Client confidentiality is an inherent and vital part of the relationship between therapist and client, whether the relationship is taking place on a face-to-face basis, or through online sessions. However, potential clients must be aware that all therapists are required by law to breach that confidentiality in exceptional circumstances. If I believe that you pose a significant danger to yourself or someone else I have an obligation to act. I aim to speak to you about this first.
I will not share your identity, nor our communications, with any third parties, at any time. However, it is a requirement that all counsellors and psychotherapists submit evidence of their work to the governing body to ensure best working practices are being adhered to. In these cases, and if your case is used as an example, your identity will not be provided.
When our sessions are completed, and you are no longer attending therapy, all materials relating to our transactions will be removed from my computers and devices and stored securely and anonymously or deleted permanently. You will be assigned a client ID number so that identifying details remain unattached to your materials. This is a legal requirement, both online and face-to-face. All materials are owned by the therapist but will not be shared with any third parties, under both legal and ethical obligations.
I will not respond to any friend requests from you on any social media even if you were a client of mine many years ago. Please do not be offended. I will not do this because this may compromise your confidentiality.
Online counselling is not an effective solution if you are in acute distress, suicidal, or considering self-harm. In these cases it is vital that you contact your GP, the Accident & Emergency department of your nearest hospital, or The Samaritans on 116 123 (UK) or 116 123 (ROI).