Confidentiality & Privacy
The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without your written permission, except in certain circumstances. I will always do everything I can to protect your privacy in every instance and every situation, so that you.can trust me and confide in me freely. However there are limits to legal protection of confidentiality,in certain instances which you should be aware of, including:
- Serious communication indicating conscious and unwavering intent to engage in grave child abuse, dependent adult or elder abuse.
- If a client is very seriously threatening imminent grave bodily harm to another person, and cannot be dissuaded.
- If a client communicates serious intent to harm himself or herself, and is discussing it, not to work on it therapeutically, but as a firmly accomplished fact. I would only act on this if I knew for certain that you as an individual would want me to do so for your protection. I want you to know that I appreciate the trust you put in me and I would not betray that trust, and also that I respect client autonomy over decision making in all aspects of life, including and maybe especially, the decision to live or die.
- In certain types of court cases only (such as if you initiate a lawsuit based on your emotional condition), client privilege to keep information private during a court proceeding may be suspended by the court.
Client Rights and Informed Consent
It is your right to be provided information about the therapeutic process and your client rights before starting therapy. To view the informed consent form, please click on the following link.
All video therapy sessions are on private and secure websites, as specified by HIPPA requirements, unless technological difficulties make it necessary to use another more tech friendly site. The final decision to use such an alternative site will be at your discretion. Third party observation and any kind of recording must be authorized by the client. While normal email communication is not secure, I will be using a secure email address which is normally encrypted up to the point where my email appears on your computer. If you would prefer encryption even at that point and for your return email, please let me know and we can easily do it that way.
I keep only bare bones required records normally consisting of presenting problems, brief history, a generic general treatment plan describing my approach, not your issues (same for everyone), and brief, vague progress notes (updated every 2 or 3 months.) There are no names on the notes, only initials, and they are kept on my private password protected computer. Your personal data that you provide on the initial intake form is kept in a lock box in my home office. The therapy notes I take during sessions are only for my own purposes and I discard them securely when I finish each notebook. If you would like me to keep them for you on file, please let me know.
Communication With Insurance Companies
All normal communication necessary to access third party payments are not confidential, and are limited to necessary information for purposes of payment only. If I am audited by your insurance company (rare occurrence), it is possible they will have access to my records, but not my session notes. Your individual insurance policy will have the exact information about what they are entitled to access.