The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission. For clients participating in ISTDP therapy, I sometimes videotape sessions. The law requires clients' signature and consent to videotape. These recordings are used to improve your care and are protected under confidentiality agreements for use in supervision with advanced ISTDP therapists.
Exceptions to these confidentiality laws include:
- In case of suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, I am required by law to report this information to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission, that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.
In addition to the above occasions I may ask for your permission to consult with a doctor who prescribes medications for you, or who oversees any chronic health conditions. This is to help us keep your therapy safe and useful to you and to monitor any changes in your mental health that may be caused by medication.