This page includes information related to Confidentiality, Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act or HIPAA, Social Media Policy as well as Levis Therapy Court Policy.
Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and all other medical professionals are required by federal law to provide each patient with a copy of the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act or HIPAA. By clicking on this link, you may download a copy of the Levis Therapy Hipaa privacy notice.
Confidentiality is a foundation of the therapist-client relationship. It is important to know that the law protects confidential communications between a client and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. The protection, known as a “privilege,” applies to any confidential communication between you and your therapist (e.g. anything you tell me during our sessions) or information obtained about you during the course of your consultation. You, as the client, hold the privilege. This means that Levis Therapy or your therapist cannot share your confidential information (whether verbal or written) with anyone else unless you, the client, consent to the disclosure.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
You should also know that there are certain limited exceptions to the privilege. In certain circumstances, a Marriage and Family Therapist may break confidentiality, or is required by law to break confidentiality, and disclose client information. Should such a circumstance arise, your therapist will make every reasonable effort to discuss this ethical and legal obligations to disclose confidential information before doing so. Exceptions to confidentiality include, but are not limited to the following circumstances:
- Child Abuse or Elder Abuse: Therapists are mandated by law to report cases of suspected child abuse (of children and youth under age 18) and elder abuse (of adults over age 65) to the appropriate authorities.
- Suicide: If you are suicidal or gravely disables to the point of being seriously endangered, your therapist will need to breach confidentiality in order to keep you safe. This may include informing your family member(s) or taking action to see that you are admitted to a hospital.
- Homicide: If you disclose to your therapist that you are planning to kill or do serious harm to another person, they are required by law to inform the police, inform your intended victim(s), and inform any other necessary individuals in order to prevent loss of life.
- Per Release of Information: If you give your written permission to communicate with specific persons, your therapist may do so with your best interests in mind.
- As Mandated by Law: For example, if your therapist receives a subpoena or a court order, they may be required to submit your records as part of a legal proceeding. If your therapist is required to surrender your records under the Patriot’s Act, your therapist may not be able to notify you of this exception to confidentiality.
During the course of therapy, you and your therapist may agree that some information about you needs to be shared with your family or close others. Your therapist will only share information with those involved in your care and anyone else you choose, such as close friends or clergy. Be sure to discuss to whom you want your therapist to disclose specific information about your condition or treatment. Your therapist will make every effort to honor your request as long as it is not against the law.
If it is an emergency – and your therapist is unable to ask if you disagree – your therapist is allowed to share information if they believe it is what you would have wanted and if they believe it will help you if they share it. If your therapist does share information in an emergency, they will tell you as soon as possible. If you don’t approve, your therapist will honor your request to stop disclosing information, as long as it is not against the law.
If you are a member of a group, please note that each group member is responsible for maintaining confidentiality. A good guideline is to remember that what you hear in the group stays in the group — outside discussion of other group member’s concerns & issues is a violation of confidentiality.
Confidentiality and Electronic Media
Please be aware that e-mail, cell phone, voicemail and cordless phone communication can be accessed by unauthorized people and that privacy and confidentiality may be compromised when using any of these communication modes.
Levis Therapy encourages you to use encrypted e-mail when communicating with your therapist, and to limit e-mail use to scheduling and matters that are not confidential.
While your therapist will make every effort to assure that a fax communication is sent to the correct phone address and that only the person intended for the fax receives it, they may be unable to control who sees the fax or where the fax is printed once it has been sent. Please notify your therapist at the beginning of our work together or at any time during therapy if you decide to limit any of these communication methods. Otherwise you are agreeing to allow any of the above methods to be used.
Please use text messaging only for scheduling purposes. Voice messages are the preferred method of communication. If you do send a text message and do not receive a response within 1 business day, please call your therapist with your concern or scheduling inquiry.
Please use email only to schedule appointments. As you may be aware, email is not a secure form of communication and does not guarantee your confidentiality. If you choose to communicate with Levis Therapy or any of the therapists via email, please be aware that any emails that you either send or receive become a part of your legal record. Levis Therapy offers the option of utilizing encrypted email. Please know that by sending unencrypted email, you assume all liability for any breach in confidentiality.
Social Media Policy
In order to protect your confidentiality and the nature of your clinical relationship, Levis Therapy and its therapists do not engage in social media contact with clients. Additionally, clients are discouraged from posting in any way about their therapeutic process. This includes posting reviews, testimonials and other positive or other information related to our clinical relationship on the internet or in print.