Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.
—J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”
Ellen N. Emerson, Ph.D.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of therapy. You may share sensitive subject matter and therefore, a high degree of trust is required. To facilitate that therapy is a safe place, it is important that you understand all privacy and confidentiality policies.
In general, the privacy of all communications between a client and a psychologist is protected by law, and I can only release information about our work to others if you sign a written authorization form that meets certain legal requirements imposed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). There are other situations that require only that you provide written, advance consent which can be discussed with you.
You may give your therapist permission to release information to specific people to assist in your care. Examples include physicians, previous therapists, attorneys, or others involved in your treatment. Information can only be shared with your written permission.
State law and professional ethics require psychologists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations: