I am guided by and bound by the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which is a federal law that provides new privacy protections with regard to the use and disclosure of your Protected Health Information.
For those over the age of 18, the law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission. Exceptions include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant 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 insuring 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
- If you are currently in litigation or filing a complaint against someone for malpractice, you may be asked to disclose information regarding your therapy as part of that process. Although I will request your consent to release information, I can be legally obligated by subpoena or court order to turn over my records and testify.
For those under the age of 18, children and adolescents are considered a minor both in law and in ethics; therefore the minor’s parent/guardian holds legal rights to his/her confidentiality. Nevertheless, minors will be best served when confidentiality is maintained within the counseling relationship. I will, however, inform you if the child tells me anything that causes me to be genuinely concerned or if I determine my sharing information with you to be in the best interest of your child.
While counseling adolescents, I will discuss treatment progress, recommendations, and your concerns during a scheduled parent consultation, not at your child’s scheduled counseling appointment. You may request additional parent consultations, as needed, to discuss any questions or concerns regarding your child’s progress in counseling.