Ψ Psychology Consultation
As privacy and trust are very important between a client and psychologist, with limited exceptions, information discussed or recorded is confidential. You will be asked to give authorisation (preferably written) if information is to be provided to third parties. Exceptions to the strict maintenance of confidentiality include:
1. information that is shared during the psychologist’s own clinical supervision or peer review;
2. provision of information to your referring medical general practitioner or psychiatrist, or Medicare as required;
3. disclosure of information to relevant persons or authorities if there is:
i) potential of serious physical danger to yourself or someone else,
ii) risk of child abuse,
iii) an enquiry from a legal parent or guardian if the client is under 16 years of age, or
iv) information legitimately subpoenaed by a court or otherwise authorised for release by law.
While psychologists make every effort to preserve a client’s privacy, it is important to note that psychological records have no special legal privilege. You are encouraged to discuss your concerns about confidentiality when you begin receiving psychological services and at any other time.
Rights & Records
In accordance with the APS Charter for Clients of Psychologists, as a client you have the right to expect: treatment with respect; a clear explanation of the service you receive; consent prior to a service commencing and as it progresses; an explanation about the limits of confidentiality; competent and professional service; clear statements about fees; clarity regarding the outcomes towards which you and the psychologist are working; an estimate regarding the number of sessions required; service free from sexual harassment; and respect for your cultural background and language tradition.
If you have any concerns or if difficulties arise in any service you receive, it is your responsibility to first discuss them with the Dr Zuessman. If, for some reason, your concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, you may also lodge a complaint with: the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency [GPO 9958, Sydney, NSW] on 1300 419 495www.ahpra.gov.au , or the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission www.hccc.nsw.gov.au [Locked Bag 18, Strawberry Hills, NSW 1675] on 02 9219 7444, or the Australian Psychological Society www.psychology.org.au [PO Box 38, Flinders Lane Post Office, Melbourne, Victoria 8009] on 1 800 333 497.
In keeping with the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 (as amended 2006) information privacy principles are observed. As part of providing a psychological service there is a need to collect and record personal information that is relevant to assessment, diagnosis and treatment. You do not have to provide all the personal information which is requested, but if you do not it may mean that the psychological service may not be able to be provided.
Client information is accessible only to authorised persons. Information is retained in order to document the course of service, and to enable a relevant and informed psychological service to be provided. In keeping with best practice, files are retained for a period of 7 years from the time of last service or, in the case of a minor, from the date the child reaches the age of 18, after which files are destroyed.
Files are the property of Psychology Consultation though you may request to view your file. If there are no contraindications, an appointment can be arranged to enable you to view your file in the presence of Dr Zuessman. Should you believe that any personal factual information is not accurate, you can request that amendments be added to the file. You can request that a copy of your file be provided to an appropriately registered specialist psychologist or psychiatrist.