Welcome to this week’s Question and Answer Space!
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Today’s question comes from a colleague. She asks:
Should a therapist tell their client that they will discuss them in Supervision?
I will first answer from what I do in my own practice, and then confirm and add on with what the BACP Ethical Framework says.
When I meet a client for the first time, I make sure that they know that what they say in the room, will stay in the room, except in a few specific circumstances:
- I explain that I have regular supervision, and that I discuss my clients in this space, which is also confidential and professional. This arrangement is for the benefit of myself as a therapist but also to keep my practice in check and to ensure the support I give my clients is to a high standard both ethically and professionally.
- Where there are child protection issues, or harm to self and others (I will discuss with my clients in these cases).
- Where there are terrorism or money laundering related alerts (In this case I don’t need to alert the client, as am required to report by law).
The BACP Ethical Framework says that clients should be informed of their case being discussed with a supervisor
“to maintain the quality of the service they are receiving and to support and enhance the practitioner’s expertise”.
It adds that in some circumstances, the client will need to know who the supervisor is:
- Conflict of interest where the client is a counsellor in personal therapy and the supervisor might be their colleague.
- The client might know the supervisor on a personal level.