Psychologists understand that for people to feel comfortable talking about private and revealing information, they need a safe place to talk about anything they’d like, without fear of that information leaving the room.
Laws are also in place to protect your privacy. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) contains a privacy rule that creates national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and personal health information, including information about psychotherapy and mental health.
Psychologists may disclose private information without consent in order to protect the patient or the public from serious harm — if, for example, a client discusses plans to attempt suicide or harm another person.
Psychologists are required to report ongoing domestic violence, abuse or neglect of children, the elderly or people with disabilities.
Psychologists may release information if they receive a court order. That might happen if a person's mental health came into question during legal proceedings.