Does what we talk about in therapy remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. You will be provided a written copy of my confidentiality agreement and privacy policies, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want me to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.
However, as a therapist, state law and professional ethics require me to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are required of me by law in order to ensure their safety.
It is so important that every client fully understand the scope and limits of confidentiality so that they feel safe to open up within the therapeutic context. We will discuss these issues at the beginning of treatment and can revisit them at anytime if you have questions or concerns.