Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Confidentiality and Legal Privilege
James W. Lichtenberg & Pamela L. Knox
Confidentiality is the legal and ethical duty of therapists not to reveal information about their clients to unauthorized individuals. Legally and ethically, therapists are bound by statute and by the profession's code of professional conduct not to reveal information about their clients to unauthorized individuals. Legally and ethically, clients have the right to prevent their therapist from disclosing information shared by them in counseling without their consent. In counseling, two types of confidentiality are commonly recognized: content confidentiality and contact confidentiality. Content confidentiality requires that the substance or content of the client's discussion with a counselor not be revealed by the professional. Disclosures of confidential client information to individuals with no right to that information are called content breaches . Such breaches of confidentiality may result in civil liability to the therapist or licensure revocation. Contact confidentiality requires that the professional not reveal the fact that the client is contact ...