Contents of all therapy sessions are considered to be confidential. Both verbal information and written records about a client cannot be shared with another party without the written consent of the client or the client’s legal guardian. Noted exceptions are as follows:
Duty to Warn and Protect
When a client discloses intentions or a plan to harm another person, the mental health professional is required to warn the intended victim and report this information to legal authorities. In cases in which the client discloses or implies a plan for suicide, the health care professional is required to notify legal authorities and make reasonable attempts to notify the family of the client.
Abuse of Children and Vulnerable Adults
If a client states or suggests that he or she is abusing a child (or vulnerable adult) or has recently abused a child (or vulnerable adult), or a child (or vulnerable adult) is in danger of abuse, the mental health professional is required to report this information to the appropriate social service and/or legal authorities.
Prenatal Exposure to Controlled Substances
Mental Health care professionals are required to report admitted prenatal exposure to controlled substances that are potentially harmful.
Parents or legal guardians of non-emancipated minor clients have the right to access the clients’ records.
State law mandates that mental health professionals may need to supply information to the appropriate person and/or agencies if the court issues a subpoena for records.
The Texas Family Code allows for consultation with another practitioner when such consultation is for the welfare of the client. When at all possible, we will seek to secure written permission from the client before such communication occurs. Communication between the clinician and client will be deemed confidential under the laws of this state.
I agree to the above limits of confidentiality and understand their meanings and ramifications.