Clients share a tremendous amount of personal information with their trainers, making confidentiality a huge issue. In addition to their medical history, clients talk to their trainers about their goals, fears, stressors, family life, work, and a great deal of other personal issues. This is an honor, but may also be a burden. It is your professional responsibility to keep the information you are given between you and your client.
Sign an Agreement
Protecting your clients' privacy should be at the top of your list among safety and success. Developing and implementing a confidentiality agreement for your clients will show that you respect and honor their privacy. Putting it on paper reinforces the fact that you are a professional who is worthy of their trust, and contributes to an open, honest relationship.
Your clients are sharing with you their medical history, their hopes, fears, successes, and failures. For some, this will be easier than others. If you create a sense of comfort with your clients, over time even the most hesitant will come to trust you. Having a signed, written agreement can speed up this process by putting clients at ease. They will feel more comfortable opening up and revealing private information if they are guaranteed it will stay with you. Working to achieve their goals is difficult enough without having to worry about what they should or should not discuss with you.