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Privacy and Confidentiality in the Therapeutic Relationship


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Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
American Psychological Association. (2016). Revision of Ethical Standard 3.04 of the “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct” (2002, as amended 2010). American Psychologist, 71(9), 900.

Barnett, J. E. (2019). The ethical practice of psychotherapy: Clearly within our reach. Psychotherapy, 56(4), 431–440.

Bersoff, D. N. (2014). Protecting victims of violent patients while protecting confidentiality. American Psychologist, 69(5), 461–467.

Cleveland, K. C., & Quas, J. A. (2018). Parents’ understanding of the juvenile dependency system. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 24(4), 459–473.

Condon, D. M., Weston, S. J., & Hill, P. L. (2017). Reconsidering what is vital about vital signs in electronic health records: Comment on Matthews et al. (2016). American Psychologist, 72(5), 487–488.

DeCou, C. R., Cole, T. T., Lynch, S. M., Wong, M. M., & Matthews, K. C. (2017). Assault-related shame mediates the association between negative social reactions to disclosure of sexual assault and psychological distress. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 9(2), 166–172.

Dopp, A. R., Borduin, C. M., White, M. H. II, & Kuppens, S. (2017). Family-based treatments for serious juvenile offenders: A multilevel meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 85(4), 335–354.

Erickson Cornish, J. A., Smith, R. D., Holmberg, J. R., Dunn, T. M., & Siderius, L. L. (2019). Psychotherapists in danger: The ethics of responding to client threats, stalking, and harassment. Psychotherapy, 56(4), 441–448.

Franeta, D. (2019). Taking ethics seriously: Toward comprehensive education in ethics and human rights for psychologists. European Psychologist, 24(2), 125–135.

Goldstein, N. E. S., Gale-Bentz, E., McPhee, J., NeMoyer, A., Walker, S., Bishop, S., Soler, M., Szanyi, J., & Schwartz, R. G. (2019). Applying the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ resolution to juvenile probation reform. Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 5(2), 170–181.

Gueta, K., Eytan, S., & Yakimov, P. (2020). Between healing and revictimization: The experience of public self-disclosure of sexual assault and its perceived effect on recovery. Psychology of Violence. Advance online publication. 

Gupta, S., Bonanno, G. A., Noll, J. G., Putnam, F. W., Keltner, D., & Trickett, P. K. (2011). Anger expression and adaptation to childhood sexual abuse: The role of disclosure. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 3(2), 171–180.

Hamberger, L. K. (2000). Requests for complete record release: A three-step response protocol. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 37(1), 89–97.

Harrison, D. P., Stritzke, W. G. K., Fay, N., Ellison, T. M., & Hudaib, A.-R. (2014). Probing the implicit suicidal mind: Does the Death/Suicide Implicit Association Test reveal a desire to die, or a diminished desire to live? Psychological Assessment, 26(3), 831–840.

Hudgins, C., Rose, S., Fifield, P. Y., & Arnault, S. (2013). Navigating the legal and ethical foundations of informed consent and confidentiality in integrated primary care. Families, Systems, & Health, 31(1), 9–19.

Huey, S. R. (2015). Tarasoff’s catch-22. American Psychologist, 70(3), 284–285.

Joo, J., Hwang, S., & Gallo, J. J. (2016). Death ideation and suicidal ideation in a community sample who do not meet criteria for major depression. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 37(2), 161–165.

Karnani, S. R., & Zelman, D. C. (2019). Measurement of emotional blackmail in couple relationships in Hong Kong. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 8(3), 165–180.

Katz, C., & Barnetz, Z. (2016). Children’s narratives of alleged child sexual abuse offender behaviors and the manipulation process. Psychology of Violence, 6(2), 223–232.

Kolva, E., Rosenfeld, B., Liu, Y., Pessin, H., & Breitbart, W. (2017). Using item response theory (IRT) to reduce patient burden when assessing desire for hastened death. Psychological Assessment, 29(3), 349–353.

Lustgarten, S. D. (2015). Emerging ethical threats to client privacy in cloud communication and data storage. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 46(3), 154–160.

Mimran, M. (2020). Review of flirting with death: Psychoanalysts consider mortality [Review of the book Flirting with death: Psychoanalysts consider mortality, by C. Masur, Eds.]. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 37(3), 259–261.

Moss, L. S. (2017). Collaboration, confidentiality, and care. Psychological Services, 14(4), 443–450.

Mrkva, K., Cole, J. C., & Van Boven, L. (2020). Attention increases environmental risk perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance online publication.

