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confidentiality in counselling

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My son age 22 has had some counselling. He told them what his father was like,He used to have son weekends untill i found bruising. I called police at time they did nothing. A violent man. The next …
cherishu2 Avatar
7y, 11m agoPosted 7 years, 11 months ago
My son age 22 has had some counselling.
He told them what his father was like,He used to have son weekends untill i found bruising. I called police at time they did nothing. A violent man.
The next day after counselling session the police were at my sons door about his dad.
How come the counsellor called the police when my son is now an adult has had no contact with his father since aged 8.
cherishu2 Avatar
7y, 11m agoPosted 7 years, 11 months ago
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#1
Like yourself I had always thought that anything disclosed to a professional was confidential? ................... but there is not a time limit on a crime.
#2
I think the counsellors have to call the police if they think something illegal is happening although i too, thought it was only with kids?
Are there any younger kids living at home still?
Maybe thats a possibility.

I had counselling for 18 months after my dad died and if i remember rightly, i'm sure i had to sign something.
I can't remember exactly what it was for but i do remember signing something. I think it was just for me to agree for them to be able to give evidence to the police if there was anything inappropriate or something like that.
#3
Because the counsellors have a duty to report any criminal activity.
If they didn't report it and something happened later on there would be uproar.
#4
snowtiger
Like yourself I had always thought that anything disclosed to a professional was confidential? ................... but there is not a time limit on a crime.


yeh I agree.....The counsellor should not have said anything unless your son said he could?
#5
I'm pretty sure if a counsellor feels that they should report something to the police then, as long as they have a valid enough reason, by law they are allowed and they cannot be prosecuted for it.

I'm not saying it's right, but that's the way it is.
#6
You would think that they had patient confidentiality the same as doctors..
#7
I think, like doctors, they have to report child abuse, but this sound a bit OTT to me. I wonder if I could get my stepdad arrested for beating me up in the 70s!
#8
it is a bit late init know one wanted to know when he had the bruises.
banned#9
what do you mean the police did nothing, abusing a minor is not something to be ignored, you reported it and left it at that? or was their no proof? Maybe your son has said more to the counceller than he said to you, just a thought
#10
A crime had possibly been committed against a child.

Why wouldn't a counsellor report it to the relevant authorities?
#11
dcx_badass
Because it was 14 years ago?


Are you being serious?
banned#12
dcx_badass
Because it was 14 years ago?


that makes no difference what so ever
#13
When i had counselling i had to sign up some kind of document, at the time i was not aware of what it entailed (i was 18ish). Well i told the counselor something in confidence what a family member did to me as a child. I had not wanted my family to know as i knew it would tear family apart, well u guessed it. The counsellor told my aunty who i lived with and wanted me to contact the police about something that happened when i was 8/9!? I understand that if u r a child then they have a responsibility but when u r an adult? I don't know what the guidelines are sorry x
#14
sassie. My ex dropped off my son one sunday he had a handmark across his face. like a lovebite bruise, but you could tell it was a handprint. I asked what it was and he said 'dad slapped me'.
There was a police car a few doors down at the time so i went to them and showed them, They took it as reprted but said no action. I was young and niave then so didnt do asnything other than cancel all visits to his father. He has never seen him since.
banned#15
cherishu2
sassie. My ex dropped off my son one sunday he had a handmark across his face. like a lovebite bruise, but you could tell it was a handprint. I asked what it was and he said 'dad slapped me'.
There was a police car a few doors down at the time so i went to them and showed them, They took it as reprted but said no action. I was young and niave then so didnt do asnything other than cancel all visits to his father. He has never seen him since.


So it wasnt reported, it couldnt have possibly been reported as it wouldnt have just been left like that,. not saying its your fault or anything like that, but just surprised when you said it was reported and nothing was done and it was left like that
#16
I think that it is a good thing that they have followed this up. Judging by the flaws in the UK system lately in the prevention of child abuse it shows that more stringent measures are now being carried out to eliviate this problem. Regardless of era a crime is a crime and the Law is the Law. I hope they catch up with him.
#17
my son wont give them the info they want. I have told him he should.
#18
Counsellors are bound by issues of confidentiality. The only reason that I can see for the counsellor divulging this information is if your son's father is judged to present a continuing danger. Maybe he is in a position, either personally or professionally, where he has contact with children. The counsellor does not have to breach confidentiality because a crime has been committed against someone - particularly where the person against whom this crime was committed does not wish to give evidence to the police.
Without a statement from your son there is nothing that the police can do.
There may be a possible way around this if you are prepared to give a statement as someone who witnessed this at the time,
banned#19
this is difficult, i was always told, if i was told something that indicated a crime was about to be committed or a serious crime had been (murder for example), then i should inform the person i was counselling that i might have to report what he/she was telling me if he/she went further.
In this case (unless he has kids living with him now, and assuming you know everything that was said and it is just what is above) I doubt i would have reported it because

It was 14 years ago
He is (nor is anyone else) in no danger now
He hasn't seen the father in the past 14 years, and presumably he isn't likely too.
He presumably doesn't want the police involved

If I was counselling someone trust is very important, going behind his back and calling the police without giving any indication this was going to happen is a complete breach of trust and your son is very unlikely to trust a counsellor again, and therefore whatever problems are still there are unlikely to be resolved.
#20
colinsunderland
this is difficult, i was always told, if i was told something that indicated a crime was about to be committed or a serious crime had been (murder for example), then i should inform the person i was counselling that i might have to report what he/she was telling me if he/she went further.
In this case (unless he has kids living with him now, and assuming you know everything that was said and it is just what is above) I doubt i would have reported it because

It was 14 years ago
He is (nor is anyone else) in no danger now
He hasn't seen the father in the past 14 years, and presumably he isn't likely too.
He presumably doesn't want the police involved

If I was counselling someone trust is very important, going behind his back and calling the police without giving any indication this was going to happen is a complete breach of trust and your son is very unlikely to trust a counsellor again, and therefore whatever problems are still there are unlikely to be resolved.



Exactly it took me months to persuade him to go to couselling, now he wont go back.
I could understand if he was a child now. Obviously she would have to report it.
#21
How did your son obtain this particular counsellor?

Does he/she have qualifications in psychiatry, psychology or counselling?

If counselling, are they a member of BACP... British Assoc. of Counselling and Psychotherapy?

I have some background in this field, and personally I would say confidentiality is always kept within the service, ( for instance ones psychiatrist may share information with a clinical psychologist when both have access to you ) and confidentiality is only breached where there may be a danger to someone ( either to the self or to harming someone else ). However, there is much less stress on "confidentiality" issues these days and far more on the "sharing of information" where there are protection issues.

From the other side of the fence, my eldest daughter has had ongoing counselling since our baby died at birth. We aren't informed as to how she is doing or feeling and aren't consulted regarding medication or any other part of her treatment. It maddens me as they will talk to me openly when I am called to be interviewed with my daughter in front of her, even when my answers might upset her, but anything she has to say is all done behind closed doors and we are given no access whatsoever to this information.... I simply just have to trust they are doing the best they can for her.

Im so sorry you have had this experience with your son and his counsellor and I hope things are improving now as time passes x x x

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