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Ethics... Exoploring Privacy and Confidentiality: Gray Areas
following is a consumer alert article)
law, however, doesn't guarantee privacy, and professional ethics also override
confidentiality in certain situations. Below are some typical circumstances where
confidentiality may be limited or not kept:
All professionals should advise you of the conditions of confidentiality the first time you see them, and will be able to explain how they handle each of the conditions. If you are on an employee assistance plan, for example, the counselor may only have to verify attendance and not the disclose content of your sessions. They can also share with you any disclosures they make or limit those disclosures.
If you are facing or there's the possibility of a court case (for example historical child abuse or child custody hearings), please consult a lawyer as soon as possible. In Canada, how the court handles counseling files has been reviewed in a number of recent court cases, and it's very important that you get the latest information.
Again, be aware that most counselors are very careful about how they handle and record information and how they handle disclosures of any kind. Although there has been a lot of publicity about the lack of confidentiality in certain areas, like court cases on historical abuse, in general, disclosure is rare.
Any concerns around confidentiality should be brought up promptly with your counselor http://www.cisp.org/imp/november_99/11_99gellman-insight.htm.
See what the Internet is telling your clients about confidentiality...http://www3.bc.sympatico.ca/lakescounsel/privacy.htm.
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