The confidentiality and privacy policies differ for therapy and coaching. Below I have outlined both policies:
In general, the privacy of all communications between a patient and a licensed clinical social worker is protected by law, and I can only release information about our work to others with your written permission. But there are some situations in which I may be legally obligated to reveal some information about a client, even without consent:
- If I believe a client lacks the capacity or refuses to care for himself/herself and such lack of self-care presents substantial threat to his/her well being or the well-being of others
- If a client threatens serious bodily harm or death to himself/herself.
- If a client threatens serious bodily harm or death to another.
- If the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child, elder adult, or dependent adult is suspected. Examples include: violence toward a minor, a minor witnessing violence or being in the presence of violence, drug use in the presence of a minor or while caring for a minor, financial exploitation of an elder adult, etc. This also includes incidents of past abuse, including those mentioned above, in any minor is still present in the home and/or the alleged perpetrator of abuse is currently in a caretaker capacity with any minor(s).
- If a client is involved in a legal proceeding and a judge issues a court order for my testimony.
- If a client pursues civil or criminal legal action against me or if a client makes a complaint to a Professional Board about me.
- If release of information is otherwise required by law (e.g. reporting of medical errors, court order, the Patriot Act).
- I may find it helpful to consult with other professionals for the purpose of gaining professional support, education, and exchange of ideas. During a consultation, I make every effort to avoid revealing the identity of clients. The consultant in these instances will be a mental health care professional, and is therefore also legally bound to keep the information confidential. If you do not object, I will not tell you about these consultations unless I feel that it is important.
- Information that you allow me to exchange with other professionals or information that you might choose to provide via email, fax, or cordless phones cannot be guaranteed confidential.
- Although rare and unexpected, it is possible that confidential information stored on my computer and protected by passwords and accessible legally only by me could be accessed illegally by others.
All information shared in session is confidential except in circumstances governed by the law including the mandatory reporting of alleged intention to self harm or harm others, and in the case of child, disabled person, or elder abuse. I am required by law to report such confidences to the appropriate authorities. Coaching is not therapy is not intended for advice on domestic or other legal matters or for diagnosis or assessment of an individual’s mental or psychological state. Therefore, this coach does not write reports or give legal testimony on your behalf.