Confidentiality of information discussed in the course of therapy is of
critical importance. It is one of the factors that creates a
psychologically safe environment within which a person can explore
difficult aspects of their lives and their selves. If there were
no assurance of confidentiality, most people would be reluctant to share
as much about themselves and would likely derive much less benefit from
Laws protect the confidential nature of the Psychologist-Patient
relationship. The Psychologist will not release clinical information to
anyone unless given written permission to do so by the patient.
However, there are a few exceptions which allow or require the release of
1.) The Psychologist must act appropriately when there is danger to the
patient or to another at the patient's hands. This generally means
that the Psychologist may involve others when necessary to protect the
patient if suicidal, intends to harm another person, or is unable to
provide self-care at a level necessary for basic survival. State
law also requires the report of abuse or neglect to a child, elder, or
disabled person when there is reasonable belief that it has occurred.
2.) In response to a court order, the Psychologist must testify or
release records. A Psychologist does not release records or
testify in response to a subpoena unless the patient or patientís
guardian has given written authorization to do so.
3.) As professionals, we do consult with one another from time to time.
Any clinical material is conveyed without identification whenever
possible. At other times, it will be necessary (for example, if
another therapist is covering calls during a vacation). Finally,
case material is sometimes used in training, research, writing, etc.
This is always without identifying information and with great care and
respect for your privacy.
Any other release of information requires your written authorization.