Continuing Education & Resources for Mental Health Professionals

Ethical Information

Ethical Obligations about Confidentiality

A. Ethical Distinctions Between “Absolute” and “Conditional” Confidentiality

Confidentiality Ethics – Yesterday and Today

B. Ethical Obligations About Confidentiality & Disclosure

Selected Ethical Standards: Counselors (from ACA Code of Ethics)
Selected Ethical Standards: Psychologists (from APA Code of Ethics)
Selected Ethical Standards:: Social Workers (from NASW Code of Ethics)

C. PROTECTING CONFIDENTIALITY – USING AN ETHICAL PRACTICE MODEL

Ethical Practice Model (html)
Ethical Practice Model + State Law +HIPAA (pdf)
Ethical Practice Model Adapted to Various Populations & Settings

D. Confidentiality in Virginia Legal Protections and Legal Limits

Virginia Statutes Protecting or Limiting Patient Confidentiality (with links to Code of Virginia for text of each statute or court case)

E. CONFIDENTIALITY: “NON-SUBPOENA CONTRACTS” WITH CLIENTS

Clients in Multi-Client Therapy – “Non-Subpoena Promise” ( Fisher )
Couple or Marital Therapy – “Non-Subpoena Promise” ( Hembree )
Client in Individual Therapy (+ Non-Participating Spouse) – “Non-Subpoena Promise” ( DeMaio )

F. CONFIDENTIALITY CONTRACTS — EMPLOYEES, STUDENTS, VOLUNTEERS

Sample Ethics Contract for Staff, Trainees, & Volunteers

Sample Confidentiality Contract – Clinical Staff,  Employees, Trainees & Volunteers With Authorized Access to Patient Information

Sample Confidentiality Contract – On-Site Agents Who are NOT Authorized to Obtain Access to Patient Information (e.g., janitor; computer guru; “plant lady,”  etc.) 

G. COURT-RELATED FORMS & CHARTS

A. Filing A Motion to Quash a Subpoena for Testimony or Patient Records
B. Chart: Court-Related Roles “Which Hat are you Wearing?”

H. BOOKS and BOOK CHAPTERS by Mary Alice Fisher, Ph.D.

Fisher, M.A. (2012). Confidentiality and Record Keeping. Chapter 13 in S. Knapp, M. Gottlieb, M. Handelsman, & L. VandeCreek (Eds.) APA Ethics Handbook for Psychologists (pp. 333-375).  Washington DC: American Psychological Association. DOI: 10.1037/13271-013.

Fisher, M.A. (2013).  The Ethics of Conditional Confidentiality: A Practice Model for Mental Health Professionals.   New York, Oxford University Press.  (Order from the Book Order Page on our website, from Oxford University Press, or from Amazon.com ) See REVIEWS.

Fisher, M.A. (2016). Confidentiality Limits in Psychotherapy:  Ethics Checklists for Mental Health Professionals.  Washington DC, American Psychological Association. (See summary on our website; order from American Psychological Association or from Amazon.com.) See REVIEWS.

 

 

(Updated January 5, 2015)

Print This Page Print This Page