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About confidentiality

The code of ethics for psychologists, as well as state and federal laws, insure that the information that a client shares in the context of therapy will not be disclosed to anyone else without express, written permission, unless one of the following applies:

          1. By filing an insurance claim, you will be giving your insurance carrier the right to inquire about you. Some insurances only request the diagnosis and dates of sessions, but managed care insurances (HMO's) request a lot more information to determine the appropriateness and need for treatment. The therapist may be asked by clerical or professional staff employed by the insuran­ce company for details about history, symptoms, therapeutic goals, therapeutic progress etc., and unless the therapists furnishes this information, the client may be denied benefits. The insurance may request to have access to records or may request to discuss the treatment in detail with a panel of other professionals. The client should know that the therapist has no control over the information once it is supplied to the insurance. Filing a claim may affect the (future) eligibility or rate of other types of insurance (car insurance, life insurance, or disability insurance). For this reason some clients prefer to elect private pay.

          2. The abuse reporting laws of the Kentucky require that everybody reports actual or suspected abuse to the Cabinet of Human Resources (Social Services). Abuse may include but is not limited to, physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, neglect, and abandonment of a child or (dependent) adult, or spouse.

          3. If the client enters into a legal proceeding in which the client raises the issue of mental status (for instance a worker's compensation claim, a sanity hearing, raising "mental distress" as a result of an accident or injury), then the therapist may be ordered by the court to testify about matters discussed in confidence regardless of client's consent.

          4. If the custody of the client's child(ren) becomes a legal issue, a court may, in the best interests of the child(ren), obtain treatment records of the parents.

          5. If the therapist has reason to believe that a client is likely to inflict bodily harm on someone else, a therapist is by law obligated to attempt to warn and to protect the intended victim.

          6. If the client is in immanent danger of harming him/herself, the therapist is required to intervene which may range from agreeing to a safety plan or arranging an involuntary hospitalization for a three day observation and stabilization period.

          7. If some additional expertise is needed to render the best services to the client, a consult with another professional may be made. In these events, no personal identifying data will be given and the client will remain anonymous.

          8. If the client brings a malpractice action against a therapist, the therapist is permitted to reveal facts about the treatment.

          9. In order to do marriage therapy, the therapist may request the clients to waive their rights of confidentiality.