Client confidentiality

From BoyWiki

Client confidentiality is when people who are in mental health treatment are able to make incriminating statements without having those statements reported to the authorities. In the U.S., an exception to the doctor-patient privilege sometimes exists when the mental health worker is a mandated reporter with regard to offenses involving children. Also, court-ordered sex offender treatment providers typically provide reports to the court:[1]

The therapist who provides such court-ordered treatment for sexual offenders must make regular reports to parole officers, judges, and child protection workers. The therapist is given the power to judge when the treatment has been successfully completed and discharge is granted. This puts the therapist in the role of the jailer. Also, any information given by the sex offender about other victims or offenses must be reported by the therapist. Langevin and Lang (1985) comment that a therapist who serves both as helper-therapist and as informer for the law becomes a "double agent."

This difficulty is illustrated by a recent Minnesota case. The client, who was in a sex offender treatment program following his conviction for rape, was asked as part of the treatment to write detailed accounts of other times in which he had sexually assaulted women. He complied and produced a written account of several other incidents. This was then given to the police by the probation officer. The man was later convicted on the basis of this written account and sentenced to nine years in prison (Zack, 1990).