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Confidentiality & Record Keeping in Counselling & Psychotherapy

Confidentiality & Record Keeping in Counselling & Psychotherapy

Second Edition

November 2014 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This indispensible text is your students' first point of reference when faced with a situation or dilemma of a legal nature regarding record keeping or confidentiality issues. Reflecting changes in policy and law and developments in practice since its last publication in 2008, this new edition has been expanded into 14 new and thoroughly revised chapters.

New content includes:

- The latest Data Protection Act guidance including data protection implications when working with technology and for online therapy

- Greater content on sharing information, including sharing information in supervision, training, research, audit and, crucially, across professions

- Expanded content on mental capacity with separate chapters for children and vulnerable adults

- A new chapter on pre-trial therapy with adults and children, including Special Measures, Crown Prosecution Service guidance and victim support

- A new chapter on practice dilemmas, providing advice and encouraging further discussion and reflection

- The role of supervision and of the supervisor

Using reflective questions, sample dilemmas and case scenarios throughout, the authors illustrate how to practically address the difficult confidentiality and record keeping issues that therapists regularly face. Current legal guidelines and frameworks are interspersed throughout the book which, along with revised disclosure checklists and links to useful organisations and contacts, ensure trainee and practising therapists are well versed in current best-practice.

Confidentiality and the law
Recording confidences
Confidentiality as a legal entitlement – clients’ perspective
Confidentiality as legal responsibility – obligations of the therapist
Record keeping and the law
Record keeping – basic responsibilities
Data protection, freedom of information and technology
How long do we keep records?
Confidentiality and disclosures: information sharing
Sharing information between professionals
Sharing information in supervision and training
Sharing information in research and audit
Confidentiality and disclosures: policy, practice and procedural issues
Developing agency policy and practice and evaluating organisational policies on confidentiality and record keeping
Mental capacity, vulnerable adults and consent
Children, capacity and consent
Victims, and pre-trial therapy with vulnerable adults and children
Practice dilemmas: scenarios on confidentiality and disclosures for reflection and discussion
Responding to dilemmas - ethical and legal practice

It comprehensively looks at the issues a therapist needs to be informed about, and appreciates the complexity of the situations therapists can find themselves in with responsibilities to both their clients, the organisation they are employed by and to the wider society as well as themselves.  

Sue Nyirenda
Community Counsellor Training Canterbury

Bond and Mitchels' book contains a wealth of information of practical use to any counsellor or therapist (and related professionals) that cannot be found in such a comprehensive and succinct form in any other professional outlet. The new edition covers also fast developing areas such as technology related issues or new policy and legislation developments. The book contains many useful examples and practical tips, making the text very engaging and informative for the professional. I highly recommend this new updated and expanded edition.

Ladislav Timulak
Director, Doctorate in Counselling Psychology, Trinity College Dublin

In this revised edition of Confidentiality and record keeping in counselling and psychotherapy, Bond and Mitchels provide a concise and useful guide to aspects of record keeping in the context of a legal framework. Their introduction highlights the importance of confidentiality in the context of ethics, good practice and the law; importantly they emphasise that this book is not a substitute for legal advice. The book was developed in order to address the needs of therapists working at all levels. As well as being a useful reference for experienced practitioners it provides insight for trainees.

As with all books concerned with legal issues there are likely to have been changes in the law after publication. In chapter three, the authors consider prevention and detection of serious crime, referencing the Serious Crime Act 2007, and NHS confidentiality: NHS code of practice 2010. This type of law and code of practice is subject to change, and at this point it might have been helpful to reiterate the need to take legal advice. This could again be emphasised in section 3.4 where Bond and Mitchel discuss the Human Rights Act 1998, which even qualified solicitors defer to specialists.  

The strength of this book is that it looks at legal issues from the perspective of the practitioner. It is presented in an accessible format with figures and tables showing key points that are pertinent to practice.  Decision making, in the context of being faced with an ethical dilemma, is illustrated in box format with considerations, sources of information and guidance clearly listed. In the final chapter Bond and Mitchel describe dilemmas that arise in counselling and psychotherapy, citing examples from counselling and psychotherapy practice. This section is new to this edition of the book.

Bond and Mitchel consider record keeping and confidentiality from several perspectives, taking a view that is useful to both new and experienced practitioners. They address issues associated with research, highlighting the importance of evidence based practice. It might have been helpful to have described the work of ethics committees, to which researchers have access, in more depth. In particular they could have stated that research within the NHS is scrutinized by specialist ethics committees who set standards for confidentiality. Several aspects of confidentially and record keeping are new topics in this second edition of the book, including electronic communication and storage, court proceedings, and the role of supervision.

 I recommend this book to anyone who is a counsellor, psychotherapist, supervisor, trainer or student. It is well referenced with legal cases and relevant acts and rules cited. It provides a base from which individual topics can be explored in more depth, and raises issues that are at the leading edge of good practice.

Dr Mary Glover
Senior Lecturer in Counselling, Newman University

This is going to be particularly important for practitioners when the new Ethical Framework comes into force next year, so I am pleased to see it here, preparing us for what is to come...This is an updated, modern version of the first edition. Nothing of importance has been lost and there have been some useful additions. This goes straight to the top of my reading list and I would encourage everyone to buy it as an essential addition to their library. 

Heather Dale, Senior Lecturer at University of Huddersfield
Private Practice

An excellent source for practitioners

Mrs Lindsay Schofield
PICT, Penny Parks Training
September 21, 2016

An essential resource

Mr Gerald Willmore
Chair of Professional Standards, National Counselling Society
August 1, 2016

Essential reading for professional -- and ethical -- practice.

Dr Kate Daniels
Language Centre, Cambridge University
June 8, 2016

A clear text that addresses a confusing area

Mrs Sarah Jones
Humanities , Gloucester College of Arts & Tech
December 18, 2015

Highly recommended to both undergraduates and post graduates, this book offers a detailed guide for students and therapists. Well written and students like the layout. A great resource for their essays.

Dr Helen Nicholas
Psychology Department, Worcester University
August 10, 2015

A very useful text on this topic.

Ms Malin Sellden
Department of Psychology, London Metropolitan University
July 28, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch. 1: Recording Confidences

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ISBN: 9781446274521

ISBN: 9781446274514