Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and therapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. You can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone unless you have signed a Release of Information allowing me to speak with a third party. This could include a parent, partner, or another provider within Mindful Therapy Group (i.e. medication management provider).
State law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:
- If there is reason to believe that abuse, abandonment, neglect, or financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult or child has occurred. As a social worker, I am a mandated reporter and by law, must report suspicions of abuse and neglect to the state. Social Workers are trained to identify signs of abuse and neglect.
- If there is reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming themselves or has threatened to harm another person.
The state of Washington (RCW 71.34.530) allows minors 13 years and older to consent to outpatient mental health treatment without the consent of their parents. As a result, the clinical record kept is the property of the client, not the parent, unless a release of information is signed by the minor. If parents are covering the cost of treatment they will have access to information provided by their insurer but no clinical records. If the client would like to sign a release of information, information they consent to can be shared. The exceptions to confidentiality (listed above) also apply to minors.