Nielsen, B. A. (2015). Confidentiality and electronic health records: Keeping up with advances in technology and expectations for access. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 3(2), 175–178.

Perloe, A., & Pollard, J. W. (2016). University counseling centers’ role in campus threat assessment and management. Journal of Threat Assessment and Management, 3(1), 1–20.

Rigg, T. (2018). The ethical considerations of storing client information online. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 49(5-6), 332–335.

Sinclair, C. (2017). Ethics in psychology: Recalling the past, acknowledging the present, and looking to the future. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 58(1), 20–29.

Spaniol, L. (2004). Sharing of information [Editorial]. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 28(1), 1–2.

Tipples, J. (2018). Caution follows fear: Evidence from hierarchical drift diffusion modelling. Emotion, 18(2), 237–247.

Unsworth, K. L., & McNeill, I. M. (2017). Increasing pro-environmental behaviors by increasing self-concordance: Testing an intervention. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(1), 88–103.

Walsh, R. T. G. (2015). Introduction to ethics in psychology: Historical and philosophical grounding. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 35(2), 69–77.

Additional References:
- Abramson, M. (1996a). Reflections on knowing oneself ethically: Toward a working framework for social work practice. Families in Society, 77(4), 195-202.

- Administration for Children & Families. (august 2014). Confidentiality Toolkit. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 1-129.

- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. (2015, January 1). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from

- American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA Code of Ethics. Retrieved from

- American Psychological Association (APA). (2017, January 1). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. Retrived from

- Anderson, S. M., Muñoz Proto, C. (jul 2016). Ethical Requirements and Responsibilities in Video Methodologies: Considering Confidentiality and Representation in Social Justice Research. Social & Personality Psychology Compass, 10 (7), 377-389.

- Barker, R. L. (1998). Milestones in the Development of Social Work and Social Welfare. Washington, DC: NASW Press. Rankin, Mary, JD employed by the Healthcare Training Institute to research and write the article Evolution of Social Work Ethics. Edited by Tracy Appleton, LCSW. The reference Barker, Robert L. Milestones in the Development of Social Work and Social Welfare. Washington, DC NASW Press, 1998

- Bemecker, S. L. (2014). Helping Clients Help Themselves: Managing Ethical Concerns When Offering Guided Self-Help Interventions in Psychotherapy Practice. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 45(2), 111-119.

- Byrom,, D., Ph.D. (august 26, 2006). The National Coalition of Mental Health Professionals & Consumers. Citizens Health Care Working Group, 1-9. Retrieved from

- Center for Democracy & Technology. (jan 2009). HIPAA and Health Privacy: Myths and Facts Part 2. Center for Democracy & Technology, 1–12.

- David, T. J. (1998). Child sexual abuse: when a doctor's duty to report abuse conflicts with a duty of confidentiality to the victim. BMJ, 316, 55-57.

- DeCamp, M. (apr 2015). Ethical issues when using social media for health outside professional relationships. International Review of Psychiatry, 27(2), 97-105.

- Evans, J. D. G., PhD. (1997). Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Problems. New York: Cambridge University Press.

- Falk, W. D. O., PhD. (1996). Reasons and Morality, The Collected Papers of W. D. Falk. Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press.

- Gellman, R., PhD. (1999). The Myth of Patient Confidentiality. Information Impacts Magazine.

- Gostin, L. O., J.D., LL.D. (Hon.), Lazzarini, Z., J.D., M.P.H.,, & Flaherty, K. M., J.D.,. (1999). Legislative Survey of State Confidentiality Laws, with Specific Emphasis on HIV and Immunization. Georgetown University Law Center, 1-59. Retrieved from

- Harpham, G., MA. (1998). Getting It Right, Language, Literature, and Ethics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

- Harris, C.E., PhD. (1997). Applying Moral Theories. California: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

- Ibberson, J., PhD. (1998). The Language of Decision , An Essay in Ethical Theory. New Jersey: Humanities Press International, Inc. Atlantic Hghlands.

- Jaksa, J. PhD., & Pritchard, M. (1999). Communication Ethics Methods of Analysis. California: Wadsworth Publishing Company.

- Kagan, S., PhD. (1997). The Limits of Morality. Oxford: Claredon Press.

- Kangas, J. L. and Calvert, J. D. (2014). Ethical Issues in Mental Health Background Checks for Firearm Ownership. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 45(1), 76-83.

