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Confidentiality Limits in Psychotherapy: Ethics Checklists for Mental Health Professionals
Fisher, Mary Alice
American Psychological Association / Spiral or Cirlox / 2016-03-01 / 1433821893
Ethics / Psychotherapy
price: $55.50 (may be subject to change)
144 pages
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Can therapists keep their patients' secrets? Should they?

Psychotherapists are careful to safeguard information about their clients, but in some instances, they may be legally or otherwise compelled to disclose information, even without client consent. This little confidentiality manual walks readers through this complex topic, using the author's easy-to-follow six-step Ethical Practice Model.

The checklist format enables therapists to inform themselves systematically about ethical options and relevant state and federal laws, so they can decide if, when, and in what respects they will limit their protection of clients' confidences and then discuss these limits with prospective clients. The chapters and case studies are full of useful information, making this the most convenient guide available to therapists on the topic.
Resource lists and appendices for further reading are included.

An essential tool not only for practicing therapists but also for ethics professors in clinical training programs, supervisors of students on internships and practica, and peer consultants, this handy reference belongs on every practitioner's desktop.


The Ethical ABCs of Conditional Confidentiality

Step 1. Prepare to Protect Confidentiality Rights
Step 2. Tell Prospective Clients the Truth About Foreseeable Limits of Confidentiality
Step 3. Obtain "Truly Informed" Consent Before Disclosing Confidential Information Voluntarily
Step 4. Respond Ethically to Laws That Require "Involuntary" Disclosures
Step 5. Avoid Preventable Breaches of Confidentiality
Step 6. Talk About Confidentiality: Educate Each Other and the Public

Appendix A. Online Sources for Professional Ethics Codes and Listing of Ethics Texts
Appendix B. Definitions and Clarifications
Appendix C. Laws and Regulations Affecting Confidentiality
Appendix D. Client Handout Template: "Limits of Confidentiality"
Appendix E. Elements of One-Way or Two-Way "Release of Information" Forms
Appendix F. Ethical Responsibilities in Legal Contexts
Appendix G. Protecting Clients' Confidentiality Rights: An Annotated Version of the Ethical Practice Model
About the Author

About the Author:

Mary Alice Fisher, PhD, is founding director of the Center for Ethical Practice, a member of the adjunct clinical faculty at the University of Virginia, and a clinical psychologist in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Fisher provides workshops, seminars, and consultation on topics related to ethical issues in clinical practice.

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