You can be assured that Privacy and Confidentiality is at the forefront of all undertakings at Gryphon Psychology. At Gryphon Psychology we honor and abide by both ethical practice of privacy and law requirements.
Privacy and Confidentiality – Ethics & Law
Gryphon Psychology and all its employees abide by the legal, ethical and professional requirements that are mandated for all psychology practices in Australia.
As a private psychology practice, Gryphon Psychology and all its employees have legal obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 to protect your personal information and privacy. In addition to those, all counselling practitioners are required to meet ethical and professional obligations under their individual professional bodies (whether this be AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency, APS (Australian Psychological Society), AAPI (Australian Association of Psychologists incorporated) or AASW (Australian Association for Social Workers).
At Gryphon Psychology, you can expect:
- Personal information will not be used, disclosed, or retained for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the client.
- Some personal information may be disclosed without the client’s consent if required or authorized by law (see below for more details).
- Personal information, both on paper and electronically, is stored securely.
- Privacy extends beyond therapy. Our clinicians will conduct themselves in a professional manner and will maintain your privacy at all times. For this reason, your psychologist will not approach you or engage in a conversation outside of therapy.
Three circumstances where confidentiality is superseded by other requirements:
In some cases, the clinician will have a responsibility that requires confidentiality to be superseded. These are very specific scenarios:
- The most common reason we would provide client details to others is when we are requested to do so by the client. This generally occurs when we are asked to provide the individual (or someone they nominate) with proof of attendance at counselling but may also include the provisions of reports for various assessment reasons.
At all times we work with the client to ensure they provide informed consent to the release of information. Individuals have the right to remove that consent at any stage of the assessment process.
- The second reason to provide a client’s confidential information is if Gryphon Psychology has a legal obligation to do so, i.e., the client discloses information regarding involvement or knowledge of a criminal offense/police investigation that has not been brought to the attention of the police.
While this scenario is atypical, more common is that Gryphon Psychology receives a subpoena from a court of law. Traditionally, this may occur in Family Law Court matters, and in these situations, Gryphon Psychology makes every effort to ensure that you are aware that the information has been subpoenaed.
- Lastly, if the psychologist or social worker assesses the client as an immediate risk to themselves or the safety of others, duty of care overrides the duty of confidentiality and the clinician takes steps to ensure safety for all parties.
In all cases, Gryphon maintains contact with the client and works with them so that the impact of the released information is done so in a considerate and professional way.
Commonly Asked Questions?
Each individual will have different concerns and questions about Privacy and Confidentiality. Some Commonly Asked Questions Include:
If my workplace pays for the service, does this give them extra permission to know which employees access the service?
No, it doesn’t. No personal identifying information will be passed on to your employer unless there is a duty of care requirement to do so. Invoices and utilisation reporting does not include any personal identifying information of those who access the service. Regardless of who pays for the service, our practice is still required to follow legal and ethical requirements.
What if I bump into a Gryphon staff member or my counsellor outside in the community or onsite?
We not only keep the content of your sessions confidential, we will also ensure that the fact you are engaged in counselling remains private. It is to your own discretion that you let others know of your engagement with us, however we will continue to maintain your privacy even when you are no longer engaged in psychological treatment. If you see us in the community or onsite, we won’t acknowledge you in the first instance. We aren’t trying to be rude, we are simply protecting your right to privacy.
What if someone enquires about my engagement with Gryphon and attendance at counselling?
If someone enquires about your engagement or attendance at counselling with us, we are unable to provide them this information. We can only do so at your request and with your explicit consent.