Confidentiality & other ethical issues

Our aim is to help people resolve their problems and feel more positive. To help ensure that we make a positive difference we follow a number of ethical principles.

The ethical guidelines to which we subscribe are detailed in the British Psychological Society’s ‘Code of Ethics & Conduct’ and the Health & Care Professions Council (UK) ‘Standards of Conduct Performance and Ethics’

You are welcome to read these documents – we have linked to them at the bottom of this page. However, the documents are a little long so we have summarised the points which we think are most relevant below:

Confidentiality

Everything that you say to your psychologist is entirely confidential. We will never reveal what we have discussed to anyone else. The only exception to this is if we need to discuss an issue anonymously in supervision (see note below) or if we have concerns for your safety or concerns for someone else’s safety. We would then try to make contact with someone who would be able to keep you or the other person safe. Even in this situation we would make every effort to tell you what we are going to do, explain why and discuss the best way of keeping you safe while preserving your privacy.

Note Keeping

Our administrators will take your contact details and make these available to the psychologist with whom you will be meeting. We will never share your name or contact details with anyone outside of Share Resolve unless you give us permission to do so.

Your psychologist will make some notes to aid their memory after you have met with them. These notes are stored electronically in a secure system. We avoid associating your full name with our notes. If you would like to see what we have written you can let us know and we can talk through them together.

Dr. Dan meets people at Prince Court Medical Centre. The hospital record system will note that you have seen him and he will write a very brief explanation of the issue on the hospital system because that is a hospital requirement. The note is only visible to the psychiatrists and psychologists at Prince Court. His notes on the system are usually as simple as ‘x consulted me regarding their low mood and high level of worry’. He does not use diagnostic terms in the hospital notes and Prince Court does not share their records outside of the hospital so no individual and no organisation outside of the hospital should ever be aware that you have seen him.

His office is within the Multi-Disciplinary Clinic which means that other people will not know whether you are waiting to see him or waiting to see one of the surgeons or other specialist medical doctors.

Informed consent

Decisions such as whether to continue meeting with one of our psychologists, ending the session early, what we do in the session, what you do outside of the session and which of our questions you should answer are always yours. Your psychologist will describe the different approaches and strategies they think will be helpful to you. You can discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option so that you have as much information as possible with which to make a decision. If you are not sure why your psychologist is asking certain questions or making a particular suggestion then we encourage you to ask us so we can better explain ourselves.

Supervision

Clinical Psychologists recognise the importance of having a second opinion or someone who will take a different perspective. For this reason it is common for Clinical Psychologists to have regular ‘supervision’ with another Clinical Psychologist.

The psychologists at Share Resolve speak with each other to help improve their practice. Dr. Dan also speaks regularly with experienced psychologists in the UK to keep his knowledge up to date. We sometimes talk about particular clients and how we are trying to help them. But if we do that then we don’t give any identifying information about the individual so as to avoid breaking confidentiality.

Conflict of Interest

If you already know your psychologist in another capacity (e.g as friends or colleagues) it may not be possible for them to offer therapy to you as this would lead to a conflict of interest. In such a situation we try to recommend another psychologist who would be better placed to help.

Maintaining skills & knowledge

We keep ourselves up-to-date with the latest developments in Clinical Psychology so that we can work using the most effective methods. We are independently audited by our respective registering or licensing bodies. For example, Dr Dan is audited by the British Psychological Society and the Health & Care Professions Council to ensure that he learns continuously in order to maintain his high level of specialist knowledge.

Other issues

If you have any other questions about the way in which we work then please leave a comment below.

You can also review the full ethics documents on which we base our work below:

Ethics Guidelines

The ethics documents mentioned in the article above are listed below. If you click on them they will open as Adobe PDF documents:

BPS Code of Ethics and Conduct

Health & Care Professions Council (UK) ‘Standards of Conduct Performance and Ethics’