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Psychologist dilemma

Community Member

I used to see a psychologist around ten years ago and when I felt that we were not getting anywhere due to a lack of connection left that clinic. I will now be returning to that clinic to see a different psychologist, will my previous records be available to the new psychologist or does my new psychologist start a new record.


Also how long are the old psychologist records kept for after leaving a clinic, are they archived or destroyed after a period of time.

4 Replies 4

Dear Dawn123
Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums we are so glad that you have made you way here and had the bravery to post. We want you to know that this is a safe space to discuss your thoughts, feelings and experiences and receive honest responses and suggestions from fellow forum users.
It’s great to hear that you are reaching out to engage with a psychologist and the concerns that you hold are understandable.  What we would encourage first and foremost is to contact the clinic directly as whilst there is legislation in place on record keeping, each and every clinic may have different polices around retaining information and/or records; also who is able to access that information.  Maybe give the clinic a call anonymously and state your concerns and ask for some clarity around what you would like to know?
While you wait for our lovely community members to respond, please know that we are also here 24/7 on 1300 22 4636 or via our Webchat.  Our team who answer the phones are ready to have a supportive and non-judgmental chat whenever you need it.
We’re sure to hear from some of our lovely community members here on your thread soon. They’re a really amazing community, and will have understanding, advice and kind words for you.  Thanks again for sharing. It’s a powerful and brave first step towards feeling better.
Sophie M

Willow Jude
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Dawn123,

Well done on recognising that seeing a psychologist could be beneficial for you and for working towards making it happen. It can be a big step to take, especially when your previous experience wasn't as positive as you may have liked. 

To answer your question:
When I returned to the same practice I'd previously been attending but began seeing a different psychologist, my notes were passed on to the new psychologist, but only once I had filled out a form giving my consent for this to happen. However, I'm not sure if this process is something that every practice is required to do, or if it is just something that my practice opted to do. Like Sophie, I'd recommend you get into contact with the clinic you will be attending in order to know for sure what the process will be, if that's something you feel able to do. 

I hope your experiences with the new psychologist are more in line with your needs and that you find them beneficial. Feel free to keep us updated with how things go!


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Dawn123, those are really good questions.


I would definitely talk with the Receptionist at the Clinic about this if it concerns you. Then again speak with the Psychologist you're seeing. 


Would it be a "deal breaker" if they did share information / records about you with each other? 
From my POV if it is a deal breaker then you need to get to the bottom of it asap. 


From my experience working with Psychs for decades, they do share information. I'm not sure if they inform the patient. Each place could operate differently and could even have "Policies" written about such. 


Again, from my experience only, I've never known Psychs to destroy records at all. 
One of my Psychs was subpoenaed and had records from 35y ago in her archives to present to the Court. 
That's IMPRESSIVE filing! 


Lastly your Psych will have to begin new records for her sessions with you. 


Best wishes in your journey
Love EM

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Dawn, records need to be kept for 7 years and/or they may be shelved but all your circumstances can certainly change in all of this time and previous records may not be relevant, but remember each psychologist have their own way of dealing with a patient, so much has changed, even medication has altered.

I wouldn't worry too much and even if you didn't tell them, then they probably wouldn't even know and they can't necessarily combine your history with how you are feeling today.

Let them start from scratch.


Life Member.