Confidentiality. Discussions with a psychologist are confidential and protected by law. I may not disclose confidential information about you or your child without your formal written consent. There are situations, however, in which I am legally required to break confidentiality. These include the following: if you are in danger of harming yourself or another person, or are unable to care for yourself; if you state that you intend to physically injure someone; if there is suspected elder, dependent adult, or child abuse, or neglect; if I am court ordered to release information as part of a legal proceeding, or as otherwise required by law. It is my policy to work with teens and their parents to come to an agreement about what information can be shared or kept private.
Confidentiality of E-Mail & Cell Phone Communications. It is very important to be aware that e-mail and cell phones (also cordless phones) are not secure forms of communication, and so the privacy and confidentiality of such communication can be easily compromised. E-mails, in particular, are vulnerable to such unauthorized access due to the fact that servers have unlimited and direct access to all e-mails that go through them. If you choose to communicate with me via email, you are indicating your awareness of this privacy issue. In general, I recommend that you limit messages to issues related to scheduling of appointments or brief communications.
Emergencies. If you have a psychiatric emergency (e.g., you are feeling suicidal, want to hurt someone, etc.), immediately call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Additional Privacy Information. For further information on HIPAA regulations or your right to privacy regarding healthcare information, please visit the US Department of Health and Human Services website at www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa