You can rest assured that your private information is safe and will not be shared unless you complete and sign a release of information. Anything you share with me will be held with utmost confidence. There are, however, legal exceptions to this rule. The exceptions are:
- If you are a threat to yourself, I will most likely want to enlist the support of a loved one to make sure you are safe. If I feel that you are a serious threat to yourself, I will suggest that you go voluntarily to the hospital for a 24-72 hour stay for evaluation. If you refuse and I believe you will harm yourself, I may have to call the police for an involuntary baker act.
- If you admit to harm of a minor or a frail elderly person, I am required by law to report this abuse.
- If you are threatening harm to another individual, I will have to report this to the police and also to inform the intended victim.
I see many teens and children. It is important that they feel they can speak freely with their counselor. For this reason, I try to keep what they tell me confidential unless it is something I feel needs immediate intervention by the parents otherwise, I will only share things with the parent, that the client is comfortable with them knowing. The therapeutic alliance is the most valuable tool in counseling and this trust is very important for the counseling work to be successful.