I thought it would be helpful to say a few words about privacy and confidentiality. As a professional psychologist who has been a committed member of the Australian Psychological Society [APS] for decades, your privacy is very important to me.

My relationship with you will be confidential. That means I will not communicate with others about you or aspects of your life without your permission, whether you are interacting with me online, by phone or Skype, or face to face. And of course, I will not pass your email address or other details on to any other party or organisation. Your privacy is safe with me.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. If I believe that withholding some information is likely to be seriously harmful to you or someone else, and that sharing it with someone is likely to reduce the risk of significant harm, then I would be obliged to tell the appropriate person or authority. This is especially true in cases of child abuse. Of course, if I was in that situation, I would usually try to talk to you about it first.

When I am working with children, I will usually share helpful information with parents and other carers. In most cases, except for very young children, I will try to get the child’s permission to share information first. In the case of adolescents, depending on their age and maturity, I will try to respect their confidentiality, but will usually ask their permission to share a few things with parents or involve the parents from time to time.   If an older teenager is adamant about not involving a parent, I will usually respect that choice, except, again, if I believe that withholding information will put the client or another person at risk.

The third exception is, if I and/or my files are subpoenaed by a court of law, and I am asked about you under oath. This is very rare in the case of confidential clients. It hasn’t happened to me yet in 30 years. Of course, I have given written and verbal evidence about clients in court, but that has only been when I have been asked by the client, a legal representative, or a court, to write a report to help the court make its decision in criminal, family law or children’s court matters. In these cases the person is aware from the first meeting of the intention of the  interviews.

Oh, and finally, I am obliged as a professional psychologist to have regular clinical supervision and case discussions with colleagues. This helps us all cope with the distressing life stories we hear in our work, as well as keep our skills buoyant and up to date. The old adage two heads are better than one is often true. Even though my colleagues are bound by the same code of ethics and rules of confidentiality as I am, we avoid giving names or too many other details about the clients we discuss. We are more interested in the processes.

I think that covers the exceptions. I hope I have been clear. But if you have any questions, please call or email.


PH  07456660227

Lorri  Craig  MAPSskinnypiersbrightonandhove
15B Cambridge Road
Brighton and Hove