Confidentiality is very important to the Centre. Your therapist can further explain the current legal status of client files. When the information revealed in therapy is the subject of court action, your therapist may be subpoenaed into court. If you are anticipating any court action, please discuss it with your therapist before any court action is initiated. Any action to protect the confidentiality of your files must take place before a subpoena is issued.
The Centre does not reveal the names of clients to anyone. If someone should call to ask questions about you the office will only say, “We neither confirm nor deny that any person is a client of this agency”. Your therapist will have no contact with your family, friends, or anyone else, without first getting your written permission to do so. Your therapist will then follow your instructions as to what you wish them to be told or not told. It can usually be arranged for you to bring a family member/friend to one of your sessions if you want to, but talk it over with your therapist first.
There are some legal restrictions on therapeutic confidentiality. All therapists have a legal “duty to warn” if they are told in therapy that someone is in serious, imminent danger. Therapists are obligated to report to the Family and Children’s Services if they know or have reason to suspect, a child is being abused in any way. If a client reports they are at risk of suicide, an ambulance must be called for them. Therapists must report sexual abuse by another regulated health professional if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the health care professional has sexually abused a client, however, this report cannot include the client’s name unless the client consents in writing.
Confidentiality Must Be Broken by the Counsellor If:
It becomes clear that a client intends to do serious harm to someone else.
A client tells a therapist about the abuse of a child. For more specific information on general legal requirements for reporting suspicions of child abuse in Ontario.
A client reports that they are at risk of suicide. An ambulance will be called if there is an immediate concern about suicide.
Confidentiality of Other Clients:
Please also remember to respect the confidentiality of other clients and staff at the Centre. The names of our therapists, the office phone number and address, are public information. Anything else you see or hear at the Centre is confidential. Do not tell anyone else about any other person you meet, or see, at the Centre. If you meet someone you know at the Centre (acquaintance, friend, partner, family member), you must remember that information is confidential outside of the Centre.