Your Confidentiality in Therapy? Kati Morton



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I hear so many questions about confidentiality in therapy and what will be kept or told when you are working on your struggles. As a therapist know that all mental health professionals take your confidentiality very seriously. We are tested over and over about it, are legally mandated in some ways to hold confidence or report things, and overall want you to feel safe talking to us about all that is going on.

There are a few reasons that I would have to break confidentiality or when it’s okay for me to do so. They are:
1. If you sign a release. If you sign something saying it’s okay for me to talk to a family member or another member of your treatment team, then I will do just that.
2. Danger to self or others. If we worry that you are suicidal or a danger to someone else we will have to report this or place you on a 72 hour hold (5150) in order to keep you and everyone else safe.
3. Abuse. I am legally mandated to report child abuse, elder abuse, or dependent adult abuse. I can lose my license if I don’t do so, and therefore I will report any abuse to either child protective services or adult protective services.
4. Court order. I haven’t had to do this yet, but if your mental health or well being is brought into question within legal proceedings, I could be forced to break your confidentiality and speak in court.

Now, some other commonly ask questions 🙂
1. Will my insurance know everything about my mental health care?
The short answer is that NO they only know what your diagnosis is and part of your treatment plan. They only know things that ensure you get covered.
2. Will my employer find out about my therapy and what’s going on?
Again the answer is no. They will not. The only thing that an employer can find out is through an EAP questionnaire. It’s main focus is really geared towards whether or not you are still able to do your job.
3. Help! I am under 18, will my parents find out everything about my therapy? The short answer is no, they won’t know everything. However, as a therapist we are able to tell your parents anything we deem appropriate. So please ask your therapist what they will share, so that you are completely informed.
4. If you are over 18, but on parents insurance, will they find out everything?! No they won’t find out everything, but they will receive an EOB (explanation of benefits) in the mail. An EOB just shows us what benefits we have used and what they have paid.
5. Lastly, what if I see my therapist out in public? Will they say hi? The truth is, no we will not approach you to say hi, but you can come over and say hi to us 🙂

I hope you found this helpful! Please share! Everyone deserves to know their rights when it comes to confidentiality! xox

APA article: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/confidentiality.aspx

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I’m Kati Morton, a licensed therapist making Mental Health videos – Depression, Eating Disorders, Anxiety, Self-Harm and more! Mental health shouldn’t have a stigma attached to it. You’re worth the fight!

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