It is important for a therapeutic setting to feel safe and secure; therefore privacy is often of great concern to the patient. I dedicate myself to making the environment for our work together feel as safe as possible by protecting that expectation of privacy and by treating all clients and family members with respect and dignity. It is your right to expect that your healthcare information and privacy will be protected. The law protects the relationship between a patient and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission. Exceptions include:
- 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 patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim/s.
- If a patient informs the therapist of an intent to kill oneself or an intention to cause significant harm to oneself, I will make every effort to obtain his or her cooperation to seek assistance and a safe environment. If the person does not cooperate, I will take further measures without permission on a signed release of information form and act in accordance with the law to ensure the patient's safety.
- If a client reveals abuse by another helping professional (doctor, dentist, psychotherapist, for example), I am required to file a complaint to that person's licensing board.
- When a minor child reports obvious abuse by a parent or person named as a guardian or a teacher, professional caregiver, etc. I must also report that to the appropriate authorities.
- There are other times when information is shared, but with your permission. This may include sharing your personal information with other providers involved in your care and with insurance providers, commonly known as third party payors.
- In order to provide my patients with the best therapy possible, there may be times when I seek consultation with other providers but without releasing identifying information about patients.
You will be given a form that further explains the limits of confidentiality and be asked to sign that you have received this important information when you arrive for an intake appointment.