If I am going to therapy, can my therapist tell people what I say?
If you are in therapy, you have the right to invoke (use) the therapist-client confidentiality privilege.This means that anything you say to your therapist is confidential and must be kept private between you and the therapist. This may not apply if you report abuse or neglect. Make sure to ask your therapist what will be kept private in your sessions and make sure to tell your therapist if you want to invoke (use) the privilege of confidentiality.
How do I use this right?
If you do not want DCF or anyone else on your case to see everything in your mental health records or everything you say in therapy, you must tell your therapist, case manager, and the court that you want to invoke the privilege of confidentiality.
If you want someone to talk to but don’t want the court and everyone involved in your case to know the conversations you have with your therapist, you have a right to keep the conversations private.
Will all information about my mental health services and therapy be private?
DCF and the GAL program may be allowed to see some information about your mental health services, but they must first file a court order asking to do so, and even then, only certain information will be given to them under the “least intrusive means”. It is important to ask your therapist what information could be shared if you have questions.
What are “least intrusive means”?
This means that before DCF or the GAL program can see any information on your mental health records, the judge will review your records and decide what information can be given to DCF or GAL, and it will be the least amount of information possible to help with your case plan to provide needed services. Your records will also only be allowed to be viewed in the judge’s chambers, and DCF and the GAL will not be provided with copies of anything from your records.
Fla. Const. art. §23; In re T.W., A Minor, 551 So. 2d 1186, (Fla. 1989); E.C. v. Guardian Ad Litem, 867 So. 2d 1193 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004); S.C. v. Guardian Ad Litem, 845 So. 2d 953, 960 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003), Fla. Stat. sec. 90.503