The Importance Of Anonymity In Therapy
While mental health services such as psychotherapy, counselling, and even coaching are well-established, researched and documented as highly effective treatment options, there is still a level of discomfort with seeking treatment.
This level of discomfort is not all that different than what people may experience when seeking medical treatments for specific conditions. To help protect patients and clients, in both medical and mental health treatment, confidentiality and anonymity becomes extremely important.
Anonymity and Confidentiality
As a very simple definition, anonymity and confidentiality refer to the privacy a client can expect with regards to their personal information. When clients come to Philippe Jacquet & Associates, top central London psychotherapists, they can count of full confidentiality during and after their treatment.
The personal information that is considered confidential is rather extensive. It includes all the data about a client, including name, date of birth, gender, address, work location, family relationships, professional roles and all prior or current medical or mental health records.
Once a client is receiving services the degree of confidentiality and anonymity actually expands to include all treatment plans, all notes or other data recorded by the treating professional as well as any personal correspondence between the client and the psychotherapists.
Personal communication could include emails, letters, text messages or even phone calls and possibly counselling or therapy sessions held via Skype or other types of online platforms.
Why is it Important?
There are many reasons why confidentiality is so important to clients. One of the most often reported by many of the clients seen by Philippe Jacquet, particularly the professionals, highly recognized public figures and the business and community leaders, is the need for privacy.
There is always a concern by high profile individuals that public disclosure or discovery of their treatment may have serious repercussions. While society’s understanding and recognition of mental health disorders and treatment has become considerably more comprehensive there is still a very real concerns about beginning stigmatised for seeking treatment.
However, even for people without public exposure, the importance of confidentiality and in maintaining privacy in their treatment is an essential element in a professional practice. Every client, from a child to an adult, is treated with the same level of anonymity, respect, and confidentiality throughout their treatment.
As a top psychotherapist in London, there is no concern about confidentially and anonymity at our offices in London or outside the city or the country. All staff follows the UKCP Code of Ethics, which clearly outlines the importance of confidentiality in the treatment of clients and follow through to after treatment as well.
In addition to privacy concerns, when clients know they can share information in a truly confidential setting it is easier to talk about difficult things from the past or perhaps things occurring in the present.
Through this trust deeply held secrets, beliefs and traumas can be safely explored, analysed and evaluated, helping the client to have a new perspective and to move forward by letting go of the negativity of the past.
With confidentiality and anonymity, this trust can grow and thrive, providing the emotionally safe environment where the professional and the client are able to interact in ways that simply would not be possible without it.
At your first meeting with psychotherapists in London exceptions to the confidentiality and anonymity aspects of treatment will be discussed. For most clients, the only exceptions would be if the psychotherapist had reason to believe the client as at risk for harming others or harming themselves. Even in these situations only relevant information is shared with the proper authorities, preserving confidentiality while protecting the client’s mental and physical health.
In some cases, the psychotherapist may be required to meet with a client through a judicial or administrative proceeding. In these situations the psychotherapist will explain to the client before starting treatment or interviewing the client specifically what information from the session will not be confidential, and how participating in the session or sessions may impact confidentiality for the individual.
A psychotherapist may consult with other professionals about a client, but they only do so by eliminating any personal information or identifying information from the discussion. This allows the client to benefit from a team approach to treatment while remaining complete anonymous with regards to the professionals consulted on the treatment.