All counselling is confidential subject to the constraints of English law and ethical practice. Your counsellor has a legal duty to report anything to do with terrorism or acts of terror. If you were to disclose matters involving a serious / life-threatening risk of harm to self or others they may also have to act on it. If something of that nature did come up, however, they would endeavor to discuss with you how to proceed, before any action was taken.
No one would normally be informed that you were attending counselling without your prior knowledge and consent. Attending private counselling would not go on your medical records. Occasionally we may agree with clients that a GP referral is appropriate. In such cases a letter may be sent to your GP but this would be with your prior knowledge and consent.
If you are coming as a couple, we may see you individually as part of the assessment process. Anything said in the individual sessions stays confidential to that session unless you were to disclose something serious, which your partner did now know, and which would affect our ability to work with you as a couple. If something like that did come up, we would discuss with you how we should proceed.
Third Party Work
In situations where a third-party is paying, no information would be passed on to them except confirmation of the number of sessions booked, for invoice purposes. EAPs, insurance companies and similar sometimes require a discharge report. This would indicate the areas covered and progress made but no specifics would be given. You would be welcome to see the report and can have a copy.
All counsellors in the UK are required to have a clinical supervisor, who is there to help us help you. We discuss with them issues that arise in therapy, but no client would be identified beyond their first name, so confidentiality is preserved.
Full details of the constraints of confidentiality would be discussed during the first session and you would be given the opportunity to talk about any concerns you may have before giving any personal or identifying information. You're also very welcome to contact us, prior to making an appointment, to discuss any worries you may have.