Dr Beverly Smith, Psychotherapist
The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
LIMITS OF CONFIDENTIALITY
Contents of all therapy sessions are considered to be confidential. Both verbal information, and written records about a client cannot be shared with another party without the written consent of the client or the client’s legal guardian. Noted exceptions are as follows:
Duty to Warn and Protect
When a client discloses intentions or a plan to harm another person, the mental health professional is required to warn the intended victim, and report this information to legal authorities. In cases in which the client discloses or implies a plan for suicide, the mental healthprofessional is required to notify legal authorities and make reasonable attempts to notify the family of the client.
Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults
If a client states or suggests that he or she is abusing a child (or vulnerable adult) or has recently abused a child (or vulnerable adult), or a child (or vulnerable adult) is in danger of abuse, the mental health professional is required to report this information to the appropriate social service, and/or legal authorities.
Prenatal Exposure to Controlled Substances
Mental Health care professionals are required to report admitted prenatal exposure to controlled substances that are potentially harmful.
Parents or legal guardians of non-emancipated minor clients have the right to access the clients’ records.
Insurance Providers (when applicable)
Insurance companies and other third-party payers are given information that they request regarding services to clients.
Information that may be requested includes type of services, dates/times of services, diagnosis, treatment plan, and description of impairment, progress of therapy, case notes, and summaries.