In general, the privacy of all communications between a patient and a psychotherapist is protected by law, and I can only release information about our work to others with your written permission. But there are a few (extremely rare) exceptions:
In some legal proceedings, you have the right to prevent me from providing any information about your treatment. In some proceedings involving child custody and those in which your emotional condition is an important issue, a judge may order my testimony if he/she determines that the issues demand it.
There are some situations in which I am legally obligated to take action to protect others from harm, even if I have to reveal some information about the treatment. For example, if I believe that a child, an elderly or disabled person is being abused, I may be required to file a report with the appropriate agency. If I believe that a patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another, I may be required to take protective actions. These actions may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, or seeking hospitalisation for the client. If the client threatens to harm himself/herself, I may be obligated to seek hospitalisation for him/her or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection. These situations rarely occur in practice but if a situation does occur I will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any action.
I may occasionally find it helpful to consult other professionals. During such a consultation, I make every effort to avoid revealing the identity of my client. The consultant is also legally bound to keep the information confidential. Unless you have any objection, I will not tell you about these consultations unless I feel that it is important to our work together.
As you may be aware, I am required to keep a record that we are working together and the professional services I provide. Any session notes that I may make are necessarily brief so that neither of us are distracted during our work together. In addition, these records are kept totally secure and in accordance with ICO Data Protection Best Practice.