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Are Therapy Sessions Confidential

Yes, therapy sessions are confidential. This means that what is discussed in therapy stays between you and your therapist. Your therapist will not share what you discuss with anyone else without your permission.

When you go to therapy, you should feel confident that your sessions are confidential. This means that whatever you discuss with your therapist should not be shared with anyone without your permission. That said, there are some exceptions to confidentiality in therapy.

For example, if you share information about harming yourself or someone else, your therapist is required by law to take action to ensure your safety or the safety of others. Additionally, if you are involved in a court case and your therapist is subpoenaed to testify, he or she may be required to provide information from therapy sessions. However, even in these cases, therapists will typically try to get permission from their clients before sharing any confidential information.

Ultimately, though, it’s important to feel comfortable knowing that what happens in therapy stays in therapy – unless it puts you or someone else at risk of harm.

Introduction and Limits to Confidentiality

What are the Rules of Confidentiality in Therapy?

In therapy, confidentiality is one of the most important aspects of the client-therapist relationship. It is what allows clients to feel safe sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings with their therapist, knowing that their information will not be shared with others without their consent. There are legal and ethical rules in place that mandate therapists to keep their clients’ information confidential, except in certain circumstances where disclosure is required by law (e.g., if there is suspicion of child abuse or intent to harm self or others).

Even when disclosure is required by law, therapists will typically only share the minimum amount of information necessary to ensure safety. In general, then, clients can expect that anything they discuss with their therapist will remain private unless they give explicit permission for it to be shared.

When Can Therapist Break Confidentiality?

As a therapist, it is important to maintain confidentiality with your clients. There are however, some instances where confidentiality must be broken. These include if the client is a danger to themselves or others, if there is suspicion of child abuse or elder abuse, or if required by law.

If you have any concerns about whether or not to break confidentiality, it is always best to consult with a supervisor or another professional in order to make the best decision for your client.

What are the 3 Exceptions to Confidentiality?

There are three primary exceptions to the rule of confidentiality in counseling: when there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others, when child abuse or neglect is suspected, and when ordered by a court of law. The first exception, when there is an imminent threat of harm to self or others, is often referred to as the “dangerous client” exception. This means that if a client appears to be imminently dangerous to themselves or others, counselors are ethically obligated to take steps to ensure safety.

This may include breaking confidentiality and contacting authorities or family members who can help ensure safety. The second exception, when child abuse or neglect is suspected, also takes priority over confidentiality. If a counselor suspects that a child is being abused or neglected, they are required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities.

In some states, counselors are also mandated reporters for elder abuse. The third exception occurs when a court orders counselors to break confidentiality. This might happen in cases where someone is on trial and their mental health history is relevant to the case, or in custody disputes where one parent claims the other parent is unfit due to mental illness.

Courts can also order counselors to provide testimony about clients in civil lawsuits.

Do Therapists Have to Keep Things Confidential?

therapists are bound by confidentiality except in cases where there is suspicion of abuse or danger. In these cases, therapists are obligated to report their suspicions to the appropriate authorities. Other than that, what is said in therapy stays in therapy.

Are Therapy Sessions Confidential


Therapist Confidentiality Laws

If you’re considering therapy, it’s important to understand the confidentiality laws that protect you as a patient. In general, therapists are required to keep your conversations confidential unless you give them permission to share them. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, so it’s important to be aware of what they are before you begin therapy.

Therapists may break confidentiality if they believe you are a danger to yourself or others, if they suspect child abuse or elder abuse, or if required by law (such as in a court order). If your therapist needs to break confidentiality, they will usually only share information that is necessary and will try to minimize the amount of information shared. It’s also important to note that while therapists are bound by confidentiality laws, other members of their treatment team (such as psychiatrists or social workers) may not be.

If you’re concerned about your conversations being shared with anyone outside of your therapist, be sure to ask about their policies before beginning treatment.


The confidentiality of therapy sessions is an important topic for both patients and therapists. Patients need to feel safe sharing their thoughts and experiences, and therapists need to be able to protect their patients’ privacy. There are some exceptions to the confidentiality of therapy, but these should be explained to the patient before they begin therapy.