Confidentiality

 

Your Rights as a Client

  • Be treated with respect
  • Receive a clear explanation of the counselling service you will receive
  • Receive an explanation about the nature and limits of confidentiality
  • Be clear about the goals that you and the clinician are working toward
  • Receive a competent and professional service
  • Receive a clear statement about the fees
  • Be clear about the number of sessions that you will require to achieve your goals
  • Receive a counselling service free from sexual harassment
  • Be shown respect for your cultural background and language tradition.

Confidentiality and Privacy when you see Clinicians

Clinicians registered and working in Australia are bound by a strict Code of Ethics which includes maintaining client confidentiality and privacy. Please read the information below to learn about how your privacy and confidentiality will be maintained when you visit a Clinician.

NB: Confidentiality will be broken if there is a perceived significant risk to life or harm to others or under court subpoena.

1. Clinicians safeguard the confidentiality of information obtained during their provision of services. Considering their legal and organisational requirements, clinicians a) make provisions for maintaining confidentiality in the collection, recording accessing, storage, dissemination, and disposal of information a) take reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of information after they leave a specific work setting, or cease to provide psychological services.

2. Clinicians disclose confidential information obtained in the course of their provision of professional services only under any one or more of the following circumstances a) with the consent of the relevant client or a person with legal authority to act on behalf of the client b) where there is a legal obligation to do so c) if there is any immediate and specified risk of harm to an identifiable person or persons that can be averted only by disclosing information d) when consulting colleagues, or in the course of supervision or professional training, provided the clinician; i. conceals the identity of clients and associated parties involved; or ii. obtains the client’s consent, and gives prior notice to the recipients of the information that they are required to preserve the client’s privacy, and obtains an undertaking from the recipients of the information that they will preserve the client’s privacy.

3. Clinicians inform clients at the outset of the professional relationship, and as regular thereafter as is reasonably necessary, of the: a. limits to confidentiality; and b. foreseeable users of the information generated in the course of the relationship.

4. When a standard of this code allows clinicians to disclose information obtained in the course of the provision of psychological/speech pathology services, they disclose only that information which is necessary to achieve the purpose of the disclosure, and then only to people required to have that information.

5. Psychologists/Speech Pathologists use information collected about the client for a purpose other than primary purpose of the collection only: a. with the consent of the client; b. if the information is de-identified and used in the course of duly approved research or; c. when the use is required or authorised by order of law.

6. Release of information to clients: psychologists/speech pathologists, with consideration of legislative exceptions and their organisational requirements, do not refuse an reasonable request from clients, or former clients, to access client information, for which the psychologist/speech pathologist have professional responsibility.

7. Paper and electronic file notes are held securely, with password protection or stored in lockable filing cabinets to protect client records. Legally, clients files are held for seven years and then destroyed.

Please discuss with your psychologist/speech pathologist any particular concerns you may have regarding the privacy of your information.