Does what we talk about remain confidential?
Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychologist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the psychologist's office. Every psychologist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone without your written permission.
State law and professional ethics protect the relationship between a client and a psychologist and require psychologists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
- Suspected abuse or neglect of children, dependent adults, and elders, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources, must be reported.
- If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or another person, law and professional ethics require that it be reported..
- (Under these cirumstances, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. I may take further measures that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.)
- While every attempt is made to provide a comfortable, private place to deal with individual issues, in marriage counseling or any multiple therapy there is no absolute promise of confidentiality from partners.
- If a legal case emerges, confidentiality may be jeopardized. All parties must sign Release of Information in order to release any records to one or more parties. (I am not available to testify or provide forensic evidence on behalf of clients.)