Client Rights and Confidentiality
At any time, my clients may question and/or refuse counseling methods, or gain whatever information they wish to know about the process and course of counseling. Clients are also assured of confidentiality which is protected by both ethical practice and by Washington law. There are, however, important exceptions to confidentiality that are legally mandated. In general terms, these exceptions include:
- Notifying relevant persons if I judge that a client has an intention to harm him or herself or another individual.
- I am mandated to report any incidence or suspected abuse of children, the elderly, or disabled by neglect, or molestation in order to protect the child, elder or disabled involved.
- In legal cases, I or my records may be subpoenaed by a state or federal court.
- In the course of counselor supervision or consultation your case might be discussed for purposes of improving the quality of your care.
- When you or your legal representative authorize disclosure of information.
Confidentiality will be respected in all cases, except as noted above, and in those additional cases where in my clinical judgment the maintenance of confidentiality is, in fact, destructive to the individual. In those situations, I will inform my clients of my judgment and they will have the final decision as to whether I maintain confidentiality.
Department of Health Disclosure
The Department of Health requires the following disclosure statements from mental health care providers:
Counselors practicing counseling for a fee must be registered or licensed with the department of health for the protection of the public health and safety. Registration of an individual with the department of health does not include recognition of any practice standards, nor necessarily implies the effectiveness of any treatment.