As a licensed therapist, I protect the confidentiality of all the communications with my clients. I will only release information about our work to others with your written permission, or if I am required to do so by a Judge. There are some situations in which I am legally obligated to breach your confidentiality in order to protect yourself or others from harm, including (1) if I have information that indicates that a child or elderly or disabled person is being abused, I must report that to the appropriate state agency and (2) if a client is an imminent risk to him/herself or makes threats of imminent violence against another person, I am required to take protective actions. These situations rarely occur, but if such a situation does occur, I will make every reasonable effort to discuss it with you before taking any action.
I may occasionally find it helpful to consult other professionals about a case. During a consultation, I make every effort to avoid revealing the identity of my patient. The consultant is also bound to keep the information confidential. If you don’t object, I will not tell you about these consultations unless I feel that it is important to our work together.
While this summary of exceptions to confidentiality should prove helpful in informing you about potential problems, it is important that we discuss any questions or concerns that you may have at our next meeting. I will be happy to discuss these issues with you if you need specific advice, but formal legal advice may be needed because the laws governing confidentiality are quite complex, and I am not an attorney.