Confidentiality and privacy are foundational for effective psychotherapy. The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
The law does make some exceptions to this protection. In over 20 years of practice, I have never found it necessary to break confidentiality.
The legal 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 client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.