Ethics & Confidentiality

As an accredited member of the BACP, ethical good practice and confidentiality are fundamental to a professional approach to counselling. My practice is founded on the Ethical Framework For The Counselling Professions to which all BACP members must adhere.

Ethical Good Practice

In particular, the BACP stipulates six core ethical principles for good practice, which outline my ethical responsibilities to you. They are:

  1. Being trustworthy: honouring the trust placed in the practitioner.
  2. Autonomy: respect for the client’s right to be self-governing.
  3. Beneficence: a commitment to promoting the client’s wellbeing.
  4. Non-maleficence: a commitment to avoiding harm to the client.
  5. Justice: the fair and impartial treatment of all clients and the provision of adequate services.
  6. Self-respect: fostering the practitioner’s self-knowledge, integrity and care for self.

(From Section 5 in the Ethical Framework)

Confidentiality

I will give you what I call 95% confidentiality, which means that under most circumstances, almost all that you say to me will stay between me and you. There are two notable exceptions to this rule: firstly, I am supervised, which means that the quality of my work is monitored. I will take aspects of my client work to supervision, but not in a way that will identify you, personally. Secondly, if I have serious concerns for your welfare, or if I feel that someone with whom you are connected may be in immediate danger and if I have exhausted all other possibilities by talking the situation through with you, then I may break confidentiality at my discretion. If I feel I do need to break confidentially, I will involve you in the decision making process as much as I can. Thirdly, if you suffer a medical emergency during a session with me, I may contact the emergency services on your behalf (e.g. ambulance, paramedic). For this reason, I will need your GP details, medical history and contact details for your next of kin.

When you see me for supervision or counselling, I will ask you to complete and sign an intake form giving me permission to break confidentiality if I feel I have a reason for doing so.

Finally, please be reassured that I have only ever needed to break client confidentiality twice in all my years of practice – it really is an action of last resort.

New Client/Supervisee Form

I ask all new clients and supervisees to complete an intake form, giving some personal details. This form can be completed on paper at the start of our first session together, or electronically beforehand:

Click here to complete the intake form electronically

Your information will be emailed to me, I will print out a copy of the email, then I will delete the email and ensure that it has been permanently removed from my mail server.