Privacy and Confidentiality Policy

Last updated November 2020

1. Confidentiality and Record Keeping 

1.1 In general, the information that you share with us will remain confidential. This means that we must protect your privacy and not share information about you with others. This applies whether the information is given to us verbally or in written form and extends to the fact that you have attended or are going to attend counselling with us.

1.2 We have a legal obligation to protect this information, and we do so by ensuring that all paper records are kept in a secure filing cabinet to which nobody else has access; that all electronic records are kept in secure documents to which nobody else has access; and that we keep information with your identity (such as you intake form) separate from your session/contact notes.

1.3 We will keep your counselling records for at least seven (7) years, and in some cases, we may be required by law to retain records for a longer period.

2. Limits of Confidentiality

2.1 It is important that you understand, however, that there are certain circumstances under which we will share information about you or about what you have told us. These situations are:

2.1.1 Where you have explicitly given us permission to share information, such as informing your emergency contact of an emergency situation or when you have signed your permission for a referral.
2.1.2 Where we consider you to be at risk of harming yourself or someone else.
2.1.3 Where we consider a child to be at risk.
2.1.4 In some cases where a significant crime may be or has been committed.
2.1.5 Where your counselling records, or part thereof, have been requested by a court of law.

2.2 At times, we may also discuss aspects of our work together with our professional supervisor(s). This is an important part of meeting our professional responsibilities. We will not provide information that could identify you in the course of these discussions.

3. Confidentiality Agreement

3.1 Before we commence counselling, you must sign the confidentiality agreement that we will provide you to indicate your understanding of the information above.
3.2 If you have any questions or concerns about privacy or confidentiality, you are most welcome to raise them with a member of the Dorfen Health Services team.

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