Documented records of sessions with a child are kept until they turn 21 years old. No information is released without client or parental consent unless it is one of the exceptions explained below.
What is spoken or shared in counselling remains private except for certain exceptions. These exceptions are in place for your safety and for legal purposes. These reasons will be covered in your initial meeting, but they are important enough that they will be stated here.
Confidentiality cannot be upheld if:
1. Client discloses child abuse (physical, emotional, sexual).
2. Client discloses the desire to self-harm.
3. Client discloses the desire to harm others.
4. The client is involved in a court case and the case notes have been subpoenaed by the judge.
COURT APPEARANCES AND LEGAL MATTERS
I will only appear in court if subpoenaed. The client will be billed at my hourly rate.
RISKS AND BENEFITS
Counselling has an incredible number of benefits; from improving your self-image to improving your relationships with others, to gaining clarity about decisions and your life, to resolving deeply held hurts and pain, and to embracing a greater sense of self-worth.
However, it may also be possible that uncomfortable feelings and sensations may arise as you work through past emotional pain. It is important to have supports in place when that happens during your time in counselling.
As part of any successful therapeutic relationship, it is absolutely essential that the client be committed to their own work. Whether it is simply journaling between sessions or implementing something from session in daily life, on-going commitment to this is paramount.