Hudson Valley Dynamic Counseling and its providers adhere to state laws governing health professionals and ethics as it relates to privileged and confidential information.  The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) contains a privacy rule that creates national standards to protect individuals’ medical records and personal health information, including information about psychotherapy and mental health.  A patient’s confidence in our discretion is imperative to us, and we imagine it is essential to considering treatment with HVDC.

It is only with written consent that information can be released to a particular person(s), parent, family, and other mental health officials.  We cannot confirm to anyone outside of HVDC that a patient has or not been seen for a medical or counseling appointment unless we have written consent to do so.

There are limitations to confidentiality, as follows:

  1. When a patient presents imminent danger to themselves or others;
  2. HVDC providers are required to report ongoing domestic violence abuse or neglect of minors, elderly or the disabled;
  3. If records are subpoenaed or requested by court order, or in the course of an investigation of a claim made against the provider.

These exceptions to confidentiality are rare, and whenever possible, the provider would discuss it with the patient in advance of any actions taken.  Please understand that “presenting a danger to self or others” refers only to cases in which our professionals assess there to be an imminent risk of suicide or homicide.

It is not uncommon, for patients to express feelings of losslessness.  Communication during sessions are taken very seriously, but we do not equate these feelings with an imminent risk of suicidal or homicidal behavior.  Patients needn’t worry that they will forfeit their confidentiality by speaking honestly about how badly they may be feeling.  In most cases, when we are genuinely concerned about patient safety, the patient provides us their written consent to share this information with a few important others that may be in a position to help.  Only by patient request can we communicate about their condition with parents, or staff, To do so, we obtain their written consent by asking the Patient to sign a release form.

If you have any questions about the confidentiality of the information you share with our HVDC’s team, please feel free to ask your provider or contact Vassell G. O’Gilvie LCSW.