Any information that you reveal to your therapist is considered “privileged communication”, and it is your right to have that information kept confidential. Mental health professionals are not allowed to release any information about clients without a signed “Release of Information” form which permits the transfer of specific information to a specified individual. This form is valid for one year.
There are only rare situations in which information about clients may be released with or without the client’s permission. These situations are as follows:
- When a child is physically abused, neglected, or sexually abused, we are required by law to contact the proper authorities (ex. Police, State Department of Family Services).
- When a client or another individual is in clear and immediate life threatening danger, as with homicide or suicide, we are required by law to take steps to insure their safety, even if it means contacting authorities without the client’s permission.
In addition, there are situations in which the client is involved in civil or criminal litigation where the therapist and his/her records can be subpoenaed, particularly when the client is suing someone for damages based on emotional injury or when the client is involved in a child custody proceeding.
Emergency Coverage For Existing Clients
Each therapist can be reached during office hours at (337) 474-2682. After hours, the phone will be transferred to an answering service that will locate either your therapist or another available therapist in emergency situations. Please let the operator know if your call is an emergency. In the unlikely event that your therapist and or another therapist cannot be reached quickly in an emergency, you may consider calling your family physician, a local hospital, or the Lake Charles Mental Health Center at (337) 475-8022.
Download our Notice of Privacy Practice here