Confidentiality means that anything that is learned in a therapy relationship is not disclosed to others. Although confidentiality is critically important to the psychologist-patient relationship, it is not absolute. There are a number of well-recognized exceptions to confidentiality. All serve purposes that are believed to be more important than the preservation of confidentiality. One might argue that all exceptions to confidentiality weaken the therapeutic relationship to some extent.

Identifying Exceptions to Confidentiality in the Ethics Code

The American Psychological Association Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (Ethics Code), Standard 4, Privacy and Confidentiality, mandates that confidentiality be discussed at the outset of therapy or the professional relationship; it also provides standards regarding when confidentiality may or must be breeched. Although Standard 4.01 establishes confidentiality ...

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