Professional conduct

Client confidentiality applies to psychology, as it does in any other medical practice. When seeking psychological treatment or therapy, only the client/s and therapist know exactly what happens in each session. Clients have the absolute right to confidentially and to be treated with the utmost respect by their therapist, ensuring trust and dependency.

Client interaction: the therapy process should attempt to be as interactive as possible. Clients should feel free to ask their therapist questions, request further information, as well as discuss treatment methods and overall approach to therapy. Their participation is most often the key to proper progress.

Ethics & code of conduct. As a member of the Cyprus Psychologists' Association, Cyprus-Therapy and Zoe Anthouli conduct all therapy sessions as per the association's Ethical Principles and Codes of Conduct as well as following the Ethical Guidelines set out by the European Federation of Psychologists' Association.

Cyprus-Therapy's Privacy Policy & Medical Disclaimer

Exceptions to confidentiality in therapy

Understanding professional limitations and the greater good. As per industry practice, therapy with a psychologist (psychotherapy) is a personal and confidential process. Despite adhering to this ethic and professional code-of-conduct, there are certain exceptions that may apply, either as required by law or for the purpose of protection, security and safety, including:

  • Suspicion of harm caused to client unless protective measures taken
  • Reasonable suspicion of danger of violence to others
  • Suspicion of abuse to others, i.e. child or elder adult abuse
  • Suspicion of a possible crime; committed or intention
  • Legal requirements by court-of-law – testifying in court
  • * Some of therapist's records are part of larger medical study
  • * Health insurance may request more information on therapy

In all of the above cases, the therapists is either permitted or indeed required by law to break confidentiality ethics and code-of-conduct in order to protect the client, or someone else that might be endangered from harm.

* The client will be properly informed ahead of time (i.e. before therapy begins) if and where records will be utilised, whilst also providing informed consent.

Special notice on therapy confidentiality

Distinguishing who the client is and their ability to comprehend during therapy.
There are a number of other special cases regarding client confidentiality privileges in therapy, namely with regards to who is deemed to be the client and what rights should they have. This is most common when children or those with mental disabilities are concerned. Therapy with couples, families, and psychotherapy groups may also sometimes raise confidentiality issues.

read more
The most obvious example is with children. When a child is a minor without legal rights, then the child's parents or guardians are often considered to be the legal client and must be incorporated into the practice – the same holds true for those with mental disabilities (i.e. Alzheimer's disease) that are not in a position to legally make decisions on their own accord.

Thus, the therapists must distinguish a child from an adult during psychotherapy; or the client's ability to make decisions. However, when a child is in psychotherapy, sometimes the success of the treatment depends on providing privacy to the child and not telling the parents everything that happens. Other times, it might be necessary to only keep them informed of the child's progress and of any serious issues, such as substance abuse or criminal activity. Such client confidentiality matters should always be discussed and negotiated with the therapist prior to the beginning of treatment.

With couples, families, and groups, confidentiality issues usually arise regarding how each person interacts and shares information with the therapists, or when some one requests information on the other. Again, level of confidentiality should always be clarified in advance prior to treatment sessions.

Remember, each situation is unique, with its own special circumstances, issues and possible treatments. As such, it is up to the therapists to distinguish the environment and the path to treatment, together with the client. Hence, initial assessment is vital to successful therapy and treatment.