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Ask Carol Kryder LMFT Your Own Question
Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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say you wanted to get into therapy to just help you out with

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say you wanted to get into therapy to just help you out with life stuff or whatever issues you have. If you wanted to be totally honest with the therapist but you were involved in some criminal activity but felt that was a huge part of what your issues are. So my question is does the therapist have the right to call the police or is it some "oath" thing of therapists that they have to turn you in or take legal action. Or is it that they have to keep it confidential. The illigal stuff is nothing violent so no one including the person in therapy is harmed by this activity.
Generally, the ethical code of any major professional therapist, psychologist, social worker, counselor organization mandates that they report in the case of child or elder abuse as well as in the case of any specific threat of harm to another person and more recently in the case of a threat to national security.

As for criminal activity, generally, if the activity does not involve harming a child, or an elderly person, and if it is not a specific threat to another person or to national security, it would come under the privilege of therapist-client confidentiality.

HOWEVER, if for some reason your records were subpoenaed by a court in a criminal matter, your therapist may be forced to produce those records, and of course that would be problematic for you.

I suggest you tell the therapist what is going on at the first session because you need to be able to trust that therapist for any good to happen with the therapy. Let them know that you may be telling them things that you don't want repeated or subpoenaed. The therapist will then tell you what their policy is, and you can then decide whether or not you wish to continue with that person.
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