Reply To: Family Involvement


Some very valid points! When I run into situations where the client doesn’t want to their family involved I think it’s important to firstly understanding reasoning around this decision, and secondly evaluate how involved the family is in the client’s care to begin with and if they help or hinder well-being. Sometimes the limiting factor is the client’s own insight which may be impacted by their illness, despite this we still have to accept their right to confidentiality and can’t really disclose information they don’t want disclosed, but that doesn’t limit our ability to receive information from Family that may be invaluable for our own knowledge. I do think this also helps family feel more involved while also respecting the client’s privacy/confidentiality.

If family is heavily involved with care (i.e. client lives at home, meds are administered by parents, client is driven to/from appointments etc.) it makes it a bit more difficult. For appointments it could be beneficial to get the client’s permission for family members to attend a portion of the appointment and have them step out when the client has information to disclose that they want to remain confidential, as well as informing clients why some information may have to be disclosed to family members if they’re the ones who are going to assist with the process. Lastly, disclosing the parameters of confidentiality and privacy at first appointments helps avoid any future confusions too – like informing clients that confidentiality can be broken when safety becomes an issue for the client or others.