Confidentiality is the cornerstone of our therapeutic relationship with your son/daughter, however we are aware that being a parent without information is concerning and sometimes frustrating.
It is important for parents to know that when we work with any child over the age of 12, we try to encourage communication from them to you at some level with reference to:
- How the relationship is going therapeutically
- That the sessions are working/not working
- Sometimes what is being worked on and how you as a parent can help
- Establishment of boundaries: for example if your son or daughter is upset and communicates a need for time to calm down, that time is supported by you along with an understanding that after calming your son or daughter will come out to talk with you. (Please see communication tip #5 as children need boundaries as well.)
- Expression of needs from you
- Their responsibility in addressing their concerns in life
- Their safety if in question
As much as we attempt to do this, some children choose not to share anything with their parents. That is very difficult for any parent concerned about their child.
You can try to engage your child in discussion of how you can help them in the course of their therapy, anything you can do on your end to assist in their work.
Use such statements as: “Help me understand how you feel or your point of view”
“We may not agree but I really want to understand.”
Sometimes their issues are so powerful that they simply cannot tell you as their parent due to a perception of what you will think or what you will do.
When your child will not share anything we often ask them to allow a family session to address the communication issues they may have. However it is up to them to agree.
For your understanding:
- We will not maintain any confidentiality if your child is at risk of self harm or if they are in danger of harming someone else.
- We have to report to the Children’s Aid Society any child abuse concerns if your child is under the age of 16.
We hope this information will help in understanding you child’s right to confidentiality as well as our efforts to facilitate communication with you about issues important to them.