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Confidentiality & Record Keeping in Counselling & Psychotherapy

Confidentiality & Record Keeping in Counselling & Psychotherapy

Third Edition (Updated Edition)

November 2021 | 264 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Confidentiality and record keeping are essential aspects of everyday counselling practice. This book introduces you to the relevant law and policy on record keeping and confidentiality, and uses case studies and vignettes to apply this to practical situations or dilemmas.

This edition is fully updated to cover recent developments in policy and law, including the BACP Ethical Framework, GDPR and data protection law, and a new chapter on online and telephone counselling practice. With an extensive glossary, and lists of relevant cases and law, this is an essential resource for trainees and practitioners in the helping professions.

Part I Confidentiality and the law
1. Recording confidences
2. Confidentiality as a legal entitlement – the clients’ perspective
3. Confidentiality as a legal responsibility – obligations of the therapist
Part II Record keeping and the law
4. Record keeping – basic responsibilities
5. Protection of client data under the GDPRand data protection law
6. Information technology, telephone and online working, electronic recordings and electronic data interchange.
7. How long do we keep records?
Part III Confidentiality and disclosures: information sharing
8. Sharing information between professionals
9. Sharing information in supervision and training
10. Sharing information in research and audit
Part IV Confidentiality and disclosures: organisational policies, capacity and consent, and vulnerable witnesses
11. Developing agency policy and practice and evaluating organisational policies on confidentiality and record keeping
12. Mental capacity, vulnerable adults and consent
13. Children, capacity and consent
14. Victims, and pre-trial therapy with vulnerable adults and children as witnesses
Part V Responding to practice dilemmas: checklists and scenarios on confidentiality and disclosures for reflection and discussion
15. Responding to dilemmas – ethical and legal practice
Disclosure checklists
Useful organisations and contacts
List of Legal Cases
List of Acts and Rules
Further Reading
Key features


The UK’s only book on law and policy on record keeping and confidentiality in counselling and psychotherapy. It provides readers with the required legal and policy information and shows how to apply this to commonly arising challenges and dilemmas in practice.

This book is an invaluable professional reference text for practitioners, as well as being important reading for all those studying counselling, psychotherapy and counselling or clinical psychology.

What's new to this edition?
- A new chapter on ‘Information and technology’ -  new chapter on online and telephone working in the counselling professions, relationship of data protection and new technology, safeguarding information, therapist responsibilities, and the responsibilities of others (e.g. in EAP, Counselling agencies etc. where data is uploaded to cloud storage).   

- New vignettes in Chapter 16 on Practice Dilemmas, including case studies of online working.
- Updated glossary
- New preface Tim Bond

several appendices:

Disclosure checklists

Useful organisations and contacts

List of Legal Cases

List of Acts and Rules

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ISBN: 9781529752571

ISBN: 9781529752564