Confidentiality is one of the most important components in the therapeutic
alliance between a client and therapist. Successful therapy requires a high
degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not
discussed anywhere but in session. Every therapist should
provide a written copy of their privacy practices, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared
with anyone. This is called “Informed
Consent”. Sometimes, you may want your therapist to share
information with a loved one or provide an update to someone on your
healthcare team (i.e. physician, psychiatrist), but by law your therapist
cannot release information without your written permission.
The following are exceptions to Confidentiality:
- Suspected abuse of a child, dependent adult, or elder, for which your therapist is required by law to report to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person, your therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
If a client intends to harm himself/herself, your therapist will make
every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their
safety. If they are unable to contract for safety, your therapist may
take additional measures without their permission provided by
law to ensure their safety.