When client treatment involves a continued review or participation by a treatment team, the client will be informed of the team’s existence and composition, information being shared, and the purposes of sharing such information. B. 3. c. Confidential Settings Counselors discuss confidential information only in settings in which they can reasonably ensure client privacy. B. 3. d. Third-Party Payers Counselors disclose information to third-party payers only when clients have authorized such disclosure.
B. 3. e. Transmitting Confidential Information Counselors take precautions to ensure the confidentiality of information transmitted through the use of computers, electronic mail, facsimile machines, telephones, voicemail, answering machines, and other electronic or computer technology. (See A. 12. g. ) B. 3. f. Deceased Clients Counselors protect the confidentiality of deceased clients, consistent with legal requirements and agency or setting policies. B. 4. Groups and Families B. 4. a. Group Work In group work, counselors clearly explain the importance and parameters of confidentiality for the specific group being entered. B. 4. b.
Couples and Family Counseling In couples and family counseling, counselors clearly define who is considered “the client” and discuss expectations and limitations of confidentiality. Counselors seek agreement and document in writing such agreement among all involved parties having capacity to give consent concerning each individual’s right to confidentiality and any obligation to preserve the confidentiality of information known. B. 5.
Clients Lacking Capacity to Give Informed Consent B. 5. a. Responsibility to Clients When counseling minor clients or adult clients who lack the capacity to give voluntary, informed consent, counselors protect the confidentiality of information received in the counseling relationship as specified by federal and state laws, written policies, and applicable ethical standards. B. 5. b. Responsibility to Parents and Legal Guardians Counselors inform parents and legal guardians about the role of counselors and the confidential nature of the counseling relationship. Counselors are sensitive to the cultural diversity of families and respect the inherent rights and responsibilities of parents/guardians over the welfare of their children/charges according to law.
Counselors work to establish, as appropriate, collaborative relationships with parents/guardians to best serve clients. B. 5. c. Release of Confidential Information When counseling minor clients or adult clients who lack the capacity to give voluntary consent to release confidential information, counselors seek permission from an appropriate third party to disclose information. In such instances, counselors inform clients consistent with their level of understanding and take culturally appropriate measures to safeguard client confidentiality. B. 6. Records B. 6. a. Confidentiality of Records.
Counselors ensure that records are kept in a secure location and that only authorized persons have access to records. B. 6. b. Permission to Record Counselors obtain permission from clients prior to recording sessions through electronic or other means. B. 6. c. Permission to Observe Counselors obtain permission from clients prior to observing counseling sessions, reviewing session transcripts, or viewing recordings of sessions with supervisors, faculty, peers, or others within the training environment.
B. 6. d. Client Access Counselors provide reasonable access to records and copies of records when requested by competent clients. Counselors limit the access of clients to their records, or portions of their records, only when there is compelling evidence that such access would cause harm to the client. Counselors document the request of clients and the rationale for withholding some or all of the record in the files of clients. In situations involving multiple clients, counselors provide individual clients with only those parts of records that related directly to them and do not include confidential information related to any other client. B. 6. e. Assistance With Records.
When clients request access to their records, counselors provide assistance and consultation in interpreting counseling records. B. 6. f. Disclosure or Transfer Unless exceptions to confidentiality exist, counselors obtain written permission from clients to disclose or transfer records to legitimate third parties. Steps are taken to ensure that receivers of counseling records are sensitive to their confidential nature. (See A. 3. , E. 4. ) B. 6. g. Storage and Disposal After Termination Counselors store records following termination of services to ensure reasonable future access, maintain records in accordance with state and federal statutes governing records, and dispose of client records and other sensitive materials in a manner that protects client confidentiality.
When records are of an artistic nature, counselors obtain client (or guardian) consent with regard to handling of such records or documents. (See A. 1. b. ) B. 6. h. Reasonable Precautions Counselors take reasonable precautions to protect client confidentiality in the event of the counselor’s termination of practice, incapacity, or death. (See C. 2. h. ) B. 7. Research and Training B. 7. a. Institutional Approval.