Confidentiality

What is confidentiality?

The duty of confidentiality placed on psychologists arises from a variety of obligations imposed by law, derived from acts of parliament, the common law and the European Convention on Human Rights. Confidentiality has been defined by the court (Venables v MGN [2001] 1 All ER 908 per Lady Justice Butler Sloss) as “[a]ll information about the [patients]…whether by records or otherwise, which relates to their medical, psychological or therapeutic care is, in principle, confidential. That confidentiality would, in my view, extend to art, or any other form of therapy, and to all those taking part in group therapy, and not only the therapist…”  

The confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychologist is generally protected by law and I, as your therapist, cannot and will not tell anyone else what you have discussed or even that you are in therapy without your permission.   In most situations, I can only disclose information about your treatment to others if you give written authorisation.   Only in exceptional circumstances can disclosure take place without your permission; generally, such disclosure must be considered essential to protect you and or third parties from the risk of death or serious harm or prevent a crime/civil wrong.
 
 You, on the other hand, may request that information is shared with whomever you choose and you may revoke that permission in writing at any time.

© 2018 Dr Nicholas Cook.