Firebird Psychotherapy gathers information to guide the care offered to psychotherapy participants. This information includes basic demographic, contact, and payment details (e.g. name, date of birth, address, etc), as well as information relevant to the therapy process. This may include the following:
The nature of the concern(s) for which you are seeking psychotherapy;
Affective, cognitive, and behavioural aspects related to these concerns;
A history of these concerns;
Relevant social and interpersonal history (e.g. Important relationships such as family, friends, professional relationships, partners)
Other information deemed necessary to understand your concerns and other relevant factors
Participant feedback on sessions
Any other information you choose to share with Firebird Psychotherapy
Confidentiality of Information
Generally, all information gathered by Firebird Psychotherapy remains confidential. That is, Firebird Psychotherapy does not disclose your information to anyone else. However, there are several important exceptions to this confidentiality:
It is a professional requirement that Phoenix discusses her clinical work with an appropriately qualified and experienced supervising psychotherapist in a supervisory relationship, and/or with a small group of clinicians in a supervision group. This may include sharing some clinical details about therapy participants, though identifying information is avoided wherever possible. This supervisory relationship must follow Australian privacy laws and any information disclosed during clinical supervision is kept confidential by the supervisor or supervision group.
If Phoenix or Firebird Psychotherapy staff reasonably believe that you or another individual is at risk for significant harm, a moral and ethical obligation exists to act on this information with the aim of preventing such harm. This may involve contacting your nominated emergency contact person/people, a local mental health crisis team, and/or emergency services.
If Phoenix or Firebird Psychotherapy staff reasonably believe that a child is at risk of serious harm then mandatory reporting laws apply. Details of mandatory reporting requirements in Australian states and territories are available here: https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/mandatory-reporting-child-abuse-and-neglect.
If you have not attended a booked session, and Phoenix could not reach you by phone at the session time, Phoenix will attempt to contact you by email to check if you are safe and well. If you have not replied within 3 days, and she still cannot reach you by phone, she will exercise her duty of care by contacting your emergency contact(s) for a welfare check. To protect your confidentiality, she will only share the following details:
She is a service provider to you (not specifying what kind)
You had missed an appointment
She has been unable to reach you since
She is calling/emailing to check if you are okay
If a file is subpoenaed by a court of law, Firebird Psychotherapy is legally required to provide the information specified by the subpoena.
You may instruct Firebird Psychotherapy to share information with another person by making a clear request in writing. Depending on the situation, Firebird Psychotherapy may require you to complete and sign a release of information form.
Session invoices issued by Firebird Psychotherapy and bank transfer information showing on bank statements (e.g. participant names and payment amounts) are accessible to our accountants.
Use of Information
Information gathered by Firebird Psychotherapy is used exclusively for two purposes:
To guide the psychotherapy process; and
For administrative purposes (booking appointments, sending reminders, accountancy etc).
Security of Information
Information provided to Firebird Psychotherapy is held in either secure electronic storage, or in hard copy in a locked filing cabinet. Any cloud-based storage is secured with end-to-end encryption and two-factor authentication. Clinical files (which include information shared in therapy sessions) can only be accessed by Phoenix, unless she is incapacitated. In the event that Phoenix is incapacitated, you will be notified, either by Firebird Psychotherapy staff, or another nominated person. In the event that Phoenix dies or is incapacitated for an extended period, a nominated person may access clinical files only to the extent necessary to arrange alternative care for Phoenix’s psychotherapy participants.
Obtaining Recorded Participant Information
Participant information will only be released in accordance with the ‘Confidentially of Information’ section above. Requests for information may be made in writing and may require completion of a release of information form. Requests should be specific as to the exact information required and will be acknowledged within 14 days. Once a request for information is received, Phoenix (or an alternative nominated person, if Phoenix is incapacitated) will assess whether the request meets the criteria outlined above, and will then collate the requested information in an appropriate manner to ensure adequate and full understanding on the part of the requesting person. Requests for information requiring written summaries or reports, or otherwise requiring a substantial amount of time, may incur fees.
Procedure for Complaint/Rectifying Information
Official complaints or requests to change inaccurate or erroneous information should be made to Firebird Psychotherapy by email. In such cases Firebird Psychotherapy will conduct a review of the information held and make every effort to ensure that such information is accurate.