What can you tell me about what my child or teen says?
We are bound by ethical guidelines as laid down by the Australian Psychological Society, which says that we must keep the information given to us by a client, confidential almost all of the time. The exceptions to this confidentiality rule are if:
a) we hear about a person who is experience a significant level of risk
b) we hear about a child who is being abused or harm
Are children or teens treated in the same way?
Generally yes. As psychologists we need to make a judgement as to whether the child/teen is capable of giving what is called informed consent - this means that they understand treatment and how it works. If this is the case, then the child/teen is allowed the same rights to confidentiality as an adult This means that if they request that we do not tell their parents a piece of information, we must respect this decision UNLESS we believe someone is at significant level of risk or if we hear about a child who is being abused or harm.
However, we try very hard to work with families and will usually discuss with the child/teen what we can discuss with parents and guardians and how we can work together.
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