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Green Hills with Blue Sky

Privacy & Policy

The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.

Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse, for which I am required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, I must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself, I will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in ensuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, I will take further measures without their permission that are provided to me by law in order to ensure their safety.

 

Client-Counselor Consent & Privacy

Any client who wishes to work with Linda Semrau, M.A. must agree to the following conditions:  By filling out and returning this Client-Counselor Consent Form, you indicate that you understand and agree to the terms and conditions stated below:
  • You agree that you have read the separate section on Privacy & Confidentiality, below, and you agree with the terms set out in that section.
  • You understand that I am a Licensed Counselor practicing in the state of Washington and that our relationship is governed by the laws of the state of Washington.
  • You agree that you are at least 18 years old or I have a signed consent for treatment from your parent or guardian.
  • You agree to supply your true full name, address, and phone number during our first session. 
  • While I am hopeful that our work together will be helpful to you, I cannot guarantee a positive outcome. 
  • If you are currently taking medication for depression, anxiety, or any psychological or psychiatric problem, I may ask you for the name, address, and phone number of the physician who has prescribed this medication, as well as your consent to contact this physician. 
  • Like any other therapeutic modality, the effectiveness of counseling with me depends greatly on how much of an investment of time and energy you are willing to make. Generally speaking, the more you invest in it, the more you will get out of it. The goal of our exchanges is to help you.  If either of us feels, at any time, that working together is not helpful enough to you, either of us is free to terminate our relationship at any time.   
  • There are no other explicit or implicit commitments in our relationship.
Privacy & Confidentiality: Confidentiality is crucial to the counseling process.  I consider it my sacred duty to protect the confidentiality and privacy of my clients.  I will safeguard your personal information. 
Having said that, I must admit that confidentiality has never been, and is not now, 100% perfect, either online or face-to-face. 

 

  • As a Licensed Counselor, I protect the confidentiality of the communications and contacts with all of my clients, including online and phone clients.  I will only release information about our work to others with your written permission, or if I am required to do so by a court order or legal subpoena.  In addition, there are some situations in which I am legally obligated to breach your confidentiality and contact local law enforcement and/or social services authorities in order to protect you or other people from harm.  These situations include the following: (1) If, in the course of our work together, I learn that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused or is at risk for being abused, I am required to notify the appropriate protective services; (2) If, in the course of our work together, you tell me that you’re considering committing suicide or committing any other serious self-injurious behavior, or are considering violence against another person, I am required to notify the appropriate authorities to prevent such actions from taking place.  These situations rarely occur but if such a situation did occur, I would make every effort to discuss it with you before taking any action.
  • Privacy & Confidentiality Online and on the phone:  It is never possible to guarantee 100% protection of the confidentiality of either email transmissions or phone calls. I will do everything possible to protect against any intrusions on my end, and we ask that you do the same.  It is my belief that the single biggest threat to confidentiality occurs as a result of sending messages where the confidentiality of your own messages sent to us, or mine sent to you is not secure.  If you send/receive emails from your work computer, your supervisor or superior may be able to or entitled to view these emails.  And unless you have your own password-protected email account at home, family members and others with access to your email account may be able to breach your confidentiality. 
  • When using your home computer, please make sure that you are the only person with access to your personal email account.  In terms of confidentiality problems with telephone sessions, please understand that if you choose to use a cordless or cell phone during a phone session with me, someone with a scanner could possibly hear you talk.  Finally, there is always the remote possibility that a hacker will breach the confidentiality of our email transmissions.  To my knowledge, this has never happened to a therapist who is working online, e.g. confidentiality being breached by hackers, but there is always a first time.  To summarize, there are risks to your confidentiality online, as there are in an office setting as well.  However, I believe these risks to be extremely small assuming common sense is used and appropriate precautions are taken to protect emails and phone calls.
  • If I should become disabled, die, or retire: your file will go to Christy Cuellar, M.A., Licensed Mental Health Counselor #LH60160828, 509-779-4572.  Christy has training and attitudes very similar to mine, and practices near Curlew at Kettle River Whole Life.  You can continue your treatment with Christy if you desire.  No one else will see your records.       
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