Are our counseling sessions private and confidential?

Confidentiality is strictly maintained. The law protects confidentiality of communication between a client and therapist or counselor. No information will be disclosed without a signed consent form. There are exceptions to the law, however. 

  • Suspected child, dependent adult or elder abuse.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person.
  • If a client intends to harm him or herself. The counselor will make every effort to work with an individual; however, non-cooperation may lead to additional steps to be taken.

Client confidentiality has many legal and ethical aspects. Counselors and other mental health providers are bound by professional oath, personal ethics and legal licensure to uphold confidentiality for their patients. This means that counselors are legally restrained from disclosing information that was shared within the protected client-counselor relationship. Breaking confidentiality could result in a counselor losing his or her license, so they take issues of confidentiality very seriously.

In addition, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA, is a series of laws that protects people’s personal health information, including mental health records. Any medical health professional that violates HIPAA could face civil or possibly even criminal penalties. Counseling is considered a medical service and we are required to protect your information just like your other health providers.

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