This is a very important question, and the answer is yes. I believe that confidentiality is one of the cornerstones of the counselling experience. It is absolutely foundational to the creation of a safe relationship in which healing can happen. I take it very seriously and everything you share with me will be kept confidential. There are, however, a few standard exceptions that are required by law. These are as follows:
When a client discloses intentions or a plan to harm another person, the mental health professional is required to warn the intended victim and report this information to legal authorities. In cases in which the client discloses or implies a plan for suicide, the health care professional is required to notify legal authorities and make reasonable attempts to notify the family of the client.
If a client states or suggests that he or she is abusing a child (or vulnerable adult) or has recently abused a child (or vulnerable adult), or a child (or vulnerable adult) is in danger of abuse, the mental health professional is required to report this information to the appropriate social service and/or legal authorities.
Parents or legal guardians of non-emancipated minor clients have the right to access the clients' records.
Insurance companies and other third-party payers may be given information that they request regarding services to clients.
I am happy to dicuss with clients any concerns that they may have about protecting confidentiality.