logoM.A., LMFT (MFC 50298), M.S., LAc. (AC 8941)

Confidentiality

  • Confidentiality is an intrinsic part of the therapeutic alliance.
  • I safeguard it with utmost respect and in accordance with my ethical and legal boundaries.
  • No information, even the fact that a person is in therapy, or under my treatment or care, can be shared with anyone else without the written consent of my client.
  • In that spirit, I do not acknowledge clients I may come across in daily living activities; without them acknowledging me first. Imagine if I were to say hello to a client first. I could create a very uncomfortable situation for my client where a friend, college, co-worker or family member next to him or her could ask: “how do you know Nathan…?”. This could put my client in an awkward situation, and worse, potentially jeopardize our therapeutic relationship.

  • This is why, as an ethical rule, I do not accept invitations from clients on social media and forums.

This being said, according to California laws and the Patriot Act, there are a few exceptions when the seal of confidentiality can, and must be broken. These rare situations fall under the mandated reporting obligations of all medical and mental professionals such as: physicians, psychiatrists, Social Workers, psychotherapists, psychologists, etc. While breaking confidentiality is done as a last resort, it must be done if no other option is available, or after all other alternatives have been exhausted. Such situations are implemented when there is admission or suspicion of:

  • Harm to self.
  • Harm to others and their property.
  • Harm or abuse to a child, a dependent adult, or an elder.
  • Are required by a legitimate court subpoena.
  • When the court supervises a client.
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