In general, information that I have about you will not be released to anyone, unless you give me your consent to do so. That said, there are some legal/ethical exceptions to this confidentiality that counsellors are obligated to comply with, and I think it’s important that you are aware.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
In rare circumstances, counsellors have an ethical/legal duty (e.g., per Ontario’s PHIPA and Alberta’s PIPA) to share information with entities or people such as the police, Alberta Child Abuse Hotline or a Children’s Aid Society in Ontario, a client’s family doctor, etc.
As some examples, I might need to disclose information if:
- Based on what a client or prospective client communicates, I have reason to be reasonably concerned about risk of serious bodily harm to a person or group of persons, or of child / vulnerable person abuse.
- The court orders me to do so.
- There is an emergency.
- There is a regulatory body audit.
I do my best to secure communications between me and my clients. Some examples of the many steps I take are:
- I do not text message with clients.
- I offer the option of encrypted email (including an encrypted contact form).
- The video platform I chose is Canadian-based, encrypted, and is an Ontario Health verified solution for virtual visits.
I also take steps to only communicate with you when necessary. For example, when you self-book, you will not receive ANY automated emails or texts: I will simply send you an email within a few hours confirming your appointment and providing other information. Also you will not receive any automatic appointment reminders; if you require a reminder, that is fine, you are welcome to request this.
I will further explain communications security, exceptions to confidentiality, and how you can obtain your own confidential information upon request, to you when we speak, and you are welcome to ask any questions about these at any time.
These are some of the steps I take in the direction of informing you before and while you consent to counselling and psychotherapy services with me.
Please note that this page is neither counselling nor counselling therapy. If you need these services, please contact me or another professional. If urgent support is needed, calling your local distress centre is an option (e.g., Calgary Distress Centre at 403.266.4357 or Toronto Distress Centre at 416.408.4357). For emergencies, consider calling 911 or going to your local Emergency Room. This page is for information only, is not advice, and implies neither an intent to provide professional services to readers nor that a professional relationship has been established with readers. Current adult residents of the Canadian province of Alberta or Ontario are the only intended audience of this page.