Counselling is a unique relationship and you may reveal things about yourself which you have never spoken of before.
As a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) I am committed to working within and am accountable to their ‘Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling’. A full copy of which can be found at: www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework
Summarising the important parts in relation to my work I can assure you of the following:
Counselling sessions and all my communications with you are confidential.
It is only in certain exceptional circumstances that this would change. One of which is with client consent and the other is if I was required to do so by law.
If it is evident that there is a serious risk of harm to you or another person from what you tell me then I would need to discuss this with you and decide on the best way forward. Ideally you would take action yourself or I would have your consent to take action, if action where required. However, in certain extreme cases it may be that I need to do something, without your consent to prevent serious harm. In this circumstance my ethical obligation would override the confidentiality.
I attend regular supervision as a professional requirement for my counselling, during which time I talk about my client work. It is an important aspect of my counselling work as it engenders a high standard of practice and care for both client and counsellor. At supervision I discuss all clients and our work together without identifying them personally.