Yes, our conversation is confidential. Your privacy is protected by federal and state law. We can’t even report crimes you talk about, except child or other abuse detailed below. If your family calls here, we won’t admit we know who you are. If we see you in the market, we won’t say hello unless you do, so that nobody wonders how we know each other. For video conferencing, we use a HIPAA compliant platform suggested by our State professional association.
There’s a short list of things we’re legally required to report to the authorities, and here’s what they are:
Child abuse, elder abuse, dependent adult abuse
If we have reason to suspect that abuse has happened, we will report what we know to the local family services office. “Child abuse” includes downloading or possessing child pornography, letting kids see violence between parents, and letting them be around drug abuse, as well as direct abuse and neglect. It may apply to things that happened to you, an adult client, when you were under 18.
If we believe you are currently suicidal, we will pass information to the emergency services and/or others to protect your life.
Danger to others, and threats
If we believe you are currently dangerous to others or to property, we will act to avert the danger. Also, if we hear you make a clear threat to harm anyone, we must warn them and we must warn the police.
If you are involved in a court case where you choose to draw attention to your mental status, we can be called to say what we know about it. In most other court proceedings you are protected.
Final note: social media
We don’t accept friend requests from clients or former clients. It blurs the boundaries of your safe, confidential relationship with us.