The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
At any time you may question and/or refuse therapeutic or diagnostic procedures or methods. I will assist you to gain whatever information you wish to know about the process and course of therapy. You are assured of confidentiality that is protected by ethical practice and Tennessee law. Contents of all therapy sessions are considered to be confidential. Both verbal information and written records about a client cannot be shared with another party without the written consent of the client or the client’s legal guardian. The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
Noted exceptions are as follows:
Duty to Warn and Protect
When a client discloses intentions or a plan to harm another person, the mental health professional is required to warn the intended victim and report this information to legal authorities. In cases in which the client discloses or implies a plan for suicide or to harm himself, the health care professional is required to notify legal authorities and make reasonable attempts to notify the family of the client.
I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring a client’s 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.
Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults
If a client states or suggests that he or she is abusing a child (or vulnerable adult) or has recently abused a child (or vulnerable adult), or a child (or vulnerable adult) is in danger of abuse, the mental health professional is required to report this information to the appropriate social service and/or legal authorities.
Prenatal Exposure to Controlled Substances
Mental Health care professionals are required to report admitted prenatal exposure to controlled substances that are potentially harmful.
Parents or legal guardians of non-emancipated minor clients have the right to access the clients’ records. If you are requesting my services as the guardian or parent of an emancipated minor child or dependent adult, the same general practice as outlined above will apply. It is important that your child be able to completely trust me. As such, I maintain the same level of confidentiality with a child that I do with an adult. As the parent or guardian you have the right and responsibility to question and understand the nature of my activities and progress with your child and I shall use my clinical discretion as to what is an appropriate disclosure. I value and encourage your participation in their treatment.
Insurance Providers (when applicable)
Insurance companies and other third-party payers are given information that they request regarding services to clients. Information that may be requested includes, but is not limited to: types of service, dates/times of service, diagnosis, treatment plan, description of impairment, progress of therapy, case notes, and summaries.