This concise volume examines exactly what is involved in keeping adequate clinical records of individual, family, couple and group psychotherapy. The authors discuss: limits of confidentiality; retention and disposing of records; documentation of safety issues; client access to records; treatment of minors; and training and supervision issues. Throughout the book, legal cases, vignettes and professional commentary help readers to consider legal and ethical issues.
Chapter 11: Retention and Disposition of Records
Retention and Disposition of Records
The purpose of this chapter is to ascertain what a clinician's responsibility is regarding records when a treatment has terminated. Are there any legal rulings regarding maintenance of records? How long do you store a client's records posttermination? We also discuss what considerations the therapist might address when the time is appropriate to dispose of a client's records. We hope to demonstrate that clients benefit when a mental health practitioner considers an effective method for dealing with these issues.
Official Guidelines for Retention
Several professional associations have produced written guidelines for retention. For example,
American Psychological Association General Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services (1987, sect. 2.3.6): This states [Page 133]that psychologists need to “follow an established policy” for ...