A Confidential Space: Introduction (05:57)
Judith Mulcahy interviews Peter Jenkins, who is a professor at the University of Salford and an expert on the legal aspects of psychotherapy with regards to children. Ethical considerations when counseling children require additional training because they have different emotional needs and levels of understanding.
Counseling Children (03:55)
The Gillick decision allowed children to consent to medical treatment without the need for parental permission or knowledge. Therapists generally agree that children in primary school do not possess competency.
School Counselors (04:55)
A recent study discovered approximately 75% of schools in the United Kingdom provide individual therapy to students, but 40% require parental consent. In medicine and social work, the rights of the parents are weighed against the rights of the child, not in psychology. Educate teachers to explain to parents the benefits of counseling.
Children's Rights (02:53)
The U.N.'s Rights of the Children are being incorporated into Welsh government policies; issues of autonomy still need to be addressed.
Information Sharing and Child Protection (04:40)
In the Victoria Climbie case, information was not shared and the child died, producing major changes in child protection policies. Information sharing can lead to lack of privacy. Recent studies concluded that failures occur when information is not assessed correctly.
Child Protection and Children's Rights (06:19)
Counselors may struggle with passing on information, because it may lead to children ultimately losing their only source of support. Frequently, children tell the therapist he or she does not want information reported. Jenkins explains possible pitfalls.
Stopping Therapy Sessions (04:14)
When an allegation is made, the therapeutic relationship is changed during the investigation and becomes overshadowed by a public procedure. Jenkins and Mulcahy discuss "the pre-trial practice guidance" and "achieving post evidence."
Data Protection (04:59)
Jenkins and Mulcahy discuss the Graham Gaskin case and changes to data protection laws. Lawyers and judges can request access to private records for civil and criminal cases.
Records Used Against Clients (04:48)
Therapist records are distinctive because they are prone to interpretation. Jenkins and Mulcahy discuss how the records can be used to tarnish the victim, witness, or invalidate the claim. Some victims need to feel heard in a court of law and some will be re-traumatized.
Accessibility to Records (06:03)
School counseling records are technically part of child educational records, but therapists can block parental access. Graham Gaskin sped up the record receiving process. Counselors learn how to work with coworkers and parents without revealing confidential information.
Working with Social Services (05:31)
Jenkins and Mulcahy describe how to work with children protected by social services. Different agencies and teams collaborate on behalf of the child. Mulcahy advocates informing the client what a counselor learns in team meetings.
Confidential Space (09:40)
Jenkins and Mulcahy discuss the risks associated with waiting to release information told by a client to protect the therapeutic relationship. If the counselor passes the information to authorities without consent, other potential ramifications occur. Reporting child abuse is not mandatory in the U.K., Scotland, or Wales and does not always lead to positive outcomes.
Case Study: One (06:48)
A 14-year-old client wants to visit his doctor without his parent's knowledge because he is hearing his dead brother's voice. Jenkin's suggests looking at-risk indicators that he might need medical intervention and potentially Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Young people can access school counseling without stigma during school hours.
Case Study: Two (06:08)
A 13-year-old disabled girl seeks counseling but does not want her parents to know. The pastoral care manager from the client's school shared that she was attending counseling sessions. Jenkins and Mulcahy discuss privacy, confidentiality, and the differing roles of teachers and psychologists.
Case Study: Three (06:31)
The head of a school approaches the therapist because the parents want to read their child's counseling notes. There may be no conflict of interest, but the child may not want information disclosed. The therapist can block it from being shared.
Credits: A Confidential Space (02:10)
Credits: A Confidential Space
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