Lesson 2 - Confidentiality

Mental health professionals have both an ethical and legal obligation to protect the confidentiality of their clients. Exceptions to this include reporting cases of suspected child abuse. Therefore, it is crucial that mandated reporters provide informed consent detailing the limits of confidentiality at the beginning of the professional relationship. This is best done both verbally and in writing to avoid confusion and ensure that the client understands the information provided. Concerns about how the decision to report may impact the therapeutic relationship can be mitigated when the limits of confidentiality have been clearly explained to the client. In addition, reporting of suspected child abuse can then be incorporated into the therapeutic context, and does not necessarily jeopardize progress in therapy.

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