Contents of all therapy sessions are considered to be confidential. Both verbal information and written records about a client cannot be shared with another party without the written consent of the client or the client’s legal guardian. Noted exceptions are as follows:
Duty to Warn and Protect When a client discloses intentions or a plan to harm another person, the mental health professional is required to warn the intended victim and report this information to legal authorities. In cases in which the client discloses or implies a plan for suicide, the health care professional is required to notify legal authorities and make reasonable attempts to notify the family of the client.
Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults If a client states or suggests that he or she is abusing a child (or vulnerable adult) or has recently abused a child (or vulnerable adult), or a child (or vulnerable adult) is in danger of abuse, the mental health professional is required to report this information to the appropriate social service and/or legal authorities.
Prenatal Exposure to Controlled Substances Mental Health care professionals are required to report admitted prenatal exposure to controlled substances that are potentially harmful.
Pornography If you disclose to me that you are downloading and/or streaming child pornography I may have to report.
Minors/Guardianship Parents or legal guardians of non-emancipated minor clients have the right to access the clients records.
Insurance Providers (when applicable) Insurance companies and other third-party payers are given information that they request regarding services to clients. Information that may be requested includes type of services, dates/times of services, diagnosis, treatment plan, and description of impairment, progress of therapy, case notes, and summaries.
Liz Birch, LMFT is a Marriage & Family Therapist who holds a license with the Board of Behavioral Sciences in the State of California. She is also a certified Hypnotherapist.