Is therapy / coaching confidential?

During therapy, my ability to help you will largely depend on how open and honest you can be about yourself. In order for you to feel free to talk openly with me, and so that your right to privacy is protected, the law makes it my duty to keep client information confidential. This means that, in most situations, I cannot release information about you, the content of our sessions, or your written records to anyone else without your permission. If you ever want me to share information about your treatment with someone else (for example, your physician), I will ask you to sign a Consent to Release Information form which allows me to exchange information with that person.

Exceptions to Confidentiality:

There are some situations where I am permitted or required to disclose information without your consent, and it is important for you to be aware of these situations prior to engaging in psychological services. If such a situation arises, I will make every effort to fully discuss it with you before taking any action and I will limit my disclosure to what is necessary. These situations are briefly noted here, but you will read about them in more detail in the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices document.

  • If I believe that you are unable to keep yourself safe, either because you are threatening serious harm to yourself or because you are unable to engage in basic activities of daily life, I am permitted to reveal information about you to others in order to ensure your safety. In urgent situations, I may also contact the person you designated as your emergency contact on your Confidential Client Questionnaire.
  • If you threaten to harm another person, I am required by law to take steps to inform the intended victim and appropriate law enforcement agencies.
  • If I reasonably suspect that any child, elderly person, or dependent adult is being abused or neglected, the law requires that I report this to the appropriate county agency.
  • If a court of law orders me to release information, I am required to provide that specific information to the court.
  • If you have been referred to me by a court of law for therapy or testing, the result of the treatment or tests ordered may have to be revealed to the court.
  • If you are involved in or become involved in any kind of lawsuit or administrative procedure (such as worker’s compensation), where the issue of your mental health is involved, you may not be able to keep your treatment information private.
  • In couple or relationship therapy, or when different family members are seen individually, confidentiality and privilege do not apply between the couple or among family members. I will use my clinical judgment when revealing such information.
  • If a client files a complaint or lawsuit against me, I may disclose relevant information regarding that client in order to defend myself.
  • In order to provide you the best treatment I can, there will be times when I may seek consultation from another licensed mental health professional. In these consultations, I make every effort to avoid revealing your identity. The consultant is also legally bound to keep the information confidential, although the exceptions to confidentiality apply to them as well. Similarly, when I am away or unavailable, my practice is covered by a licensed therapist. I may inform the on-call therapist about your situation to facilitate your getting appropriate support should you need it in my absence.