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 a 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 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. They also are obligated to report to the Children’s Aid Society if they know, or have reason to expect, a child is being abused.
Confidentiality Must Be Broken by the Counselor If:
- It becomes clear that a client intends to do serious harm to someone else.
- A client tells a therapist about abuse of a child. For more specific information on general legal requirements for reporting suspicions of child abuse in Ontario: https://boostforkids.org/file/2016/06/INFO-SHEET-7-SUMMARY-OF-LEGAL-REQUIREMENTS-FOR-REPORTING-SUSPICIONS-OF-CHILD-ABUSE.pdf . In addition, here is a document explaining the steps in reporting child abuse: https://boostforkids.org/file/2016/06/INFO-SHEET-8-STEPS-IN-REPORTING-SUSPICIONS-OF-CHILD-ABUSE.pdf
- A client reports that they are about to commit 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. Don not tell anyone else about any other person you meet, or see, at the Centre. If you meet someone you know at the Centre (aquaintance, friend, partner, family member), you must remember that information is confidential outside of the Centre.