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Alexia Esq.
Alexia Esq., Managing Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13549
Experience:  19 Years of Legal Practice Experience in this precise field.
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As a Marriage Family Therapist in New York State, can you have

Customer Question

As a Marriage Family Therapist in New York State, can you have CCTV cameras anywhere in the office, including treatment rooms? They are for protection against frivolous lawsuits, the safety of employees and work ethics/performance. Access to the video is controlled through passwords that no employee s or other can reach. We do not want to break any patient privacy laws. And since it's a Marriage Family Therapists privately owned clinic we feel there is no issue with "Personal privacy".
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Alexia Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Hi, my name is Alexia and I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing law for 19+ years and work with Mental Health Counselors and other medical providers on a daily basis in my practice. I look forward to assisting you.

Generally, I am finding no NY law, that per se prohibits videotaping or even audiotaping, so long as there is at least one party to the conversation consenting - and presumably you would be getting your own employees, all of them, consenting. However, that does not touch on the ethic rules of your own profession. It would seem that video-taping without informed consent of the patient would be an issue with regard to confidentiality, potentially, and yes, invasion of privacy - since even family members have privacy rights and whether the clinic is privately owned is not the deciding factor. However, that can be easily overcome if you make an informed consent part of your intake process. Yes, you may lose a few clients who are not comfortable with it, but all in all, it is often done for purposes of supervision and monitoring of the junior counselors/therapists - not just for self-protection purposes as you intend it for.

See both links, below, for confirmation that the profession itself, provides that videotaping should be with informed consent (written) and there is no indication that CCTV would be any different:

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Alexia Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, Alexia, Esq.

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