Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Social SciencePsychology · 9 years ago

Are psychologists required to keep everything private between him/her and the client unless there is a crime?

What about victimless crimes? Is there any difference in how they handle information such as this?

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  • 9 years ago
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    Information revealed in the course of psychotherapy is privileged (private) except in the case of imminent (future) danger to self or others or in cases of child/elder/dependent abuse or if records have been subpoenaed.

    A psychologist would not, for example, notify the police if his/her client discussed using (illegal) drugs. If, however, the client indicated that he/she was planning to shoot his/her drug dealer (imminent harm to an identifiable other), the psychologist would be required to notify both the police and the intended victim.

    If you are interested, google the Tarasoff case for more info in this area.

    ~Dr. B.~

  • 9 years ago

    Yes, that is mostly true unless it aids in an investigation. The APA states:

    At face value, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) allows for the release of records in response to a subpoena without the client's consent or even their knowledge. However, HIPAA's preemption clause provides that when HIPAA law conflicts with state law, the law (HIPAA or state) that is more protective of privacy applies.

    So state laws may protect them from having to reveal anything.

  • 9 years ago

    when a third party is at risk, such as the client confessing child sexual abuse or a plot to poison his spouse, the clinician is legally bound to notify authorities. A case in Gastonia, NC just last week of a minister in his 60s who confided in his therapist that he had sex with little girls in Haiti while doing ministerial work <puke> prompted his arrest on sexual assault charges.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    If I knew that someone commited a crime I would definitely go to the police without second thoughts at all

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  • 9 years ago

    they can also tell people if they think you're a danger to yourself or others

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