Limits to Confidentiality
In exceptional circumstances counsellors may be professionally obliged to break confidentiality.
This occurs in one of two ways:
1. If a strong belief exists that there is a serious risk of harm or danger to either the client or another individual. This may relate to issues surrounding sexual /physical /emotional abuse; child sexual abuse; child protection issues; rape; self-harm; suicidal intent; violence or criminal activity.
2. Occasions when disclosure is required as part of a legal process or Garda investigation.
In such instances information may be disclosed to significant others or appropriate third parties without permission being sought. Where possible a full explanation will be given to the client/ student regarding the necessary procedures and intended actions that may need to be taken.
On occasion it is beneficial for both client and counsellor to share information with another Support Service, Medical Practitioner, Academic Department or External Party. Apart from exceptions previously mentioned sharing of information is always conducted in collaboration with the client. A signed consent form must be completed prior to any disclosures being made.
Confirmation of attendance at the Service, or any information, written or verbal given by the client will not be disclosed to a third party without the client’s written permission. Written permission involves signing the Service consent form which includes the student’s name and ID, the defined purpose for the release of information, a named person to whom the information is directed to, relevant dates and a witness signature by a staff member. The Service policy surrounding letters of support will be explained in the event of such requests been made.
Each client is entitled to refuse consent. This right will be upheld and respected. The potential implications of the decision will be explored and discussed in each case. In some cases it may be inadvisable to continue with counselling in light of such decisions. Clients are free to change their mind regarding consent at any given time irrespective of any initial decisions taken. For further information see our
Counselling Confidentiality Policy