By David Joel Miller.
Do counselors report crimes? Morning Question #10
The general answer is NO! The more you can talk to a therapist about the more likely you will be helped to change your behavior. Therapists have a legal and ethical duty to NOT repeat what you say. Any exceptions to that rule are determined by law. See my posts on “How Much Should You Tell a Therapist?” or “Why pay a therapist when you can just talk to a friend?”
So could a government somewhere make a law that the therapist had to report a crime? Sure could.
There are laws in many places that protect patient and psychotherapists communication, very similar to doctor and patient privilege. The relationship between a patient and a psychotherapist is held to be special, like that between a person and a religious priest.
The principle exceptions to not having to report crimes are, abuse of children, the elderly and the disabled, (see – Does abuse of seniors and the elderly get reported?), and if you are suicidal or plan to kill someone else. Also if you are being investigated by homeland security we may have to report. As long as homeland security confines their investigations to known terrorists I am OK with this, as it falls under that duty to protect other intended victims. Some therapists have worried that this could be interpreted as needing information of a particular religion or political party and we would mostly be opposed to that sort of reporting.
Short answer: past crimes usually do not get reported, future and ongoing crimes like abuse or a plan to kill probably will be reported.
See also – How much should you tell a therapist?
Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!
Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.
If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track.
Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.
Bumps on the Road of Life is available in both Kindle and paperback formats.
The robbers wanted more than money; they planned to kill Arthur’s fiancé and her boss.
Arthur Mitchell was trying to start his life over with a fiancé and a new job. Then the casino robbers shoot Arthur, kill his fiancée, and her boss. Arthur would like to forget that horrible day, but the traumatic nightmares and constant reminders won’t let him, and someone is still out to get him. When he tries to start over by running a rural thrift store, someone knocks him unconscious, vandalize the store, and finally tries to kill him. His only chance to find peace is to figure out what the killers want from him and why. Casino Robbery is available in Kindle and paperback editions.
Other books are due out soon; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page or my Facebook author’s page, David Joel Miller. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.