Privacy

and Confidentiality

All psychological services that I provide are confidential, and this is protected by Illinois and United States law.

No information about services you receive, or about you, may be disclosed to anyone without your authorization in writing.

For adult recipients of services there is no exception for family members, employers, etc. The very fact that you were seen by me may not be revealed to anyone without your permission.

There are exceptions, however, for example in the event of danger of serious harm to you or someone else.  The link below provides additional information.

Above and beyond these legal requirements, your privacy is important to me because you can only expect to feel free to work on sensitive matters if you believe that these matters are safe with your psychotherapist.  I do not participate in FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, Instagram, or even LinkedIn because these sites promote disclosure much more strongly than they protect privacy (and for the same reason I discourage the use of unprotected email for communicating about your treatment).

Bear in mind too that any time that you use your medical insurance to pay for services, the insurer will require information.  This information will at least include your diagnosis as well as the kind of service provided, but insurers reserve the right to receive more detailed information.  Such information remains with the insurance company databases, and may be passed on to other databases.

Health care reform aims at creating electronic medical records that will make information readily available to treating professionals, but also to insurance companies and possibly others.  Psychological treatment records are only beginning to be included in these initiatives.  I do not participate in any such information exchanges.

The only way to be certain that sensitive information revealed to a psychotherapist remains private is not to use medical insurance.  Many people who are insured choose not to use their insurance for psychological services for just this reason.

Link to Illinois Notice Form (PDF) Click here if you need to install Adobe PDF reader