PsychSolutions Clinicians are committed to improving the health and wellbeing of our clients. We therefore see it as essential to deliver best practice ethical standards in all areas of our business. We have outlined our general rules and guidelines below for your information.
Prior to your appointment, we ask you to complete a Client Consent Form. The Consent Forms helps you to understand access to information, confidentiality, fees and our cancellation policy. The Consent Form provides us consent from you to communicate with your GP and other nominated personnel in the event that it is required. We ask all clients to complete a new Client Consent Form every 12 months.
Conflict Of Interest
Given the Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo populations (moderately small in comparison to capital cities), we may not be able to initially identify a ‘conflict of interest’. The Australian Psychological Societies (APS) code of ethics guidelines outlines that psychologists should not engage in any multiple relationships with clients. A psychologist who sees you individually, as a family or as a couple can only continue to see you in that capacity and cannot engage in providing counselling or other roles to you outside of the initial roles established. For example, if you see a psychologist individually, that psychologist cannot move into seeing you as part of a family or couple and further to this, they are unable to see other family members of yours if they are already engaged in seeing you for counselling. This is to help avoid any negative consequences associated with dual or multiple relationships for you as client and to ensure we remain a neutral party. Unfortunately, we are not always able to identify if conflicts exist. However, if a conflict comes to our attention, we may need to refer you to someone else in the practice.
Children, Families and Couples
We enjoy helping children, families and couples. However, in completing this work, we at times discover that children are being abused, neglected or are deemed ‘at risk’. Please note that all psychologists are legally bound to be Mandatory Reporters to the Department of Community Services if these circumstances are evident.
Adolescents (between the age of 13 -18yrs)
If a client is aged between 13 -18 years, parents cannot book a session with their child’s psychologist to discuss their child without their child’s permission. This breaches confidentiality and can possibly damage the therapeutic alliance, impact the child’s trust in the therapist and cause avoidance of therapy further down the track. This policy is regardless of parental responsibility. A psychologist will only break confidentiality with a child and discuss matters with the parents, if they deem it necessary due to there being a serious risk of harm or if the child has given them consent. Outside of this, it is not appropriate that a psychologist speaks with the parents without the child being asked and given the opportunity to give informed consent. The parents may request a separate session with the psychologist if necessary.
People at Risk
If a client is presenting as suicidal or mentally unwell placing themselves or others at significant risk of harm, our psychologists have a duty of care to clients as well as the public. This means they may need to inform others (family members, doctors, police services) who can help to ensure client safety. Confidentiality is not in place when these circumstances are presented to a psychologist.