HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and is what is in place to keep mental health professionals from discussing cases.
Ethical therapists like myself take this seriously. Things that are private:
- The fact that you are a client.
- Particulars of a case.
- Particulars of a client.
- Length or type of services.
- Identifying information such as name, location, or details that may identify a client.
Ethical therapist can discuss a case with their peers without their peers having any clue as to whom the case is about. The less details given, the better. Only the details needed to get help with a case are discussed, and a clear goal in the consultation is established.
For example: This celebrity case can be consulted in these two ways:
- Client is a 56 year old man, married, with no children. He is being seen for relationship issues as his wife is only 21 and she feels that her mother and he are inappropriately close. How can I best work with him on boundaries?
- I’d like suggestions on working with boundary issues, when there is a discrepancy between how spouses internalize and work through jealousy and family dynamics with people outside of their relationship.
Do you see how the second one was more ethically described? This is a skill that I pride myself on and teach to my interns so we have even more ethical therapists.
Autumn Hahn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist practicing at Clear Mind Group in Weston, Florida. Call 954-612-9553 for a consultation. Follow Autumn on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Sign up for the e-newsletter HERE.