Arrived in New Zealand, I submitted, with joy, to the equivalence exams in order to acquire the right to practice in the country. With joy for various reasons, the first being to grasp the general perception of the profession, to understand the mode of operation specific to this new culture, and to obtain a vision of what is available, current or common, in the integration of psychoanalysis in the daily way of life of the population.

Whats%20in%20words - Psychology: confidentiality and professional secrecy in Auckland

This teaching is still a source of fascinating discoveries. The code of ethics here is summarized in about twenty pages, deals with professional secrecy and calls for respect, honesty, “common sense”, and “first of all to do no harm”.

Is “common sense” international?

In a “small” expatriate community as we know it in Auckland, there is an additional apprehension which adds to the difficulty of making contact. “Who knows who? “ “I wouldn’t want to see so and so in the waiting room

This subject was dealt with from the foundations of the practice and shrinks were invited to suggest a different exit door from the front door in order to be certain that no client crossed paths.

It is of course possible to organize the meetings so that this phenomenon does not occur, and I am very vigilant taking this additional subject into account. As for professional secrecy, it is of course mentioned in each code of ethics, but it is above all an essential personal trait falling within the competence of the practitioner, who is also an expatriate.

boite - Psychology: confidentiality and professional secrecy in Auckland

But what fundamental skills does this sometimes mysterious, frightening, surprising profession require that we one day decide to call upon?

Why confide in a stranger? The initial process often comes from suffering, or from a need to “know”, where the desire to be able to ” to stare “ such or such behavior that is repeated despite the efforts made to overcome it.

What do the symptoms we struggle with tell us? What is the function of a symptom and what can we learn from it? We come because “It does not go, and yet there is no reason”, ” to make a point “, “To take back the reins” because “It escapes me”. Getting involved in a job is an adventure in discovering what drives us, that we name, mention, evoke, tell as the sessions progress.

When do you start a job? It is sometimes set up during the first session, it sometimes requires several sessions of approaches. Entrusting your soul, your privacy, your individual way of functioning, within your family, evoking your values, your doubts, your fantasies, your financial situation, your sexuality is a risk in itself. Trust, from which the bond between the client and the practitioner derives, takes place within an established framework, which respects a code of ethics, whose method has a structure that must be respected.

The appointment is precise, of a predetermined duration, the rhythm of the sessions as the cost is also understood from the start. However, the number of sessions cannot be determined because the work depends on the subject’s involvement and the gradual and unique evolution of each person and their defense mechanisms, resistances which are an integral part of the work.

This is a commitment for the two protagonists, the moments of anger, of disappointment, of feeling not to move forward, that of having been turned upside down, of not feeling better, all the demonstrations give the opportunity to elaborate, just like the moments of silence which lead the client to reveal himself and welcome the freedom of introspection.

The quality of the relationship established throughout therapy is fundamental for effective work. Frédérique Stref offers individual sessions of 50 minutes each afternoon. These sessions are intended to provide insightful and consistent support to both women and men. Email us at with “Frederique Stref” in the subject line for more information.