Are the sessions confidential?
The identity of the client and the content of the counselling conversation is private and confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone without the client’s permission.
It is important to note that there are certain exceptions to this confidentiality. As a healthcare professional, I am obliged by law and the ethical rules of the HPCSA, to break confidentiality under the following exceptional circumstances:
Should you be a danger to yourself or others, confidentiality will be broken to ensure that you receive the best help possible.
If required by law or a court order to disclose certain information.
In the case of child abuse, I am mandated by law to report such information to the appropriate authorities.
The above aspects of confidentiality also apply to counselling sessions with minors (i.e. persons under the age of 18 years). The content of sessions will not be shared with parents or guardians without the consent of the minor. The exceptions to confidentiality, as detailed above, apply to minors as well.
A feedback session can be requested by the parents or guardians upon termination of counselling with a minor, however, content will only be shared to the extent that the minor has consented. I do feel that parents are an important part of the therapeutic process and will always try to encourage minors to share relevant information with their parents.