This workshop considers the ethical and legal complications that arise because confidentiality is “conditional” rather than absolute, using an Ethical Practice Model that prepares therapists to explain the expectable “limits of confidentiality” and to protect patients’ confidentiality rights.
A. When Do You Intend to Disclose?
1. Informing Yourself About the Formal Rules
2. Clarifying Your Own Values
3. Weighing Your Options
4. Making a Firm Decision
B. What Will You Say About Your Intentions?
II. Protecting Client’s Right to “Truly Informed” Consent
A. Inform Clients About Your Intentions/Policies
1. Initially — To Prospective Clients
2. Thereafter — As Circumstances Change
B. Obtain Prospective Client’s Consent to “Conditions”
C. Obtain Specific Consent for Subsequent Disclosures
III. Responding Ethically to Demands for Disclosure
A. If Client Gives Consent
B. If Client Refuses Consent
1. Legal Demands for “Involuntary” Disclosures
Legal Requirements to Initiate Disclosure (Reporting Laws)
Laws Giving Others Access to Information
Subpoena (for Records or Testimony)
Other Legal Contexts (e.g., Court Case “Approaching”)
2. “Informal” Demands for “Voluntary” Disclosures
1. Describe the advance decisions necessary because one is offering “conditional confidentiality.”
2. List clients’ rights if confidentiality will be “conditional” rather than absolute.
3. Assess the components necessary for obtaining informed consent about your own policies.
4. Compare the ethical and legal implications of voluntary vs. legally-required disclosures.