The answer is “yes.” You have a right to expect absolute privacy and confidentiality in therapy. Without your explicit consent, the therapist is prevented by law from discussing information you share during your sessions with anyone else. No information can be shared, not with spouses, friends, family or co-workers, no one period, without your explicit written consent! As a Psychologist, this oath is one of the most fundamental rules and is held as a sacred pledge. There are certain exceptions to confidentiality that are put in place to protect both the public from harm and the individual. But these can be discussed at length if you feel that you would like to contact me to move forward with potential treatment. Knowing and trusting that anything you say will be safely contained in the therapeutic space is essential to meaningful therapy.
In addition to maintaining absolute confidentiality, the therapist is responsible for establishing an environment that ensures your privacy in every way possible. It’s important to be aware of the impact even the subtlest intrusions can have on your sense of privacy. Encountering another client in the waiting room, receiving phone calls from you therapist reminding you of appointments and feeling afraid that a family member or a friend might know that your attending therapy are all situations that could make you feel that outsiders are intruding on your therapeutic space and that there is not sufficient privacy for you to talk freely. If this should ever happen to you, or you should ever feel uncomfortable at all about the therapeutic process, please tell me, as clearly and immediately as possible and we will work together to ensure that you feel safe and comfortable to receive the help that you need. Your privacy, comfort and safety are of utmost importance to me.