Privacy Policy

Confidentiality & Privacy Policy

The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychologist (and other mental health professionals e.g.,LPC, LCSW, CSAC, SAC, psychiatrist) and information cannot be disclosed without written permission. Please see Exceptions below (following the information from WI DHS Client's Rights Office)

Please see The State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Client's Rights Office for more information:

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The Client Rights Office serves individuals receiving services for developmental disability, mental health, and substance use. Individuals may receive these services in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, including adult family homes, clinics, community-based residential facilities, facilities operated by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and group homes. Inmates, emergency room patients, and single-person provider clinic patients are not served by the Client Rights Office.

Information Pamphlets regarding client's rights link to State of WI Client's Rights Office

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Your rights under HIPAA - link to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which we are required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, we have a duty to exercise reasonable care in the treatment of our clients/patients by warning others of threats of harm by the client/patient. See Schuster v. Altenberg, 144 Wis. 2d 223 (1988) . Our duty to warn extends to whatever other steps are reasonably necessary under the circumstances, including contacting the police, recommending or requiring hospitalization, or notifying a family member or friend who can help ensure safety. A psychotherapist has a duty to warn even if the actual victim was not foreseeable. Also, Wisconsin does not create a distinction between a generalized statement of dangerous intent and a particularized statement specifying the patient’s intended victims.

    The ruling in Schuster was supported by later Wisconsin decisions in Steinberg v. Jensen, 194 Wis. 2d 439 (1995) , and Wisconsin v. Agacki, 226 Wis. 2d 349 (1999) . These decisions held that there is no privilege between psychotherapists and patients regarding communications relevant to the discovery of the physical, mental or emotional condition of the patient in a proceeding in which that condition is an element of the patient’s claim or defense. Thus, the principle that the confidentiality of patient communications gives way in certain instances is embodied even in the rules of evidence in court proceedings.

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