Communications between clients and their therapists are privileged against disclosure under applicable law, and we take that obligation seriously.
There are several types of limitations to confidentiality, for legal and financial reasons, including the following:
- Disclosures having to do with protecting human life: If it appears that a client is in imminent danger of causing lethal harm to himself or herself or to another person, we are obligated by law to report it to the appropriate authorities. Similarly, we are legally obligated to report possible cases of child abuse, child neglect, elder abuse, and elder neglect.
- Disclosures having to do with insurance coverage: Health insurance carriers typically require therapists to provide a diagnosis and other information as a condition of paying claims for mental health services. Of course, such disclosures are made only with the client’s consent. Clients who are concerned about having a diagnosis or other information made available to insurance companies can avoid this risk by not utilizing insurance for our services.
As members of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), we adhere to the NASW Code of Ethics.