Almost all material discussed in any therapy session is fully confidential, meaning that the therapist may not disclose personal information about the client to any party without the client’s permission. However, there are some important limits to confidentiality of which clients should be aware. Currently, Texas state law requires that mental health professionals contact appropriate authorities if there is suspected child abuse, elder abuse or dependent adult abuse, or if the client represents an imminent threat to himself or others (ie. the client directly indicates a real and immediate intention of committing suicide or homicide).
Couples counseling presents certain complexities for confidentiality. Often, when working with a couple, the therapist will also meet with each member of the couple separately. At Dallas Whole Life, we still adhere to strict confidentiality in such situations, meaning anything discussed in an individual session remains confidential. For example, if one member of a couple discloses in an individual session that he/she is having an affair, it is not the therapist’s role to reveal this information in a couples session.
Please note that some insurance companies require a release of confidential information in order to evaluate coverage. It is important to discuss the possible consequences of such releases with your therapist. This is especially the case when using in-network benefits. For this reason, DWL files claims for client insurance reimbursement only as an out-of-network provider, thereby avoiding situations in which the privilege of therapist-client confidentiality may be called into question. There are other circumstances (such as conferring with a client’s psychiatrist, for example) where confidentiality may not be absolute, and these issues should be discussed with your therapist at the beginning of treatment.
Further details of confidentiality can be discussed during the initial consultation.