Your confidentiality and privacy are very important to me. I follow state laws and professional guidelines to protect it. If you want your private information shared, you need to provide written permission. There are some exceptions to the need for written permission.
- If you are taking part in family and/or couple therapy: I reserve the right to share information with other family members who are taking part in the therapy IF I believe it is important for the outcome of therapy.
- If there is suspected abuse of a child or a vulnerable adult, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.
- During collaboration with the client's health care team.
- When a client is under the age of 13 years and the information is shared with a legal guardian.
- When the client is between the ages of 13 and 18 years, and I deem it in the best interests of the client to share the information with a legal guardian.
- When in compliance with the Uniform Health Care Information Act, 70.02 RCW.
- Upon subpoena by the Secretary of the WA State Department of Health in response to a complaint or report.
- If the client has been involuntarily detained for a mental disorder and (a) I must testify at the client's detention hearing, or (b) if the court determines that mental health information is necessary for the protection of the client or the public.
- If a client initiates legal action against me as their therapist.
Sometimes things spiral out of control when couples are going through a break up. Please understand that if you seek couple or family therapy with me, to protect the confidentiality of all participants in therapy, I will not share my records or testify for family law cases. If you have approached me for therapy and signed the disclosure form, it is understood that you have read and agreed to this policy.
Emails and Texts. I prefer contact via email and text to that of phone calls. It's easier, faster, and more efficient. However, it is NOT does not protect your privacy in the same way that phone calls, snail mail, or face-to-face communication do. While I strictly follow professional standards to safeguard your private texts and emails, I cannot guarantee your privacy and confidentiality when we use those media. If you would prefer to limit contact to phone or face-to-face, please let me know. I would be glad to accommodate you!
eTherapy (aka Internet Teleconferencing or Virtual Therapy). I provide eTherapy to interested clients: it is flexible, convenient, and allows me to have sessions with you if an emergency occurs, you are traveling or ill, or you would like to have another person take part in a session who lives too far to attend in person. It also allows me to work with clients who wish to take part in my special expertise in certain areas, but live too far away to meet with me. I use software designed for physicians which meets national HIPAA standards of privacy and confidentiality. I find that for most people, it is the same as being face-to-face with a therapist once you are used to it. While eTherapy is safe to use, it comes with certain problems:
- you must have the right electronic equipment to take part in it -- a computer with up-to-date operating system, a camera, a mic, and a sound system
- you must have secure and fast internet access -- you can't use public wifi or slow connections. Hard connections work best for most systems
- you must use it in the right environment -- quiet, private, and with adequate lighting
- most insurance policies will NOT cover eTherapy at this time -- be sure to know what your policy will cover, or be prepared to pay out-of-pocket costs
If you have any questions about eTherapy, please contact me.