IF YOU ARE HAVING A LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY.
In general, the privacy of all communications between a patient and a psychologist is protected by law, and I will only release information about your work to others with your written permission. However, there are a few exceptions:
- If I know or suspect that a child, or developmentally disabled or physically impaired person under 21 years of age, is being abused or neglected, I am required to immediately report to the appropriate authorities.
- If I have reasonable cause to believe that a dependent or elderly adult is being abused, neglected or exploited, I must immediately report to the appropriate authorities.
- If a patient threatens to harm himself/herself/themselves, I may be obligated to seek hospitalization for him/her/them or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection.
- If a patient presents a threat of bodily harm to another, I am required to take steps to protect/warn potential victims. This can include notifying the potential victim(s) and contacting the police. I also may need to seek hospitalization for the patient.
In most legal proceedings, you have the right to prevent me from providing any information about your treatment. In some proceedings involving child custody and those in which your emotional condition is an important issue, a judge may order my testimony if he/she determines that the issues demand it.
I may occasionally find it helpful to consult other professionals about a case. During a consultation, I make every effort to avoid revealing the identity of my client. The consultant is also legally bound to keep the information confidential. If you do not object, I will not tell you about these consultations unless I feel that it is important to our work together. While this written summary of exceptions to confidentiality should prove helpful in informing you about potential problems, it is important that you discuss any questions or concerns that you may have at your next meeting with me. I will be happy to discuss these issues with you.