The things we talk about are between us, but with a few legal exceptions including the following:
Your counsellor is required by law to report actual or reasonably suspected situations of significant risk of serious bodily harm to a person or group of persons.
This includes someone who is legally a minor (including anyone living dependently who is younger than 19) suffering neglect or abuse, or if there are directed threats of violence against others or self, or if records are subpoenaed by the courts. In rare instances, a counsellor may be required to report to a college for the purpose of administration or enforcement of the Regulated Health Professions Act.
Children’s safety comes first. Some circumstances require your counsellor to report to Family and Children’s Services in an effort to keep a child safe. A few examples are if your counsellor is told about:
- a child in danger (even if not your child)
- an adult who has sexually assaulted a child decades ago, but still has access to children
- an adult ignoring a restraining order to not see a child
- a child living with an adult who is punching holes in the wall or breaking things in anger
Regarding couples, family, or children’s therapy: When your counsellor meets individually with anyone (including children), confidentiality is maintained with that individual. The contents of the session are not shared with others in the family unless there is permission from the individual.
Counselling is done with the counsellor being in a private place, and video counselling is offered using an encrypted platform.
As is recommended in this profession, and as part of our efforts to best serve our clients, your counsellor engages in supervision and may discuss the basic circumstances of your case with a clinical supervisor, without revealing the identity of those within the case.
Clinical notes are stored electronically and confidentially, following the guidelines of the counsellor’s regulatory professional body, the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). They are available to you upon request.
We’re here for counselling, rather than representation:
Your counsellor will remain neutral in all disputes involving employers, employees, unions, and family members. We do not take a position on your behalf regarding medical/stress leaves, grievances, legal issues or other matters involving third parties. Counsellors cannot serve as expert witnesses in legal undertakings. Nor can counsellors prepare reports or other documents for reasons not disclosed in the initial request for counselling. Your counsellor will not provide any recommendations regarding parental fitness and/or custody/access matters. Your counsellor is not in a position to make a medical diagnosis.
Complaints and Concerns
If we’re not a good fit or if there’s a problem, please let us know:
Your concerns matter to us. Our goal is to provide you with effective, supportive services. If you would like a different Counsellor or you have concerns or complaints about any aspect of our service, please let us know. If a matter goes unresolved and you wish to complain, you may contact BCACC or CRPO (listed at the bottom of receipts).
We’re not always available, so we want you to be able to reach someone who is:
If you are in crisis between sessions, please contact a Crisis Center (follow this link for some options), or proceed to the nearest hospital emergency department.