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Confidentiality for Mental Health Professionals: A Guide to Ethical and Legal Principles

Confidentiality for Mental Health Professionals: A Guide to Ethical and Legal Principles
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Confidentiality for Mental Health Professionals: A Guide to Ethical and Legal Principles

Annegret Kämpf, Bernadette McSherry, James Ogloff, and Alan Rothschild

Monash University

Those who work in the mental health sector are constantly exposed to personal information about the experiences, behaviour and relationships of their clients. It is therefore unsurprising that mental health professionals will sometimes need to consider whether they are ethically or legally obliged to disclose certain information to third parties. Yet how is this done? In what circumstances is a therapist, counsellor, or nurse obliged to disclose confidential information and to whom? A profession's codes of ethics or a legal text is rarely able to provide meaningful practical guidance. The authors, experienced professionals in law and mental health, have focused on the actual decision-making process of disclosing confidential information to allow mental health professionals to find a solution that is ethically and legally sound and able to be recognised as such by external authorities. The book is relevant to a wide range of professionals working in the mental health sector such as psychologists, social workers, counsellors, mental health nurses, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, and students.



Confidentiality for Mental Health Professionals: A Guide to Ethical and Legal Principles

Annegret Kämpf, Bernadette McSherry, James Ogloff, and Alan Rothschild

Monash University

Those who work in the mental health sector are constantly exposed to personal information about the experiences, behaviour and relationships of their clients. It is therefore unsurprising that mental health professionals will sometimes need to consider whether they are ethically or legally obliged to disclose certain information to third parties. Yet how is this done? In what circumstances is a therapist, counsellor, or nurse obliged to disclose confidential information and to whom? A profession's codes of ethics or a legal text is rarely able to provide meaningful practical guidance. The authors, experienced professionals in law and mental health, have focused on the actual decision-making process of disclosing confidential information to allow mental health professionals to find a solution that is ethically and legally sound and able to be recognised as such by external authorities. The book is relevant to a wide range of professionals working in the mental health sector such as psychologists, social workers, counsellors, mental health nurses, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, and students.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  • The Concept of Confidentiality

  • The Ethical Framework for Confidentiality

  • Codes of Ethics

  • The Legal Framework for Protecting Confidentiality

  • Common Law Exceptions and Limitations to Maintaining Confidentiality

  • Statutory Schemes

  • Ethical Decision-Making in Confidentiality Dilemmas

  • Quick Guides

  • Table of Cases

  • Table of Statutes

  • References

  • Index

 



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