Helper Client Confidentiality

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Informed consent and confidentiality play a very important role in the helping profession. The helper needs to clearly communicate to the client that the information shared with them is confidential, meaning that it is not reused for any other purpose other than to assist the client with what they are there to work on (Hill, p.65). The professional must also communicate the three exceptions in which the information shared is not kept confidential. Those exceptions are:

1) When information regarding child, adult, or elder abuse is revealed.

2) When the client reports information that he or she is in danger of harming oneself or others.

3) When the client has authorized in writing that information from ones file can be released.

It is also important to share with the client that a supervisor within the organization may also be made aware of the client’s information as sometimes cases need to be discussed for guidance and to ensure quality of services delivered.

Discussing confidentiality with a client provides great benefits for the client/helper relationship. The client should feel informed about the therapeutic process, and providing them with such information at the beginning can help to ease the client’s concerns about what can and cannot be done with their information. The client should feel at ease when the helper informs him or her that their information is strictly confidential except given the circumstance noted above. It is also an opportunity for the client to ask question for clarification and feel empowered from the beginning.

It is possible that a client could have some discomfort with the confidentiality and informed consent process and as a result choose not to proceed with therapy. The loss of a client’s p...

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...sitive information with his family members and close friends, he cannot approach the counseling process like that. Each client has the right to choose who they wish to confide in, even if he believes that by sharing the information would result in a better quality of life for the client. Without a clear intent of harm to oneself, the therapist should honor the client’s wishes while still trying to provide a therapeutic setting. As time passes, it is possible for the client to change her view of the situation, and perhaps even her course of action after more time is spent gaining insight.

Works Cited

Hill, C.E. (2009). Helping skills: Facilitating Exploration, Insight, and Action, 3rd ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Sharf, R.S. (2012). Theories of Psychotherapy and Counseling: Concepts and Cases, 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

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