Borders of privacy: what and whom can a psychologist tell about you?

The description of cases from the practice of famous psychologists has long turned into a separate genre of literature. But whether such stories violate the boundaries of confidentiality? This is where the clinical psychologist Julia Zakharova understands this.

The success of psychological counseling largely depends on how the therapeutic relationship between the client and the psychologist develop. The basis of these relations is trust. Thanks to him, the client shares with the psychologist that he is important and expensive, opens his experiences. The well -being and health of not only the client and his family, but also other people, sometimes depends on how the specialist orders the information received during counseling.

We give a visual example. Victoria, 22 years old, seven of them at the insistence of mom go to psychologists. Symptoms – increased anxiety, bouts of fear, accompanied by suffocation. “I come to the session just“ chat ”, nothing. Why will I open my soul to psychologists? Then they all tell my mother! I did not know that I had the right to confidentiality!”Victoria suffered for seven years, experiencing attacks of acute anxiety, the girl’s family spent wasted money, an alarming disorder was chonified – all because psychologists consulting her violated the principle of confidentiality.

As a result of such actions, families can be destroyed, career and health are damaged, the results of work are depressed, and the very idea of psychological counseling itself. That is why confidentiality is present in all ethical codes of psychologists and psychotherapists.

The first ethical code of psychologists

The first ethical code of psychologists was developed by an authoritative organization – American psychological association, His first edition appeared in 1953. This was preceded by the five -year work of the commission on ethical norms, which versed many episodes of psychologists’ behavior in terms of ethics.

According to the Code, psychologists should protect the confidential information received from customers and discuss its protection at the beginning of therapeutic relations, and if the circumstances have changed during counseling, return to this issue again. Confidential information is discussed only for scientific or professional purposes and only with persons who are related to this. It is possible to disclose information without the consent of the client only in some cases prescribed in the code. The main points of this disclosure are due to prevent harm to the client and other people.

Among practicing psychologists in the United States is very popular and ethical Code of American Association of Consultants.

In the USA, you can pay for violation with a license

“According to the Ethics Code of the American Association of Consultants, the publication of the incident is possible only after the client read the text and gave written resolution or the details are changed beyond recognition,” says Alena Prikhidko, family therapist. – the consultant must discuss with the client the question of who, where and when will have access to confidential information. The psychotherapist is also obliged to obtain a client’s permission to discuss his case with relatives. Removing the chance into public space without permission Threats at least a fine, maximum – deprivation of a license. Psychotherapists in the United States value their licenses, because it is not easy to get them: you must first finish the magistracy, then unlearn 2 years in the internship, pass exams, go through supervisions, know laws and ethical codes. Therefore, it is difficult to imagine that they will violate the Ethics Code and describe their customers without permission – for example, on social networks. “.

And how are we?

In Russia, a law on psychological assistance has not yet been adopted, there is no common for all psychologists of the Ethics Code and large prestigious psychological associations that would be by hearing.

Russian psychological society ( RPO ) tried

to create a single ethical code of psychologists. It is published on the company’s website, and it is guided by psychologists who are included in the RPO. However, while the RPO has no great authority among professionals, not all psychologists seek to become members of society, most know nothing about this organization.

The Ethics Code of the RPO on confidentiality in advisory relations says a little: “The information received by the psychologist in the process of working with the client based on trusting relations is not subject to intentionally or accidental disclosure outside the agreed conditions”. It is clear that the psychologist and the client must coordinate the conditions for disclosing confidential information and then adhere to these agreements.

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