Therapy and Confidentiality

Confidentiality is important in psychotherapy and all other health care services. All have right to privacy.

It’s especially so in mental health because of the possible stigma or discrimination it brings to the patient when breached.

Here’s what confidentiality means:

• not discussing patients by using their actual names or any possible identifier to link a patient

• being sensitive to the rights of patients and their right to confidentiality

• not discuss patient particulars outside of a private, professional environment such as with family members or friends 

• protect patient identity by changing names and obtaining all informed consent permissions

• accurate, objective record keeping 

Confidentiality is breached only in specific cases:

• if it’s suspected or clear that a child is being abused or in danger of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional) or neglect

• if suspected or clear that an elderly is being abused or in danger of abuse

• it’s responsibility of therapist or health care worker to warn potential victims of intended harm from a patient