Shaw Psychology adheres to the Code of Ethics authored by The Australian Psychological Society (APS). The APS holds a longstanding commitment to the protection of client confidentiality. This is expressed in detail in their Code of Ethics and is mandated as an obligation for all members. The Code is also now endorsed by the Psychology Board of Australia as a requirement of registered psychologists. While the APS ethical code is not alone among professions in its commitment to such a policy, the presence of sensitive mental health, relationship, developmental and neurological features in the presentations of clients makes the protection of privacy and confidentiality vital.
By law, health professionals like psychologists have to keep most of what you tell them confidential. At Shaw Psychology, your health professional will talk to you about confidentiality in your first session. You are encouraged to ask about it if you're worried and we encourage you to try and get a clear understanding of what is confidential in your sessions.
In accordance with legal and ethical requirements, psychologists and our other clinicians have a duty of care to their clients and the general public. Shaw Psychology holds duty of care as a fundamental aspect of professional and supportive practice. Consequently, in certain circumstances Shaw Psychology may break confidentiality to prevent serious harm to a client or the general public. In such circumstances, every attempt to enlist the agreement of a client will be made before action is taken and clients will be encouraged to notify relevant services with the support of their psychologist. In the event that consent is not granted but Shaw Psychology believes that a client is at high risk of serious harm to themselves or others, they may contact the Department of Human Services, a client's local Crisis and Assessment Treatment (CAT) team, the police, or a client's carer or family member.
Shaw Psychology maintains that if a psychologist decides it is necessary to report something, it does not mean that the psychologist does not care or respect you. Instead, the psychologist will be acting out of care and respect to your long-term well being and safety.
If you're using an interpreter to talk to a psychologist at Shaw Psychology, they will also have to abide by the confidentiality policy of Shaw Psychology.
Clinicians at Shaw Psychology have an ethical responsibility to report either criminal behaviour in which their clients have allegedly or actually engaged or clients’ allegations of others’ criminal behaviour. It is the policy that failure to report an offence is a dereliction of a psychologist's duty of care.
The information discussed in confidence during a session is not considered to be privileged information, and, consequently, a psychologist at Shaw Psychology may be compelled at some point in future by a court of law to reveal that information.
If at any stage you feel unsure about what a clinician at Shaw Psychology does and does not have to report, we encourage you to ask and we will tell you.