Generally, the law protects the privacy of all communications between client and psychotherapist. There are a few situations in which I am legally obligated to take action to prevent others from harm, which may involve disclosing information about a client’s treatment. Examples of this include:
If a client threatens to harm himself or herself, I am obligated to seek hospitalization for this person, or contact friends or family who can provide protection.
If a client is threatening serious harm to someone else, I am required to take actions to protect that person.
If I have reasonable suspicion of elder abuse, or child abuse or neglect, I am legally obliged to send a written report to the appropriate state agency and call this agency.