Sometimes, therapists find it helpful to discuss your concerns or behaviors with other people in their lives. A psychologist may want to interview the spouse to better understand what's going on at home, for example. If a child is having trouble at school, the psychologist may want to interview the child's teachers or school counselors. Other people that the therapist may be potentially interested to seek information are – medical doctors, psychiatrists, siblings / friends, other family members involved in patient’s care. There could also be situations where the therapist needs to share information with these people. In both these situations, the therapist usually will discuss with the patient what information may be sought / shared and how this might help the treatment.
The twin crucial guiding principles for any discussion with others is that it must help the psychotherapy / treatment and only the bare minimum information from the therapy be shared with others. With minors (children and adolescents) the patient, parent(s) and therapist will sit down together to discuss ground rules for confidentiality. That way both parents and children know exactly what types of information the therapist might share with parents, and what will keep private. As a patient if you have any concerns about your therapist speaking with any of these people, please do share your concerns. That will help you both come up with a plan to resolve these concerns.
Specifically at Antarnad, if you are seeing a therapist in training, s/he will be discussing the therapy with the clinical supervisor and colleagues without disclosing your full name. These discussions are meant to help support therapy / treatment being more effective. All the Antarnad staff (supervisors, therapists in training, administrative staff) are expected to keep patient privacy.
In some specific situations, the psychotherapist may choose to share information without a patient’s consent or prior discussion with him/her. These are usually related to concerns about a patient being in danger of hurting herself or himself or somebody else being in danger or in situations of life threatening medical emergencies. If there arise any other situations where information may need to be disclosed, all efforts will be made to contact the patient and discuss the issue.
If you choose to tell your friends or family that you're seeing a psychotherapist, you are free to do so. How much information you decide to share is up to you. Your therapist is ethically bound to protect your privacy regardless of what information you choose to share with others.
Typically therapists won't connect with patients on social media sites, even if the patient initiates the request. Or have long text/chat/email exchanges or phone discussions outside of regular therapy appointments. Also, if patients happen to see their therapists at other social / professional meetings, they will keep the interaction to a bare minimum.
If at any time during your treatment you have questions / concerns / complaints about confidentiality, please ask to speak to the Dean of Training (Academic & Clinical).
In the context of treatment at Antarnad - psychotherapy, counseling, psychoanalysis imply the same thing. Similarly the terms counselor, therapist, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, analyst will be used interchangeably.