Personal Information & Client Confidentiality
For group therapy to be genuinely therapeutic there needs to be an atmosphere of trust. We want clients to share their thoughts and opinions and speak without reservation. This is often a therapeutic barrier due to fear of what and how private information may be shared with others.
Confidentiality is of utmost importance to us and we have strict, transparent guidelines by which we operate this component of our programs.
We comply with all related Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection Laws.
Equivalent to individual therapy, in group therapy all personal information is stored securely and kept under lock and key (and digital information in it’s technological equivalents). Additionally, our emails are encrypted and our website is secure.
Everyone participating in treatment is requested to play by the same rules in terms of maintaining each others confidentiality, including all clients, clinicians, professionals, and administrative staff. All clients are debriefed on this at the start of their program. All staff is debriefed on this when they start with Lifebalance Groups.
Requests for Information
Client information can only be obtained:
- If the client wants it.
- If someone wants it and the client provides explicit permission (signed consent) releasing the information.
Our program is designed to minimize paperwork and maximize direct client treatment. Clients need to be aware that if you are receiving insurance or compensation benefits, or are involved in a legal matter, we may likely receive a 3rd party request for your information. In that case, aside from the obvious personal details you would share for administrative purposes in a health care setting, we only record and release:
- Attendance (whether a client attended or not).
- Per group therapy session, the clinician will make one program/clinical note that will be kept in each client file. Unless there is an emergency or critical incident, no additional clinical information is recorded.
- Per group yoga and fitness session, the instructors will make one progress note that will be kept in the client file.
- Pre-therapy and post-therapy measures.
- Progress and Discharge reports are available if requested (at an additional charge).
Once the program starts, aside from attendance; group therapy, yoga, and fitness notes; and the pre-and post standardized questionnaire results; no other personalized information is available because it is not created or obtained. We do not release our internal quality assurance surveys (these are separate from pre and post therapy measures). A standard fee is applied for release of information requests.
Clients are educated on the ethical, moral, and legal obligations we operate by. We have an obligation to report without client consent if there is a situation where:
- Safety concerns arise (i.e. harm to self or others);
- Where there is current abuse/neglect towards elderly, children, disabled, or other vulnerable individuals; or
- If we are court ordered.
Please note that no client or team member is permitted to discuss client information other than with members of the group and team, as appropriate, in the context of the lifebalance groups program.
No member of our team is permitted to provide any separate-from-program written statements/reports or medical legal reports for any client. This is important to us in maintaining an objective stance and not being viewed as a blind-advocate for any parties. We are a clinic where we want people to come interact, put in their hard work, feel better and stronger, and get back into life.
We really wished we could have summarized this entire page using the following simple statements:
Unless there are sinister motives (physical break-in, cyber attack, hacking, etc.), client information is always kept safe. Our building is extremely secure (multiple locked doors; locked cabinets) and access to any digital information requires passwords. We encrypt our emails and hope you do too. Unless your safety or the safety of others arises as a concern, your confidential information never leaves Lifebalance Groups unless you want it to.