All therapy sessions are kept strictly confidential. The law protects the relationship between a client and his or her therapist or pastoral counselor. Information to a psychotherapist cannot be disclosed without written permission.
However, there are limits to confidentiality, such as when a therapist is subpoenaed by a court or when it is mandated by law. The following are major areas where confidentiality is limited:
California State Law mandates therapists and pastors to report incidences of child, elder and spousal abuse; including: physical abuse, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of a child, unlawful sexual intercourse, neglect, and California Law permits the reporting of emotional and psychological abuse. All actual or suspected acts of such abuse will be reported to the appropriate agency.
Some courts have held that if an individual intends to take harmful, dangerous, or criminal action against another human being, or against himself or herself, it is the counselor’s duty to warn appropriate individuals of such intentions. Those warned may include a variety of persons such as: the person or family of the person who is likely to suffer the results of harmful behavior; the family of the client who intends to harm himself or someone else; associates or friends of those threatened or making threats; and law enforcement officials.
If the client intends to harm himself or herself and does not cooperate with the counselor, Dr. Clardy or Rev. Dr. Clardy will take further measures, without the permission of the client, that are provided them by law in order to ensure the client’s safety.
If the client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, Dr. Clardy or Rev. Dr. Clardy will notify the police and inform the intended victim/s.