Legally, the relationship between client and therapist is private and information cannot be disclosed without the client's written permission. There are exceptions, however:
1) Mandated reporting: This includes any situation concerning suspected child abuse, dependent adult abuse, or elder abuse. As a mandated reporter, I am required by law to disclose information to the appropriate authorities.
2) Harm to others: If a client threatens serious harm to others, I am legally required to notify both the police and intended victim(s).
3) Self-harm: If a client makes a serious threat of self- harm. I will first attempt to work with the client as a means to keep him or her safe, but if that is unsuccessful, I will need to involve law enforcement to ensure safety.
4) On rare occasions, client records can be subject to court subpoena for legal purposes. By law, I am required to comply with such requests.