Confidentiality & Risk

Psychological .

Data Protection

My Family Psychologist adheres to current data protection legislation, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and we are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office accordingly.

Psychologists have a professional and legal responsibility to confidentiality, and to respect and protect information about you. This applies both adults and children.

Confidentiality & Children

In the case of children (in this instance under the age of 16), the rules of Gillick Competency apply. To be Gillick Competent, the child is deemed to have the cognitive competence and understanding to fully appreciate why they are in attendance at an appointment and what is involved in their assessment, therapy, and care.

In the absence of Gillick Competency, an agreement regarding the sharing of information relating to assessment and therapy will be made between My Family Psychologist and the child’s parent(s) or guardian.

It can often come as a surprise to parents or guardians that a child has an automatic right to confidentiality, since they are minors and in their care. However, this concern need not be therapy interfering. More often than not the child will consent to portent and relevant information being passed to parents or guardians without issue.

The stock question “is there anything you specifically do not want your parents or guardian to know is nearly always enough to elicit the response “no, it is fine” or “they know most of it anyway”. However, this is usually accompanied with “I just don’t want to have to talk to them about it myself.” This is perfectly normal. It is almost always easier to talk to an impartial third party than to parents or guardians. This also applies to adults.

Rest assured, if there is any information that I judge you as parents or guardians should know I will discuss this with you, with your child’s consent and a discussion wit them in the first instance.

You can find more information regarding consent, confidentiality, and children on the NHS website here:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/consent-to-treatment/children/

Confidentiality & Risk

There are of course exceptions to confidentiality, particularly in relation to risk and safeguarding.

Where there is evidence or it is my clinical judgement that there is clear and imminent risk to the client or others then I have a professional duty to share this information with the relevant authorities or other organisations. The organisations then work within a multidisciplinary framework in order to safeguard the client or others. In such an event, where it is possible and safe to do so, any duty bound disclosures will be discussed with you in the first instance and your consent obtained.

Examples of safeguarding issues may include (but are not limited to) situations where:

  • The client has a clear and imminent plan to end or their life or significantly put themselves in danger
  • There is evidence of a clear and imminent risk to the client from another individual(s)
  • The client has clear and imminent plans to harm another individual(s)
  • A criminal offence has occurred (including historical)

You can find more information on confidentiality and risk policy on the Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC) website:

https://www.hcpc-uk.org/standards/standards-of-conduct-performance-and-ethics/

If you would like to know more about how My Family Psychologist can help, call us on 07801 079555 or email luisa@myfamilypsychologist.com

I offer a free fifteen minute consultation to explain more about how I work and to see if we are a fit. If I cannot help I guarantee to signpost you to other originations and services that can.

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