Privacy, Confidentiality & Consent
CLINICAL COUNSELLING & PSYCHOTHERAPY is a voluntary and professional relationship. I aim to provide a confidential, non-judgemental and psychologically safe space to explore your internal experiences, relationships with others and your relationships with the world around you. I recognise the innate strengths you have and work together with you to improve your sense of wellbeing, capacity for resilience and increase the potential for positive life outcomes. SOMATIC EXPERIENCING® (SE) is a naturalistic form of healing that will help you learn how to settle and release physiological activation from your body. Very often this process helps people to reduce stress and return to a sense of regulation and mastery in their lives. SE will support you in learning how to attend to uncomfortable sensations in your body and gently unwind them through your conscious attention. SE is particularly useful in managing stress because so many of the symptoms are physiological. If you would like to read more about SE, visit the SE website at www.traumahealing.com or read In an Unspoken Voice by Dr. Peter Levine. During SE practice, I also draw upon Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, nature-based and Animal Assisted Counselling and Psychotherapy and Developmental theories. Sometimes SE may include touch. SE is not a form of massage. I may offer you touch support for the following reasons: grounding, containment, supportive, mobilization, or awareness building. You will always be asked before being touched and have the right and my full support to decline. If you do not feel comfortable with touch, or if the session does not call for it, session work will not include touch.
BENEFITS & RISKS Counselling, psychotherapy and SE may offer you many benefits such as an increase in your ability to self-soothe and feel empowered. However, there may also be risks as with any treatment that focuses on healing trauma and processing difficult internal experiences. Sessions involve sharing sensitive, personal, and private information that may at times be distressing. Although sessions are designed to help you resource and work with manageable amounts of discomfort, you may experience challenging feelings, images, or thoughts. Furthermore, as with any stress reduction treatment, there can be no guarantee that you will reach your goals. That said, many people report that counselling, psychotherapy and SE has helped them tremendously and has created positive change in their lives. Learning how to reorganise “body memory” is often vital to learning how to relax and calm your nervous system.
CONFIDENTIALITY: All interactions with Tropical Wellbeing Services, including scheduling of or attendance at appointments, content of your sessions, progress in sessions, and your records are confidential. The records are stored electronically on a secure database, Halaxy, that complies with Australian Privacy Laws
(https://www.halaxy.com/article/privacy). You may request in writing that specific information about your sessions be released to persons you designate. You also have the right to access your information. The counsellor may also ask you to sign a consent form to share information with your health care team in order to assist improve the likelihood of positive health care outcomes for yourself.
The counselling professional sometimes discusses de-identified information in training and supervision for the purposes of improving outcomes, increasing knowledge and skills and supporting professional development. At no time will your personal information be shared in this context without your signed consent.
EXCEPTIONS TO CONFIDENTIALITY:
• If there is evidence of clear and imminent danger of harm to self and/or others, including animals, a counsellor is legally required to report this information to the authorities responsible for ensuring safety.
• Australian law requires that staff of Counselling Services who learn of, or strongly suspect, current physical or sexual harm, abuse or neglect of any person under 18 years of age, a vulnerable person or an animal, must report this information to the relevant authorities.
• Northern Territory Law requires domestic and family violence to be reported to police.
• A court order, issued by a judge, may require the Counselling Services staff to release information contained in records and/or require a counsellor to testify in a court hearing.
• With the wonders of technology, we may be able to meet online or by telephone. Please know that, although unlikely to be hacked, online and telephone communications are never fully secure.