David Wakely, M.A. UKCP reg.
|4th March 2021|
The work we do is confidential. There are certain legal exceptions to confidentiality agreements in therapy (if in the course of my work I receive information about terrorism, drug trafficking or money laundering, I will disclose this to the relevant authorities; if I know someone to be driving and consider them to be unfit to do so - e.g. if they are intoxicated - I will report this to the police) and in rare cases I reserve the right to waive the confidentiality agreement (e.g if I had serious reason to believe that a third party was in danger). My aim would be to discuss these situations with my client beforehand. One other exception is that, in common with all registered therapists, I am required to have my work supervised. In practice, this means that I have one-to-one meetings on a regular basis with a qualified supervisor in which I discuss my work. The intention of these meetings is to help me to keep my work up to a professional standard. My supervisor is bound by the same rules of confidentiality as myself.
I keep minimal amounts of data, stored electronically, connected with our work together. These include email addresses and/or telephone numbers for the purpose of communication (see below). I also keep session notes so that I can remember what we talked about in each session. None of this data is shared with other people (subject to the exceptions detailed above or in the event of any legal proceedings arising in connection with our work together). I am registered with the ICO (Information Commissioner's Office).
Privacy and online communication
In general, I meet clients in person for sessions. It is sometimes necessary, however, to conduct sessions by other means, e.g. by video call or by telephone. In these cases, it is important that we both ensure that the session remains private and that your confidentiality is protected. For video calls, I endeavour to use a platform which has end-to-end encryption and which does not store your details (at the time of writing, I am using Whereby, which does not require you to sign up to the service).
If we are meeting in this way, it is important for you to ensure that you are in a place which is private, where you will not be interrupted or overheard by others. You should also take steps to protect your security online e.g. by running antivirus and antimalware software, by deleting your internet history after the session etc. You should not record the sessions. Similar steps apply to telephone sessions.
It is also important to ensure privacy of communications via email and text message. As there is always a risk of written messages being intercepted, these should be kept to a minimum and I would recommend deleting messages after reading.
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