Anyone who has ever had to have counselling for any reason knows how hard the initial process of getting started and seeing the course through is. For a lot of people it may take many years to come to this decision. Counselling brings up painful memories and requires you to deal with parts of yourself which may or may not be willing to accept or come to terms with. Today I found out that in legal cases, a prosecutor has the right to use a client’s counselling notes as evidence against them in court.
As usual my first reaction was anger. I personally feel that although laws are necessary, in some cases and in the event of certain situations, more often than not, the law generally works against us and instead of feeling safe and protected, you do not. This was one of those times. I still do not understand how it can be moral and even ethical to use someone’s personal and often traumatic life experiences against them in court. It is yet another way to get fucked over by a system that is supposedly there to protect us, yet in all honesty does nothing but make people feel victimised. I also find it disturbing and extremely worrying.
Going through an experience such as sexual abuse or domestic abuse, is unsettling and traumatic to deal with in itself. Being able to build up trust with a counsellor is difficult. To be able to be about and honest about your feelings is also difficult. It takes a lot of strength and a lot of courage to be able to do these things. For some people it may take a life time. It is stressful and it hurts. To find out that these personal details can be pulled out at a whim upon request and used as a weapon against you is frightening.
I don’t want to put people off going to counselling as it is helpful, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who has been or will be disturbed by this information