Examining limits of confidentiality in real-life consultations: concerns and considerations

Lamont-Mills, A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9109-3462 and Christensen, S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0977-3574 (2008) Examining limits of confidentiality in real-life consultations: concerns and considerations. In: APS 2008: Psychology Leading Change: 43rd APS Annual Conference, 23-27 Sep 2008, Hobart, Australia.

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This paper examines how confidentiality is discussed in real-life consultations. The Australian Psychological Society Code of Ethics states that clients are to be informed about the legal limits of confidentiality prior to engaging in psychological counselling and repeated when required. Training in confidentially is also an accreditation requirement for Honours, Masters, and Professional Doctorate programs. However little research has examined how limits of confidentiality are introduced and negotiated within real-life consultations. An initial consultation between a client and a provisionally registered psychologist was used as the data for this paper. Discursive analysis revealed that whilst the psychologist complied with her professional obligation by informing the client of the limits of confidentially before counselling began, the way in which the psychologist enacted this made it difficult for the client to ask questions or seek clarification about these limits. Further, when the psychologist explicitly asked for client confirmation of understanding and acceptance of these limits, exactly what the client confirmed and accepted is unclear. Given that breaches of confidentiality are registration board matters, this lack of clarity and limiting of client interaction is concerning. Discussion will note the limits of this data along with the utility of examining confidentiality within real life consultations.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2009 11:35
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2018 03:52
Uncontrolled Keywords: confidentiality; plain english; client understanding
Fields of Research (2008): 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220107 Professional Ethics (incl. police and research ethics)
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1702 Cognitive Sciences > 170204 Linguistic Processes (incl. Speech Production and Comprehension)
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5001 Applied ethics > 500107 Professional ethics
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520499 Cognitive and computational psychology not elsewhere classified
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520399 Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00049530802385558
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/13045

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