Svetlana Libus, MD. Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Childs, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry
About Treatment
Benefits and  Risks of Medications
Benefits and Risks of Therapy
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What to Expect
About Confidentiality
My Background
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Notice of privacy practices
email policies
   
  I will treat with great care all the information you share with me. It is your legal right that our sessions and my records about you are kept private. That is why I ask you to sign a "release-of-records" form before I can talk about you or send my records about you to anyone else. In general, I will tell no one what you tell me. I will not even reveal that you are receiving treatment from me.

 
  In all but a few rare situations, your confidentiality (that is, your privacy) is protected by state law and by the rules of my profession.
Here are the most common cases in which confidentiality is not protected:

 
   
If you were sent to me by a court for evaluation or treatment, the court expects a report from me. If this is your situation, please talk with me before you tell me anything you do not want the court to know. You have a right to tell me only what you are comfortable with telling.

 
    Are you suing someone or being sued? Are you being charged with a crime? If so, and you tell the court that you are seeing me, I may then be ordered to show the court my records. Please consult your lawyer about these issues.

 
    If you make a serious threat to harm yourself or another person, the law requires me to try to protect you or that other person. This usually means telling others about the threat. I cannot promise never to tell others about threats you make.

 
    If I believe a child has been or will be abused or neglected, I am legally required to report this to the authorities.

 
    In child custody or adoption cases, the judge determines that the psychiatrist has information bearing significantly on the client’s ability to provide suitable care.

 
    The client initiates legal action against the therapist.  
         
  When I provide treatment for minor, I have ethical duty of confidentiality to the child and legal duty to the parents. For children under 12, I tell their parents or guardians whatever they ask me. As children grow older, they assume legal rights. For those between the ages of 12 and 18, most of details in things they tell me will be treated as confidential. However parents or guardians do have the right to general information, including how therapy is going. I will try my best to balance the degree of confidentiality with your child’s needs for privacy and trust in me. Therapy should be the safe place for your child to share feelings and thoughts in order to be effective. So, it is in your child best interest, that I will be sharing information obtained during the session with her/his permission and/or at my discretion. Your child will be informed of all the limitation of confidentiality.
 
  There are two situations in which I might talk about part of your case with another therapist. I ask now for your understanding and agreement to let me do so in these two situations.

 
  First, when I am away from the office for a few days, I have a trusted fellow psychiatrist "cover" for me. This psychiatrist will be available to you in emergencies. Therefore, he or she needs to know about you. Generally, I will tell this psychiatrist only what he or she would need to know for an emergency. Of course, this therapist is bound by the same laws and rules as I am to protect your confidentiality.

 
  Second, I sometimes consult other psychiatrist or other professionals about my clients. This helps me in giving high-quality treatment. These persons are also required to keep your information private.

 
  Your name will never be given to them, and they will be told only as much as they need to know to understand your situation.

 
  For the purpose of these consultations, I may want to make audio or video recordings of our sessions. I will review the tape with my consultant to assist with your treatment. I will ask your permission to make any recording. I promise to destroy this recording as soon as I no longer need it, or, at the latest, when I destroy your case records. You can refuse to allow this recording, or can insist that the recording be edited.

 
  Except for the situations I have described above, I will always maintain your privacy. I also ask you not to disclose the name or identity of any other client being seen in this office.

 
  I make every effort to keep the names and records of clients private. I will try never to use your name on the telephone; other clients may be in the office and overhear it.

 
  If your records need to be seen by another professional, or anyone else, I will discuss it with you. If you agree to share these records, you will need to sign a release form. This form states exactly what information is to be shared, with whom, and why, and it also sets time limits. You may read this form at any time. If you have questions, please ask me. We do not divulge the fact that you are a client or anything about you or your sessions to anyone, unless you request us (in writing) to do so.
It is my office policy to retain clients' records for 20 years after the end of our therapy.

 
  If we do family or couple therapy (where there is more than one client), and you want to have my records of this therapy sent to anyone, all of the adults present will have to sign a release.

 
  You can review your own records in my files at any time. You may add to them or correct them, and you can have copies of them. I ask you to understand and agree that you may not examine records created by anyone else and sent to me. I will keep your case records in a safe place.

 
  In some very rare situations, I may temporarily remove parts of your records before you see them. This would happen if I believe that the information will be harmful to you, but I will discuss this with you.  
     
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