Your Trust and Confidentiality
Your confidentiality is protected
Your personal and health information will be treated with professional confidentiality as stipulated in the Victorian Health Records Act (2001), in the Australian Association of Family Therapy Code of Ethics, and the codes of ethics of the specific practitioner. We will only use or disclose this information for the purpose for which it was given, that is, to assist you with your family issues.
There are some limits to confidentiality:
- On ethical and/or legal grounds, we would be obliged to break confidentiality if a court subpoenas your records or your therapist, to give evidence in a case in which you are involved.
- Also, if you are at risk of self-harm or of harming others or we have concerns about the abuse of a child, we would be obliged to give information to other appropriate statutory authorities.
If one of these events occurred, the therapist would make all reasonable attempts to discuss it with you before taking further action.
You can get access to your records
In accordance with the Victorian Health Records Act (2001) you can have access to the information that might be recorded about you and kept in the files of the private practitioner or the WRFTC Family Therapy Clinic files. However, this information is often written in complex professional language, so if you do wish to read your file, we will take all reasonable steps to arrange for your therapist to be present to interpret the recorded information.
Please contact reception or your clinician if you would like more information on how to gain access to your health information.
We may ask your permission to record one or more of your sessions
On occasion, we will ask for your permission to make video or audio recordings of your sessions. We will always check that we still have your permission just prior to the session being recorded.
The Family Therapy Clinic, recording your sessions and Reflecting Team Practice.
If you have agreed to see a FST Registrar working in The Family Therapy Clinic, the recordings of your sessions are an essential part of providing high quality therapy for you and supervision for your therapist. The taped sessions will be viewed by your therapist, his or her direct supervisor, and the family therapy team. Your clinician’s supervisor and team will record for you their observations and reflection on the session they have viewed. This feedback process is well-established and is called ‘Reflecting Team Practice’. It has been shown to improve the precision and quality of therapy, and clients describe it as extremely helpful to receive feedback from more than one clinician. WRFTC has been offering ‘Reflecting Team Practice’ since the early 1990’s, because clients consistently benefit, and it helps to keep the therapy on track. It assists us improve the therapy we provide for you and your family.
As a teaching and research center, we may ask you to fill in questionnaires about your family interaction and your therapy experience. This information is used to prepare for and tailor the therapy to your needs, to keep the therapy on track and deliver the best we can for you and your family. We will store this information anonymously and remove any information which may identify you.
All records will be stored securely & in accordance with the Health Records Act (2001) and destroyed after 7 years or earlier if you request it.
We may ask to collect information from other professionals
It is often useful for us to obtain information from other mental health professionals or therapists or agencies who have worked with you in the past or who are involved in your current treatment. If your therapist considers it necessary to obtain external records, he or she will ask you for your permission to contact the relevant individual or agency.
If you are unhappy with the service you have received
We welcome all feedback on your experience with Williamsroad Family Therapy Centre. If you have any questions or complaints, please directly contact the Centre Director, Dr Sophie Holmes