Waiver about the limits of confidentiality
By using this service, I agree to the following: I understand that I must be at least 18 years of age to use this online counseling service. I understand that online counseling is not appropriate if I am experiencing a crisis, or having suicidal or homicidal thoughts. If a life-threatening crisis should occur, I agree to contact a crisis hotline, call 911, or go to the hospital emergency room. I understand that information shared with the therapist is confidential. Exceptions include information regarding intentions to harm myself or others, my records being subpoenaed by a judge for court proceedings or information regarding a child being abused or elderly being abused. Otherwise, information regarding my treatment may only be shared with others by my signing a release of information (please review the Privacy Notice).
I understand the limitations of online counseling, and I agree that my online therapist will not be held liable for any special, incidental, indirect, or consequential damages or loss arising from the use or inability to use the professional services offered. I also understand that my therapist follows the laws and professional counseling regulations of Quebec, Canada.
What you should know:
All information discussed in therapy sessions, whether online or face-to-face, is confidential. Individuals receiving mental health counseling have the right to privacy with regard to their sessions. Your information will be kept confidential using the same methods for those who receive face-to-face counseling. However, due to the nature of the internet I can not ensure full protection. By using this service, you are understanding and agreeing to these limitations: Privacy cannot be guaranteed because it is not fail-safe. To better protect yourself, avoid sending email from your computer at work, as your employer has the right to access and view your email. Also, when using your computer at home, make sure that you are the only person who has access to your email account. You may also want to consider using a password to access your computer. Further, consider deleting emails from your hard drive, and remember to empty your sent, trash, and recycle bin files as well. For internet security, you can download a free software fire wall.
There are some exceptions to the confidentiality rule and these exceptions vary from state to state, but are basically the same in Canada and USA. Basically, the legal limitations to confidentiality are as follows:
- Mental Health Professionals are required by law to notify the proper authorities if there is suspected child abuse (including emotional, physical or sexual abuse).
- Mental Health Professionals must notify the proper authorities if clients make credible threats to harm themselves or a third party.
- Mental Health Professionals may be required to breach confidentiality if subpoenaed for court cases or legal proceedings.