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Louise Brady
Louise Brady, Registered Nurse
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Registered Mental Health Nurse
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I am taking a course and have an assignment to ask the following questions to a person in

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I am taking a course and have an assignment to ask the following questions to a person in the field of psychology - can anyone help?

1. Have you ever had to breach confidentiality with a client? If so, can you tell me a little bit about this situation? PLEASE NOTE: THE PERSON YOU INTERVIEW MUST ANSWER YES TO THIS QUESTION OTHERWISE PLEASE FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO INTERVIEW.

2. Have you ever considered breaching confidentiality with a client, but decided against it? If so, can you tell me about this situation?

3. Some people in the field of psychology feel that the rules for confidentiality are too strict while others think they are too lenient. What are your thoughts?

4. What is one piece of real world advice you can give me about confidentiality?

5. In your opinion, what is the most important thing I need to know about confidentiality?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Louise Brady replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I am a qualified Mental Health Nurse and would be happy to help with your question.

1. Have you ever had to breach confidentiality with a client? If so, can you tell me a little bit about this situation? PLEASE NOTE: THE PERSON YOU INTERVIEW MUST ANSWER YES TO THIS QUESTION OTHERWISE PLEASE FIND SOMEONE ELSE TO INTERVIEW.

Yes, when a client disclosed the abuse of a minor. This occurred during a therapeutic 1:1 session and the incident had taken place 5 years previously. As a professional I have a duty of care to both the client and the general public and any allegations of abuse need to be investigated by the police.

2. Have you ever considered breaching confidentiality with a client, but decided against it? If so, can you tell me about this situation?

On occasions there are situations where family members request information about an individual’s care – this is normally when a person is subject to treatment under the Mental Health Act, it is extremely difficult if the individual is deemed to be lacking capacity but also requests that no information is shared with family members. Often family members are extremely distressed and just wish to gain an understanding of what is happening to their loved one. In these circumstances I often wish I could share information however it is still the right of the patient to decline this request and therefore despite my personal feelings on this I would not share any direct information about the individuals care.


3. Some people in the field of psychology feel that the rules for confidentiality are too strict while others think they are too lenient. What are your thoughts?

Generally the rules of confidentiality are there to protect the rights of the patient, if abuse or serious risk is identified then a professional is duty bound to ensure that relevant information is passed onto the appropriate authorities. I therefore do not feel that they are lenient, I suppose a grey area would be if an individual expresses that they are having suicidal thoughts but will not act of them. There will always be a potential risk that the individual could subsequently go onto harm themselves however you do not have the right to share this information with the individual’s family unless they consent and would be breaking confidentiality by doing so.
If abuse is disclosed then the patient needs to be informed immediately of what you intend to do with that information e.g. inform the police.


4. What is one piece of real world advice you can give me about confidentiality?

You need to familiarise yourself with any policies and procedures surrounding this within the area in which you work, serious risk such as sexual abuse or intent to harm others cannot be overlooked and should always be passed onto relevant authorities.
Any information not linked to serious risk should be kept confidential however it is important to always let your patient know that any information given may be shared with other health care professionals.

5. In your opinion, what is the most important thing I need to know about confidentiality?

It is in place for a reason, often a patient will be giving you information that they have never shared with anyone else before and would be mortified by the thought of it being shared with their nearest and dearest. As a professional you must do your absolute best to protect the interests of your patient. Only information related to serious risk should be shared unless consent is obtained.
Good risk assessment skills help with all of the above.
Louise Brady, Registered Nurse
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 48
Experience: Registered Mental Health Nurse
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Louise Brady
Louise Brady
Mental Health Professional
48 Satisfied Customers
Registered Mental Health Nurse