When a patient or client begins seeing a counselor, he or she needs help to cope with life problems or changes or with a mental health condition and may already feel vulnerable enough without expressing potentially embarrassing feelings to a stranger. It is essential that patients feel that they can trust their counselors to keep secrets they are told during sessions, which is why confidentiality requirements exist.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CONFIDENTIALITY
Patients going through stressful life changes, traumatic experiences or the emotional roller coaster ride of symptoms of mental illness may be especially unwilling to share their most private feelings with a stranger unless they know that their secrets are safe. That’s why confidentiality is so important to making counseling effective. A patient who doesn’t trust the counselor is unlikely to be honest about their feelings and problems, so he or she may never receive the necessary help to cope with these issues. Such a patient may be reluctant to really try any coping strategies or treatments that are recommended. Ultimately, without trust, there is little point to attempting counseling.