- Loewenberg, F. M., Dolgoff, R., & Harrington, D. (2000). Ethical decisions for social work practice. Itasca, Illinois: F.E. Peacock.

- Løvseth, L. T. (may 2017). The hidden stressor of child welfare workers: client confidentiality as a barrier for coping with emotional work demands. Child & Family Social Work, 22(2), 923-931.

- Mankey, J., M.P.A., Baca, P., Ed.D., Rondenell, S., B.S., Webb, M., M.A., & McHugh, D., J.D. (october 2006). Guidelines for Juvenile Information Sharing. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1-37.

- Moe, C., Kvig, E. I., Brinchmann, B., and Brinchmann, B. S. (2013). Working behind the scenes’ An ethical view of mental health nursing and first-episode psychosis. Nursing Ethics, 20(5), 517-527. .

- National Association of Social Workers. (2017). NASW Code of Ethics. Retrieved from

- National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc. and Affiliates. (2016, October 7). NBCC Code of Ethics. Retrieved from

- National Coalition for Patient’s Rights. (2000). “Protecting the Privacy of Medical Records An Ethical Analysis. White Paper Report.

- Office of the Attorney General California Department of Justice. (june 2015). Your Patient Privacy Rights - A Consumer Guide to Health Information Privacy in California. Office of the Attorney General California Department of Justice, 1-4.

- Ozair, F. F., Jamshed, N., Sharma, A., & Aggarwal, P. (2015 apr-jun). Ethical issues in electronic health records: A general overview. Perspectives in Clinical Research, 6(2), 73-76. doi:10.4103/2229-3485.153997

- Petrila, J., J.D., L.L.M., & Fader-Towe, H., J.D. (2010). Information Sharing in Criminal Justice-Mental Health Collaborations: Working with HIPAA and Other Privacy Laws. Council of State Governments Justice Center, 1-46. Retrieved from

- Purtilo, R., PhD. (2001). Health Professional/Patient Interaction. Philadelphia: W.B. Sauders Company.

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- Reamer, F. G. (2001). Ethics Education in Social Work. Alexandria, VA: Council on Social Work Education.

- Reamer, F. G. (2006). Ethical Standards in Social Work: A Review of the NASW Code of Ethics (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: NASW Press.

- Reamer, F. G. (2009). Social Work Ethics Casebook: Cases and Commentary. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

- Reamer, F. G. (2003). Social Work Malpractice and Liability: Strategies for Prevention (2nd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press

- Reamer, F. G. (2006). Social Work Values and Ethics (3rd ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.

- Reamer, F. G. (2001). Tangled Relationships: Managing Boundaries in the Human Services. New York: Columbia University Press.

- Reamer, F. G. (2000). The social work ethics audit: A risk-management strategy. Social Work, 45(4), 355-366.

- Reamer, F. G. (2001). The Social Work Ethics Audit: A Risk-management Tool. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

- Rothstein, M. A. (2014). Tarasoff Duties after Newtown. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 42(1), 104-109.

- Regan, P. M., PhD. (2002). Technology, Social Values, and Public Policy. North Carolina: The University of North Carolina, Press.

- SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions. (september 2014). The Current State of Sharing Behavioral Health Information in Health Information Exchanges. National Council for Behavioral Health, 5-33

- Slovenko, R., PhD. (1997). Psychotherapy, Confidentiality, and Privileged Communication. Illinois: Charles C. Thomas.

- Sori, C. F., & Hecker, L. L. (dec 2015). Ethical and Legal Considerations When Counselling Children and Families. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 36(4),450-464.

- Stein, H., PhD. (1998). Ethics and Other Liabilities. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

- Terry, N. (oct 2015). Developments in Genetic and Epigenetic Data Protection in Behavioral and Mental Health Spaces. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 33(5), 653-661.

- The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. (april 2015). Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1-62.

- The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. (april 2015). Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1, 4-21.

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Related to Mental Health. U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1-13. Retrieved October 22, 2018.

- Veatch, R., PhD. (1999). The Patient-Physician Relation, The Patient as Partner. Indiana University Press.

- Versey, G., PhD. (1998). Human Values. New Jersey: The Harvester Press.

- Wellman, C., PhD. (1997). Morals and Ethics. Illinois: Scott, Foresman and Company.

- Weston, A. PhD. (2002). A Practical Companion to Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.

- Zannoni, J., MSW, LICSW. (n.d.). Strengthening Sexual Assault Victim's Right to Privacy. Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc. Retrieved October 19, 2018.

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