Privacy & Policy

Confidentiality & Privacy Policy

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 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.

Records and Confidentiality:

All of our communication and interactions become part of the clinical record. I utilize Therapy Notes to maintain and store records electronically. Therapy Notes is an electronic medical records management system that integrates scheduling, note taking, and billing. It is HIPAA compliant. I also utilize paper charts for purposes of maintaining any paper documents associated with your treatment.

HIPAA provides you with many rights with regard to your Clinical Record and disclosures of protected health information. These rights include requesting that I amend your record; requesting restrictions on what information from your Clinical Record is disclosed to others; requesting an accounting of most disclosures of protected health information that you have neither consented to nor authorized; determining the location to which protected information disclosures are sent; and having any complaints you make about my policies and procedures recorded in your records.

Most of our communication is confidential, but the following limitations and exceptions do exist:

  • I determine you are a danger to yourself or others
  • To disclose abuse, neglect, exploitation of a child, elderly or disabled person
  • To report physical or sexual abuse and neglect of a child as required by law
  • To report domestic violence, as required by law
  • To report elder abuse, as required by law
  • You disclose sexual contact with another mental health professional
  • If I receive a subpoena requiring disclosure of information
  • If a guardian ad litem (GAL) is appointed in a custody case involving child clients and she/he is ordered by the court to have access to mental health practitioners and records therein
  • I am ordered by the court or another government agency to disclose information
  • You direct me to release your records and sign a release permitting me to do so
  • You have decided to utilize your insurance and/or EAP benefits to cover the cost of treatment.  Your insurance and/or EAP company has the right to request your personal information, diagnosis, treatment plans, clinical records, progress notes, etc.  If I bill your insurance and/or EAP company for you, I am required to provide this information, upon request, to your insurance and/or EAP company.
  • Information released as outlined in the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practice
  • In the case we need to collect unpaid payments, a collection agency may be utilized.
  • I am using your case records for purposes of supervision or professional development, to ensure you are receiving the best services possible. In such cases, to preserve your confidentiality, I will not identify you by name or provide any other identifying information.  Your case will be discussed in vague, general terms only.  For example, I might share something like: “I am working with a client that is struggling with whether or not to go back to college. The client’s goals are to determine whether or not this is a positive/feasible decision. The client’s goals involve determining the potential positive and negative results of possible decisions and problem solving to determine the best course of action. My actions, as a therapist, will involve assisting with this exploration, teaching problem solving skills, and supporting and encouraging this client.” **All professional peers and supervisors are bound by the same legal and ethical rules of confidentiality**
  • As required by the Patriot Act of 2001; in certain circumstances, to provide federal law agents with records, papers and documents upon request and prohibits us from disclosing to my client that the FBI sought or obtained the items under the Act.
  • I am otherwise required by law, regulation, or statute to disclose information.
  • In the case of death or incapacitation of therapist, all clients will be contacted and records will be accessed by a designated mental health professional who will ensure confidentiality.

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