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Bond and Mitchels' book contains a wealth of information of practical use to any counsellor or therapist (and related professionals) that cannot be found in such a comprehensive and succinct form in any other professional outlet. The new edition covers also fast developing areas such as technology related issues or new policy and legislation developments. The book contains many useful examples and practical tips, making the text very engaging and informative for the professional. I highly recommend this new updated and expanded edition. (Ladislav Timulak)
In this revised edition of Confidentiality and record keeping in counselling and psychotherapy, Bond and Mitchels provide a concise and useful guide to aspects of record keeping in the context of a legal framework. Their introduction highlights the importance of confidentiality in the context of ethics, good practice and the law; importantly they emphasise that this book is not a substitute for legal advice. The book was developed in order to address the needs of therapists working at all levels. As well as being a useful reference for experienced practitioners it provides insight for trainees.
As with all books concerned with legal issues there are likely to have been changes in the law after publication. In chapter three, the authors consider prevention and detection of serious crime, referencing the Serious Crime Act 2007, and NHS confidentiality: NHS code of practice 2010. This type of law and code of practice is subject to change, and at this point it might have been helpful to reiterate the need to take legal advice. This could again be emphasised in section 3.4 where Bond and Mitchel discuss the Human Rights Act 1998, which even qualified solicitors defer to specialists.
The strength of this book is that it looks at legal issues from the perspective of the practitioner. It is presented in an accessible format with figures and tables showing key points that are pertinent to practice. Decision making, in the context of being faced with an ethical dilemma, is illustrated in box format with considerations, sources of information and guidance clearly listed. In the final chapter Bond and Mitchel describe dilemmas that arise in counselling and psychotherapy, citing examples from counselling and psychotherapy practice. This section is new to this edition of the book.
Bond and Mitchel consider record keeping and confidentiality from several perspectives, taking a view that is useful to both new and experienced practitioners. They address issues associated with research, highlighting the importance of evidence based practice. It might have been helpful to have described the work of ethics committees, to which researchers have access, in more depth. In particular they could have stated that research within the NHS is scrutinized by specialist ethics committees who set standards for confidentiality. Several aspects of confidentially and record keeping are new topics in this second edition of the book, including electronic communication and storage, court proceedings, and the role of supervision.
I recommend this book to anyone who is a counsellor, psychotherapist, supervisor, trainer or student. It is well referenced with legal cases and relevant acts and rules cited. It provides a base from which individual topics can be explored in more depth, and raises issues that are at the leading edge of good practice.(Dr Mary Glover)
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