak with your counsellor/therapist, please be aware that one week’s notice is normally required.

Supervision and Professional development

Counsellors/therapists within the Service adhere to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy’s (BACP) Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. 

If you would like to access a copy of this, please see here www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework.

As part of continuing professional development all counsellors/therapists in the Service receive supervision from a supervisor who is independent of the University.   During this supervision the counsellor/therapist may talk about the work that they are doing with you in your sessions.  The primary purpose of this is to facilitate and develop the counsellor/therapist therapeutic practice.  Your identity is protected in this process. 

Sometimes your counsellor/therapist may ask you if they can tape-record counselling sessions for the purpose of professional development.  If you have any objections to taping please let your counsellor/therapist know.  You have the right to withdraw your permission at any time.