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Feel betrayed

Community Member

I have been seeing a psychologist under a Mental Health Care Plan and on the 6th visit disclosed I was in aych emitional pain and had suicidal thoughts but no plans. The psych said he had to do a report to my gp for extra funding and asked how I felt about him mentioning the thoughts. I told him I had a poor relationship with my gp and needed to find another as I didn't feel he was interested in my depression. So basically gave the impression I didn't want that divulged. When I saw my gp he started quizzing me about my disclosure to the osych and I felt really uncomfortable and ambushed as I thought I had made it clear to the psych I did not have that sort of relationship with my gp. .  The gp said the psych thought it was"ambiguous ideation" I think he called it. So if that is so, why did my therapist divulge this to someone I didn't feel comfortable with? Is this a breach of confidentiality?  The psych didn't discuss safety plans or anything and my next psych  appt was not for 3 weeks so he obviously was not too worried. I feel betrayed by my psych and I felt I had to endure a really excruciating discussion with my gp  and niw I am embarassed ti go back to the gp. Now I don't want to see my therapist again either.   Did he breach confidentiality when there was no clear concern that I would do something and was really just speaking out of distress.? I also now don't want to engage with another therapist aa niw I don't trust that what I say will stay confidential and it took so much for me to even get to that point with this psych.

2 Replies 2

Eagle Ray
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear 7592


I can understand why you would feel a sense of betrayal in this situation. Psychologists usually have a disclosure policy around suicidal risk where it is one circumstance where they may break with confidentiality if concerned. However, they will usually have explained this in information provided to you before you commence therapy.


In this situation I think it would be legitimate and fair to ask the psychologist about the disclosure and explain it has led to a loss of trust for you. This gives the psychologist an opportunity to explain the decision and look to re-establish trust with you. It gives you a chance to to emphasise that you were communicating your distress rather than a plan to act.


However, if you still don’t feel comfortable with the psych it’s ok to seek out another. And you may want to search for another GP too. You can see a different psych for the remaining sessions on your mental health care plan, but would just need a GP referral for it.


From my own experience it can take time finding a GP and psychologist you gel with. I found my psych doing internet research until I came across someone who seemed really aligned with my needs and me as a person. This has worked out really well but I had to go through some not so good experiences with other psychs before I found her. She is actually in another state so it’s via telehealth. With GPs you could search medical centres near you. Some have doctor profiles on their websites that indicate a bit about the doctor including areas of health they specialise in. You might be able to get a sense of a good GP this way. Of course it depends where you are as some rural locations have limited GP options.


It is worth persisting to find the right people as it can make such a difference. Also, I know the disclosure has left you feeling uncomfortable, but from what I understand suicidal thoughts are very frequently reported by people in health settings and there is absolutely no shame in it. It took me a long time before I reached a point of disclosure but it can ultimately help in a trusting environment and I’ve become more at ease in disclosing such vulnerabilities.


 I hope you are doing ok and can see this as a temporary setback but that future options exist that can help and support you. You can also call the BB helpline or Lifeline if you just need a chat. Take care and sending best wishes.

Community Member

Thank you