Marc Leibson, M.Ed., LMFT and the Human Process and Development Group take confidentiality very seriously. We absolutely support client’s our client’s complete right to confidentiality, within the limitations of Kentucky statutes and laws.
The legal limitations are these:
If a counselor or therapist learns that a person is being harmed, is going to be harmed, or is very likely to be harmed, then we are required by law to make sure that situation is reported to the proper authorities. Either we can make the call, or the client can make the call in our presence. Either way, the situation must be reported, or the counselor/therapist will risk legal action and the loss of the license to practice.
From a legal point of view, it does not matter if the person is harmed by another person, or if the person is seriously endangering her or his own self. When the physical well-being of person is in question, it is legally required that it be reported.
There are times when one partner in a couple has serious and important secrets which he, or she wishes to keep from the other partner. Legally, this is not a problem. The law does not require such a disclosure (unless there is a physical risk). However, if the couple has a goal of working to improve their relationship, and if counseling is going to help, then, at some point, it will become necessary for secret to be brought out in the open.
Counseling cannot be helpful for couples where one (or both) partner’s chose to keep major secrets from the other partner.
If you “try” counseling, and do not make important and challenging disclosures (at least sometime during the process) then you really haven’t done what is necessary for counseling to work. A person who attends counseling and holds on to important secrets is not being a “good guy,” is not being fair, and is not using her, or his best integrity. You only give counseling a fair chance when you are willing to do the hard work. You may tell yourself, “well, I gave it a shot!” ... but that is not the truth... the truth is that you did not give it a fair shot. Merely attending counseling sessions is not the same thing as doing the work.