One of the concerns of people who have never seen a psychologist is that the professional will tell someone else about things that came up during therapeutic counseling sessions. In reality, the psychologist is strictly bound by professional secrecy, therefore, he does not reveal news, facts, or information learned by reason of his professional relationship.
The psychologist also does not report on the professional services carried out or scheduled, unless certain hypotheses are used. Let’s see then, in this Psychology-Online article when you can break the psychologist’s professional secrecy.
Professional secrecy is one of the psychologist’s obligations, as established in the profession’s Code of Ethics. Uk49s Predictions For example, article 40 of the code of the Official College of Psychologists of Spain (1987) expressly states:
“All the information that the Psychologist collects in the exercise of her profession, both in the verbal manifestations expressed by her clients, and in psycho technical data or other professional observations practiced, are subject to a duty and a right of professional secrecy, of the which could only be exempted with the express consent of the client. The psychologist will ensure that their eventual collaborators abide by this medical secret.”
Now, what happens if a psychologist breaks professional secrecy? If a psychology professional fails to comply with the obligation to respect professional secrecy, he commits a serious or very serious offense, which is sanctioned with temporary disqualification or expulsion from collegiate bodies in all places where the profession is regulated.
When can the psychologist’s professional secrecy be broken? Although laws generally vary from state to state, in some specific situations psychologists may share information without the client’s written consent. Let’s see below the common exceptions according to the APA (American Psychological Association).
The psychologist’s professional secrecy can be broken to protect the patient from any dangerous situation. If, for example, a client discusses plans to attempt suicide or to harm another person. A very common case in which it hurts to break the psychologist’s professional secrecy is when there are patients suffering from depression, in particular, severe pathological depression.
Those who suffer from major depressive disorder usually have some common characteristics such as sadness, hopelessness, loss of energy, loss or increase in appetite, difficulty falling asleep, and suicidal thoughts or acts.
The psychologist’s professional secrecy can be violated in any situation that seriously endangers the life of the patient or other close people, regardless of whether it is a judicial process or not. These patients can have real crises if they do not follow the appropriate psychotherapeutic treatment and if they do not take the appropriate antidepressants, and in these cases, the behavior to adopt is to collaborate and communicate with the family.
Psychologists must report ongoing domestic violence, abuse, or neglect of children, the elderly, or people with disabilities. Cases of sexual, physical and psychological abuse are quite common and, most of the time, the victims are afraid to talk about them, preferring silence. The most complex cases are those in which the protagonists of the abuse are very young children.
In case of alleged Love assault, the psychologist must have the lucidity to investigate, analyze and verify if the abuse has really occurred. The moment the therapist discovers that such abuse is, in fact, happening, it is her duty to inform the parents.
But the culprit can often be a family member, France Lotto Results acting unmolested in front of everyone’s eyes. In these cases, the legislation changes from country to country, but certainly the psychologist has the task of alerting other relatives and competent authorities.
However, if an adult discloses that he or she has been abused as a child, the psychologist is generally not required to report the abuse, unless there are other children who continue to be abused.
Psychologists can release information if they receive a court order. This could happen if a person’s mental health has been questioned during the court process.
Therefore, psychotherapists may have to deal with patients who participate in a process, which means that at some point their presence and testimony may be necessary, at the cost of violating the psychologist’s professional secrecy. It often happens that this point can be reached, and these complex situations put all psychologists to the test.
This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.