PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
Confidentiality is an important element of the therapy process. As a psychotherapist, your privacy and confidentiality are of the utmost concern to me. I am committed professionally, ethically, and personally to maintain confidentiality regarding our counseling sessions. You have a right to this confidentiality, including the fact that you are or have been a therapy client.
I will keep your information strictly confidential but reserve the right to release information regarding our counseling sessions or their content under the following circumstances:
As an ongoing part of my clinical development, and in pursuit of providing you with the best care, I consult regularly with psychotherapy consultants, supervisors, and with other therapists who are required to keep client information confidential.
I am required by Washington state law to report suspected abuse or neglect of a child (in accordance with RCW 26.44.030), or vulnerable adult (in accordance with RCW 74.34.035) to the appropriate regulating agency.
I am also required by Washington state law to inform others if a client threatens to harm herself/himself, or others (in accordance with RCW 71.05.120).
In addition, I will not keep information confidential which may jeopardize the safety of myself or individuals on the premise of my counseling office.
In the event of a subpoena, counselors may be required to disclose information to the court. It is my policy to keep minimally required notes on file regarding our counseling sessions. I do not see clients who are accessing counseling for the purpose of fulfilling court requirements.
I will share information regarding our counseling sessions with a specific person (i.e. your doctor) if you provide me with a signed release of information form asking me to do so. I have generic release of information forms available upon request.
If you bring charges against me, then any pertinent information and records that relate to the charges may be disclosed in my defense.
When it is possible, we will discuss any of the above exceptions to confidentiality as they arise.
The course of therapy is determined mutually by myself (the counselor) and you (the client). You are encouraged to ask me any questions you have regarding my educational and professional background, therapeutic approach, and the specific therapy plan and progress. It is your responsibility to determine whether the services offered are appropriate and ultimately helpful. The length of therapy varies depending on your individual needs and issues, so the progress and treatment plan will be reviewed and modified, if necessary, on an ongoing basis. You may seek a second opinion from another therapist at any time. You have the right to end therapy at any time without any moral, legal or financial obligations other than those already accrued.
I am ethically and personally committed to providing you with counseling treatment that is effective for you. I recognize that clients, counselors, and the relationship between them are extremely individual. Uncomfortable feelings can come up during psychotherapy and are a natural part of the process. However, if at any time you feel our counseling work is not right for you, please talk to me about it so that I can address your concerns.
All points of correspondence with a client will be maintained in a client’s file, including email correspondences and treatment-related voicemail messages. Missed appointments will be recorded as such. For every session with a client, the following information is put in a client's record: disclosed medication, prescription, and monitoring information, the counseling session start and stop times, the modalities and frequencies of treatment furnished, results of clinical tests, diagnostic summary, functional status summary, treatment plan summary, symptomatic summary, prognostic summary, and progress to date. Clients are able to obtain copies of their file for an administrative fee (see below for full details). Client records are only retained for 7 years.
Your Record-related Rights as a Client:
As a client, you have the right to see your file, unless it would endanger your health or another person’s health or safety. Psychotherapy notes, which are differentiated from the above recorded session information, are afforded special privacy protection under HIPAA regulations and are excluded from this right.
As a client, you may obtain a copy of your treatment, or a summary of your treatment. There is a standard administrative fee for copies. A fee for a treatment summary may apply.
As a client, you have the right to request amendments to your counseling/therapy file.
As a client, you have the right to receive a history of all disclosures of protected health information. You will be required to pay any printing and copying fees @ $.20/page.
As a client, you have the right to restrict the use and disclosure of your protected health information for the purpose of treatment, payment, and operations. If you choose to release any protected health information, you will be required to sign a Release of Information form detailing exactly to whom and what information you wish disclosed.
You may cancel prior authorizations by giving me a written revocation. This revocation does not cover prior releases or actions I have taken prior to its receipt. If a release of information was given for insurance purposes it may not be able to be revoked.