All our Psychologists are bound by a very strict code of ethics to maintain confidentiality and be there in your corner. Everything you share with your Psychologist is strictly confidential; however, there may be situations where your Psychologist is required by law to disclose some information. We've put together some information here to help shed light on these situations.
Is everything I say in therapy confidential?
Everything you share with your Psychologist is strictly confidential; however, there are some unique situations where your Psychologist might need to break confidentiality for legal or ethical reasons. These include:
If your Psychologist is concerned about your safety or the safety of others, they are legally and ethically obliged to break confidentiality by telling someone who can ensure your safety (e.g., partner, GP, police). If you are able to be contacted, your Psychologist will try their best to let you know this is what they’ll do so that you have a head’s up;
If there is a court matter, and the courts subpoena your notes, your Psychologist is legally obliged to provide your notes to the court. Again, your Psychologist will let you know that this is the case so you know what’s happening with your information;
If you have a referral from your GP under a Mental Health Care Plan, then it is required, as a condition of accessing the Medicare rebates, that your Psychologist talk with your GP (usually via letters or phone) to ensure appropriate care;
If your Psychologist requires professional advice on issues that arise as part of therapy, they may speak to a colleague or supervisor (another Psychologist) to debrief or seek advice on the best way forward for you. However, in this situation, your identifying information is not provided to the other Psychologist unless prior consent has been obtained.
We'll always speak to you first before disclosing your information for any reason.
Can I see the same Psychologist as my family/friend/partner?
Ideally not. This is because your Psychologist will get to know you from an unbiased position and be there in your corner. If your Psychologist were to see someone you’re close to, then it becomes very challenging to stay unbiased when you’re hearing two sides to the same story and potentially getting conflicting information.
If your Psychologist finds out there’s a connection, they will advise you to seek support from another Psychologist if possible or to seek your informed consent. Otherwise, it may not be possible to speak about that specific relationship unless it’s been 2 or more years since the Psychologist engaged with your family/friend/partner.
If you see a Psychologist specifically for couples counselling, then your Psychologist will work with both you and your partner at the same time.