This counselor is guided by and bound by the American Counseling Association Ethical Standards. The Counselor also abides by 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
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.
Confidentiality with Adolescents and their Families
With families, often there are questions when I am treating a adolescent minor. If the adolescent is below the age of 18, I am obligated by law to share any information that is directly asked of me by parents. However, my personal philosophy and training also supports openness and honesty among family. "Secrets" greatly hinder the treatment of mental health disorders and serve as obstacles to recovery.
If something is brought up by an adolescent that I believe is important to discuss with parents that information will be shared in a family therapy format. This does not include personal information that is of no relevance to why you are seeing me for treatment. However, I will always discuss my decision to share information with the adolescent client first, so that s/he is aware of what is being shared or can choose to share the information him/herself.