Confidentiality is at the core of the relationship between a client and a therapist. Trust in this confidential relationship is recognized to be important to effective therapy. Marriage and Family Therapists have responsibility to protect the privacy of the information a client shares.
However, there are limits to confidentiality as noted below. Please read the following information carefully and bring up any questions you may have.
I. Marriage and Family Therapists are Mandated Reporters
Please be aware that in certain situations, therapists are required by Minnesota law to disclose information that is shared with them in confidential settings. These exceptions to confidentiality include the following:
- Client threat of harm to self or another person.
- Client engagement in irresponsible sexual activity while HIV positive.
- Client use of drugs or alcohol irresponsibly while pregnant.
- Client is physically or sexually abusing a child or vulnerable adult.
- When a client is under age 18 and the therapist deems it is in the best interests of the client to share information.
- An order by the court system to share information.
- Requests for information from the client’s insurance company.
- A complaint to the licensing board requires submission of the client file to the board.
To provide clients with the best possible professional services, ongoing consultation with other licensed mental health professionals is encouraged and does take place. Client confidentiality is protected within these settings.
III. Confidentiality with Couples
A “no secrets” policy when working with couples in therapy is the policy of MN Relational Counseling. This means that if you or your partner participate in individual sessions as part of couple therapy or communicate independently with the therapist, any information disclosed will be considered to be a part of couple therapy and may be discussed in joint sessions. Secrets between partners is not encouraged. However, please do not disclose any information to the therapist that you wish to keep from your partner.
When entering marriage counseling, you agree at the start of treatment that if you eventually decide to divorce, neither party will request testimony from the therapist.
IV. Release of Information
There may be times that communicating or consulting with another person or organization about your situation may help to coordinate your care. Before this can be done, you must give you permission by signing an authorization form.
Please be aware that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed when communicating by email. Likewise, confidentiality when communicating by phone cannot be guaranteed because of caller ID. In order to maintain confidentiality, the therapist will not initiate contact or acknowledge the existence of a relationship when encountering each other in public settings or on social media.
VI. Third Party Payment
When a third party is involved in payment for services, MN Relational Counseling does not have control over and cannot assure clients of confidentiality. Employees of the third party and of contracted organizations of the third party will have access to your information as set forth in the agreement between you and the third party.
VII. Payment by Check or Credit Card
Payments made by check or credit card will result in identifying information appearing on your statements.