286 – AI and Confidentiality

286 – AI and Confidentiality

Supporting the Children of Narcissistic Parents in Divorce – Planning Your Placement Journey

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The Counselling Tutor Podcast is back for Episode 286 as we enter 2024, and your hosts Rory Lees-Oakes and Ken Kelly are here with more topics and discussions:

  • Firstly in ‘Ethical, Sustainable Practice’, we look at AI and how it might affect your practice, specifically with regards to confidentiality.
  • Then in ‘Practice Matters’, Rory speaks with Amy Launder about supporting children of narcissistic parents during the divorce process.
  • And lastly in ‘Student Services’, we look at planning your placement journey.

AI and Confidentiality [starts at 02:49 mins]

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The use of Artificial Intelligence is constantly growing, and it’s important that we know how to make use of it safely and ethically. In this section, Rory and Ken discuss some of the ways AI can put confidentiality at risk:

  • There is now a rising market for people selling data – how can we protect our client’s data against this?
  • Putting data into an AI-enabled system automatically puts that data at risk.
  • Video platforms such as Zoom have started to have AI built into them – you might not even realise.
  • When agreeing to certain terms and conditions such as Chat GPT, you are consenting for any information you give it to be stored and used to teach and train the AI.
  • To help protect against the confidentiality risk of AI, take steps to understand the settings, terms and conditions, and privacy policies of the tools you are using.
  • Balance your use of AI with the regulations of the GDPR.
  • Many of the platforms we use are based in America, where the data protection standards are lower than those in Europe.
  • To find out more about AI and the risk it poses to confidentiality, use the terms and conditions to check how your data is stored.
  • Think about where you’re keeping your client notes.
  • If a complaint is made about how you store your data, can you show that you made a defensible decision?
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Supporting the Children of Narcissistic Parents in Divorce [starts at 27:00 mins]

This week, Rory speaks with Amy Launder about supporting children of narcissistic parents during the divorce process, touching on the specific challenges this can bring.

The key points of this discussion include:

  • Narcissism can cause the parents to differ in how they act during the divorce – they may use the children as weapons against each other.
  • When the parents are together, the narcissistic parent might have been absent or neglectful, but now suddenly they’re all over the children because they want to win the child’s love, and take that love away from the other parent – not at all thinking about the impact on the child.
  • The child is not only going through the divorce process, but also this renegotiation of the relationship with their parent.
  • Divorce can cause a child to grow up faster than they might have otherwise.
  • It can cause rebellion in the child, or some children may take on a parenting role, either for their siblings or even for their parent as emotional support/confidant.
  • The narcissistic parent might play victim, turning the children against the other parent.
  • There might be a lot of manipulation within this relationship.
  • They might see the child as an extension of themselves – not their own being, but for the parent to do with them what they want.
  • A child may grow up to be a ‘flying monkey’ for the narcissistic parent, doing their bidding.
  • Working with the child of a narcissistic parent requires patience, maybe psychoeducation, encouragement, and acknowledgement of how difficult what they’re trying to do is, e.g. put in boundaries, go no contact with a parent.
  • Create a space that is non-judgemental so they don’t feel the need to withhold things from you or feel guilty.
  • There will be a lot to unpick – see the client as and where they are.

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Planning Your Placement Journey [starts at 44:37 mins]

An essential part of your counselling journey is completing your 100 placement hours. In this section, Rory and Ken discuss some of the things to consider when arranging your placement:

  • When looking for a placement, ask around your peer group, your tutors, and even social media.
  • Widen your search geographically.
  • Think about how you approach organisations – consider writing a letter instead of an email. A letter has to be opened and read, where as it is easy for an email to be lost and/or overlooked in a busy inbox.
  • Now you might be given the opportunity to do blended placements – some of your hours can be done online, allowing you to look further afield.
  • Look to your ethical body – they may have a list of current, available placements.
  • Do you have a specific client group in mind? A niche or particular interest may serve as an advantage when wanting a placement with a specific organisation.
  • It’s important that you find a placement that is right for you.
  • Get yourself a good supervisor with experience of the client group you’re working with.
  • Placement should be a nurturing, growing, exciting time in your practice,
  • These first 100 hours will be your biggest spurt of growth, this foundation is so important for your future practice to build on.
  • If your placement isn’t feeling right for you, you can look for another.
  • There are things you can learn at a placement that’s not 100% the right fit for you – think about why it’s not the right fit for you, what would you do differently?
  • You have a voice – exercise candor with your placement organisation, is there something they’re doing that is out of date and could be improved?
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