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Confidentiality

Clients' Rights

You have the right to ask questions about anything that happens in your counselling sessions.  I am always willing to discuss why I am suggesting or recommending a particular course of action, and am open to exploring what might work better for you.  Feel free to ask me to try something you think will be helpful, as well as to refuse any counselling techniques.  You are free to leave counselling at any time.

If you require more specialized care/therapy (eg.  for complex trauma, severe addiction, court-ordered anger management, eating disorders, young children, psychological/educational/parent capacity assessments), I can provide you with information about relevant professionals, agencies, programs, support groups, etc..

Confidentiality and Exceptions

Therapy is most effective when you can be open and honest.  Most people feel safe discussing their private lives when they know that what they reveal will not leave their therapist's office.  Social Workers (like myself) are legally and ethically bound to keep their counselling sessions confidential and not share with anyone else what was talked about.  

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.  I am legally obligated to disclose otherwise private/confidential information, to ensure the safety of my clients and/or other persons, under the following circumstances:

  1.  I have reasonable grounds to believe that a client poses an imminent risk of serious harm to him/herself (suicidal intentions, self-harming) or anyone else (threat of violence, homicidal intentions).
     
  2.  I have reasonable grounds to believe that a child (under age 16 in Ontario) is being abused/neglected, has been abused/neglected or is at risk of abuse/neglect as defined by law  (which may be different from your own definition).
     
  3.  I have reasonable grounds to believe that an elderly or disabled person is being abused/neglected.
     
  4.  A client discloses acts of abuse by a licensed health care professional.
     
  5.  A judge subpoenas me and my clinical records (session notes) to appear in court.