Continuing Education & Resources for Mental Health Professionals

Ethical Information

Selected Ethical Standards About Confidentiality:
Psychologists (from APA Code of Ethics)

  1. Key Standard:
    4.01 – Maintaining Confidentiality: Psychologists have a primary obligation and take reasonable precautions to protect confidential information obtained through or stored in any medium . . .
  2. Clarification, Amplification, and Application Standards
    A. Expanding on the Confidentiality Rule
      4.04- Minimizing Intrusions on Privacy
4.06 – Consultations
4.07 – Use of Confidential Information for Didactic or Other Purposes
    B. Applying the Confidentiality Rule in Other Specific Circumstances
      1.04 – Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations
1.05 – Reporting Ethical Violations
1.06 – Cooperating with Ethics Committees
3.09 – Cooperation With Other Professionals
3.12 – Interruption of Psychological Services
6.01 – Documentation of Work and Maintenance of Records
6.02 – Maintenance, Dissemination, Disposal of Records
6.04 – Fees and Financial Arrangements
6.06 – Accuracy in Reports to Payors and Funding Sources
8.15 – Reviewers
9.04 – Release of Test Data
    C. Informing Prospective Clients About Limits of Confidentiality
      3.05 – Multiple Relationships
3.07 – Third Party Requests for Services
3.10 – Informed Consent
3.11 – Psychological Services To/Through Organizations
4.02 – Discussing the Limits of Confidentiality
8.02 – Informed Consent to Research
9.03 – Informed Consent in Assessments
10.01 – Informed Consent to Therapy
10.02 – Therapy Involving Couples or Families
10.03 – Group Therapy 
    D. Obtaining Consent for Recording
      4.03 – Recording
8.03 – Informed Consent for Recording in Research
    E. Ensuring that Others Protect Clients’ Confidentiality Rights
      2.05 – Delegating of Work to Others
    F. Responding to Conflicts Between Ethical Duties and Other Duties
      1.02 – Conflicts Between Ethics and Laws
1.03 – Conflicts Between Ethics and Organizational Demands
  3. Exceptions to the Key Standard
    4.05 – Disclosures: (a) Psychologists may disclose confidential information with the appropriate consent of . . . the client, unless prohibited by law. (b) Psychologists disclose confidential information without the consent of the individual only as mandated by law, or where permitted by law for a valid purpose . . .


* APA Ethical Standards related to confidentiality
are here arranged in categories suggested by Knapp & VandeCreek (2006).
Ethical Standards were chosen for training purposes from American Psychological Association (2010) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct

Familiarity with these standards is not a substitute for knowing all sections of your Ethics Code.

Print This Page Print This Page