One thing about therapy in whatever form is that it is confidential. What goes on in that therapy room or location stays there. There is a lot of sensitive information floating around and it is important that people’s privacy are respected.
You can be so locked into whatever you are doing that a passing comment from someone can bring you out of that zone. Over the years, I’ve had at least one breach of my confidentiality and I’m surprised that not much was done about the issue. Whilst I was working in Exeter, I began seeing a psychologist to help me through a period of depression and transition. At the time everything seemed legit. I had sessions with this guy and although I didn’t see the need for some of the questions he asked, it didn’t raise any red flags with me.
It wasn’t until afterwards when I mentioned to other staff or consultants in the field about my sessions with this guy, that I found out there was no record of him whatsoever. He had completely disappeared, too. Weird.
Anyway, back to the issue in hand: a throwaway comment that seems unobstrusive and really not that important. Whilst I was on the equine assisted therapy workshop in June, my carer came with me. So, it wasn’t unreasonable to find that one other client also had his relative/carer attending too.
However, these non-clients are not allowed to interfere with the activities and goings-on of the other clients. If there is an issue with their own client that they are overseeing, then interaction between them is allowed. Whilst I was communicating with one of the therapists who was ‘helping’ me with Thomas, the relative with one of the other clients, said to me, “Just stroke him.”
Okay, not too bad, I agree, BUT it did interrupt my concentration and it was inappropriate.
- He had no idea how I was going to react.
- He had no idea of the conversation between me and the therapist.
- He had no idea of my ‘difficulties’, why I was attending a therapy workshop in the first place.
- He undermined my own carer.
- He undermined the therapists and the proprietors of the therapy centre.
It wasn’t until afterwards that I felt anything about it. I felt angry, yes but at the time, I felt my own therapy was more important than anything he may have said. So, I just ignored him as did everyone else! I think it was the best way of dealing with the situation at the time but I wondered if I or my carer should have mentioned something about it to the therapists and/or him?
What do you think? What would you have done?