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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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If I tell a psychotherapist something that he or she construes

Resolved Question:

If I tell a psychotherapist something that he or she construes as illegal, can she legally break confidentiality and report it to the police ? I complained about this specific therapist to her supervisor and now I'm worried she's going to use information against me.

What do you think ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr John B replied 4 years ago.


The answer to this question actually depends on a few things.

Where she is practicing,what kind of therapist she is and who she is registered with (registration body), and whether she is legally obligated to mandatory reporting. I can discuss the kind of things that are usually covered by mandatory reporting but the only way you would know exactly what she can/can't do with regards XXXXX XXXXX confidentiality would be to know all of the above details.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
She practices in a clinic in NYC... she a clinical social worker with a psychotherapy license for 6 months at a time. And I told her that I hired an escort for a date and ended up having sex with that escort. It is not illegal, but she is very religious and I complained about her to her supervisor and I'm concerned she might have been fired after i terminated her, and she might try to use information against me.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Expert:  Dr John B replied 4 years ago.

Ok, so she will likely be obligated to mandatory reporting as a clinical social worker but the details of this obligation would be specific to NYC. You should be able to look this up on the web fairly easily, or make a anonymous call to the registration body and ask for the details of any mandatory reporting requirements as it is public information.

Psychotherapists often have a registration with a professional body but these bodies often don't have any legal authority and therefore any code of ethics they endorse aren't enforceable. Again, you would need to know who exactly issued the psychotherapy license to know what her obligations are.

If you have had contact with her supervisor you could also contact that person again and ask for clarification of any mandatory reporting requirements and also ask for follow up information as to what action was taken about your initial complaint (this is within your rights).

I hope this has been of some help. Please let me know if you have further questions or would like me to clarify any part of my answer.

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