State and federal law protects the confidentiality of the communications between clients and their therapists.  These laws are similar to those that protect the communications between attorneys and their clients and doctors and their patients.  Confidentiality is essential in order to provide an environment of trust that is necessary for effective psychotherapy.  Exceptions to this privileged communication are also specified in the law.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Duty to warn or protect if an individual is intending serious bodily harm to themselves or another person
  • Duty to report suspected child or elder abuse

A privacy policy as well as a reference to state and federal laws governing confidentiality is provided to patients at the beginning of therapy.