Module Seven: Confidentiality, Legal Obligations to Report, and Referrals
Learning objective: Participants will describe the importance of creating policies related to confidentiality, legal obligations to report, and referrals to appropriate therapeutic/certified life coach providers.
As it relates to the peer facilitator role, module seven addresses the types of legal or ethical issues that may arise in partner support groups. Instead of attempting to provide a thorough review of complex issues that ‘lack explicit legal guidance for peer support groups’ we focus on identifying the issues, where to turn for help/direction when uncertain, and an appropriate facilitator response.
Topics covered include defining
1. The scope of the peer facilitator role as well as the purpose and culture of the group.
2. When and how the peer facilitator explains guidelines related to confidentiality including that although you and the group members highly value confidentiality, you cannot guarantee all members will abide by guidelines.
3. When, why, and how a peer facilitator may break confidentiality. This requires the peer facilitators’ awareness of:
Mandatory (or) reporting requirements in the facilitator's location
Who to turn to with questions
If offering groups through a church, ministry, organization or with a clinician… ensuring reporting guidelines in place
4. Intimate partner violence – when and how to initiate a conversation in or outside of group, where to help, how to support.
5. Suicide - when and how to initiate a conversation in or outside of group, where to turn for help, how to support
6. When, why, and how to refer a group member to a professional clinician or trauma-trained coach
ADOH alumni perspectives
“Creating a safe environment is foundational to move forward in their healing journey. Information shared in group is not to be shared outside the group, including spouses, family, or close friends. Breaking confidentiality is necessary only to get immediate help for someone in danger of hurting herself or someone else. Texas law requires anyone with knowledge of suspected child abuse or neglect to report it to the appropriate authorities. The law even extends to individuals whose personal communications may be privileged, such as attorneys, clergy members, and health care professionals."
The the types of reporting behaviors reporting guidelines should cover:
Child abuse and neglect
Elder abuse and neglect
Intimate partner violence
Suicide threats (self-harm)
Threats to others’ well being
When a partner exhibits/reports symptoms or problematic behavior in a pre-group interview and/or in the group setting she may need to be referred to a clinician or certified coach. This can be done by stating in naturally by:
Normalizing a mental health referral
Avoiding emotionally charged terms
Explaining why she needs additional care beyond the group
Expressing strong support and concern
Providing a realistic message of hope
Listening and responding empathetically
Guiding her through the decision-making process
Remaining both assertive and persistent
Next ADOH training opportunity
The ADOH training is designed for those who
Are at least one-year post discovery or disclosure
Received help working with a therapist or counselor, coach or mentor, and
Participated in a support group
If interested in joining the January 2021 training
Complete the “Peer Facilitator Interest Survey” located on the ADOH Peer Facilitator page drop down. After your submission you will be contacted to schedule an interview. If you choose to proceed AFTER the interview, you will complete an application. After approved, you will be notified when registration is open, and complete your registration with a $200 payment.
Registrations must be completed by January 12, 2021
"Trauma-informed care for the sexually betrayed partner" podcast interview with
I love collaborating with Kristin and those from within the Living Truth community. We share a common belief in and passion for groups, and the value of becoming trained and then supported in the facilitator role.