Confidentiality Q & A

Life Supports adheres to protecting and maintaining the confidentiality of our client’s personal information. The information shared with Life Supports is protected under the National Privacy Principles Act outlined in the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988

Confidentiality allows a client to feel safe in a therapeutic space and ensure their privacy is maintained. Our counsellors and psychologists respect a strict code of ethics and will uphold these standards throughout the entire partnership. Clients can feel comfortable disclosing to Life Supports members as privacy extends to not only include what is discussed during therapy, but also the personal information of the client collected during the intake process.  

Life supports has numerous measures in place to protect our client’s personal information guided by the Australian National Privacy Principles

What are the exceptions to confidentiality?

In extreme circumstances a therapist may be required to break confidentiality. 

  • If a therapist is legally required to present client files in relation to a current court case, they must abide by the relevant legislation. 
  • At any point during the therapeutic process if genuine concern or belief that a person is going to harm themselves or place another person or minor at risk, then the therapist is required to support the client in notifying proper authorities. In critical circumstances, a therapist may contact authorities or family members without consent to protect the client from serious harm. 
  • Counsellors and Psychologist are required by law and ethics to report abuse, ongoing domestic violence, or neglect of a vulnerable person i.e. children, people with a disability or the elderly.  

If required to disclose, a counsellor of psychologist will only provide the information necessary in order to keep you safe. 

If I am under 18, will the therapist tell my parents what was discussed? 

Our counsellors will ensure a client is aware of the process at the first appointment. Automatic confidentiality is applied to anyone over the age of 18 in Australia. The only exceptions are in the Northern Territory, as the age of automatic confidentiality is given at 14 and over. This is similar to South Australia and New South Wales, as automatic confidentiality is given at 16 and over. 

During an initial session, a parent or guardian will need to be present if you are below the age of automatic confidentiality. This allows everyone to be involved and reach an agreement around the minor’s privacy. It is common for the primary carer to agree only to be informed if the minor is at risk. The therapist will then explain how subsequent sessions will be managed, which could include sessions with and without parents present. 

Can I share my information from counselling with others? 

You have the right to disclose to whomever you like about your therapy. If you would like a family member, friend, or partner to be involved or informed about your therapy, then you will need to provide written consent for that person. This is a similar process if you would like to share information with a specialist, doctor, or employer. Until this consent has been given, a therapist or intake consultant will not confirm if you are a client as your privacy is of utmost importance to us. 

Privacy, transparency, and trust are the cornerstone of counselling and we at Life Supports maintain this policy across our network. Your counsellor or Psychologist will explain in detail at your first appointment how confidentiality and privacy apply specifically to you. If you would like anymore information or to book your first appointment, please call our office on 1300 735 030 or submit a form here we will get back to you with more information. 

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