Statement of Confidentiality
Although the information you give me is generally confidential, there are important exceptions of which you should be aware.
1. Responsibility to Therapy: If, in my opinion, therapy cannot properly continue unless something you tell me is shared with other family members, I may need to give you the choice of telling the others yourself, having me tell them, or ending therapy. Likewise, I have an ethical obligation to balance the interests of all family members. If you inform me of a situation that, in my opinion, is obviously harmful or unethical, I may give you the choice of fixing the situation (where possible), informing other family members, having me tell them, or ending therapy.
2. Duty to Warn and Protect: If, in my opinion, you pose a danger to yourself or others, I have a legal duty to act. For example, if you threaten someone's life, I am legally obligated to warn that person, even if you terminate therapy. If you threaten to commit suicide, I may have to notify members of your family and/or the police or other agencies. If I am informed of the neglect or abuse of a child, I am legally required to contact protective services.
3. Actions of the Court: I do not voluntarily participate in litigation or other adversarial actions. If a proper subpoena is served however, a judge can compel me to release my records to a court or even that I testify.
4. Privacy of Minors: I encourage parents to allow their children therapeutic privacy (excepting for cases such as listed above). Parents do, though, have the right to be informed of what takes place in therapy with their underage children.
5. Recovery of Fees: If your financial account is allowed to lapse, when you’ve been given sufficient opportunity to bring it up to order, a collection agency may be given (only) enough information to settle the debt owed.
6. Supervision: I have a responsibility to grow in my therapeutic abilities. This includes supervision by another skilled therapist. Some, anonymous, details from our sessions may be shared in this process, including that I may ask to video tape our session (you have the right to withdraw consent at any time, though signing this form indicates general agreement). My supervisor has an obligation to maintain confidentiality. You have a right to know the identity of my supervisor.
7. Ethical and Legal Responsibilities: I strive to follow all provincial laws and regulations, as well as the codes of ethics of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (http://www.aamft.org/resources/LRM_Plan/Ethics/ethicscode2001.asp) and the American Association of Christian Counselors (http://www.aacc.net/about-us/code-of-ethics/). If I learn of the unethical behaviour of another therapist, at the least I usually need to file a complaint.