Privacy and the assurance of confidentiality are essential and necessary for effective psychotherapy.  When you know that anything said to your psychologist in session will remain confidential, you will likely feel more comfortable discussing difficult topics and will be better able to utilize your time in treatment. My own research on confidentiality concluded that people do volunteer more information in a setting with complete privacy.  Further, privacy gives you the opportunity to try out the psychotherapy process without risk; no one will ever know that you were in treatment or how much progress was made.

There are many benefits from privacy in psychotherapy.  Patients often seek treatment to deal with job situations which they do not feel comfortable discussing with friends or family.  Some people want a place to discuss a “bad” relationship that they keep secret because they know others will disapprove.   Others wish to get an objective opinion about their substance use, “quirky” behavior, or sexual practices in order to determine if there is a serious problem.   The process of letting go of long ago events with which people are still struggling can be achieved without anyone else finding out about the past.  You can feel comfortable saying things you have never said before without fear of judgment or criticism in the safety of the therapist’s office.  If you have difficulty feeling safe, it is my job to help you get to that level of comfort.

My office has separate exits and entrances to maximize privacy.   I am familiar with the demands on public figures; considerations are made in order to keep knowledge of their visits out of the public eye.

There are a few legal exceptions to therapist/patient confidentiality.  Psychologists are legally bound to notify the authorities when a patient reports a detailed plan to hurt another person, or to abuse a child or elderly person.  The privilege of confidentiality no longer applies when a patient chooses to use a psychologist’s report and/or testimony in a legal proceeding.

When I wrote Rich and Famous but Not Happy, great care was taken to protect the actual identities of the people who provided the valuable lessons presented in the book.  I disguised any identifying characteristics of the patients’ lives.  In addition, the individuals portrayed in the book were actually composites of two or three people because this particular population shares common and similar life circumstances.  I am certain that anyone who believes they recognize the profiles described in the book will be mistaken. (see book page)

I will be happy to answer any other questions you may have about confidentiality and how it may relate to your individual circumstances.

© Barbara Cadow, Ph.D.  2015

Barbara Cadow, Ph.D.

10921 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 507

Los Angeles, CA  90024

(310) 824-3500