CPS Confidentiality Policy

WHAT DOES CONFIDENTIALITY MEAN?
Due to the sensitive and personal nature of counseling, testing, and assessment, questions regarding confidentiality are completely understandable. If, after reading this page, you have additional questions about the confidentiality of our services, please email us.

All therapeutic services at Chilhowee Psychological Services (CPS) are strictly confidential. This means that nothing you share with Chilhowee Psychological Services is revealed to anyone outside of CPS without your permission. We are not allowed to even disclose your name or identifying information to anyone outside of CPS including your family, other physicians, or places of business. The psychological services CPS provides are bound by the legal requirements of the National Privacy Principles from the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000.

In order to provide you with the highest quality of care, we may consult with various clinicians in the CPS staff group. Other than these internal consultations, it is completely your decision whether to tell anyone that you are using our services. If, for example, you would like CPS to speak with someone (e.g. your family, an outside doctor, or anyone else) about some aspect of your assessment or treatment, we can do that, but you'll need to sign an authorization form. This legal document enables CPS to discuss any matter of your choosing with a specified person.

ARE THERE LIMITS TO CONFIDENTIALITY?
Yes. There are situations in which we are required by law and/or professional ethics to release information. These include:

  1. Our assessment that you may be a danger to yourself or others.
  2. Our assessment that a child or elder is being abused, neglected, or exploited.
  3. If we are required to present records or information as a part of a legal proceeding and are subpoenaed by the court.

Although these are very rare occurrences, should any of these situations arise, our staff will make every effort to discuss with you what steps will be taken.

WHAT ABOUT AIRLINE COMPANY INQUIRIES?
Some airlines do, in fact, check to make sure that the mental health professional who signs your treatment recommendation letter for an emotional support animal is a licensed clinician, although they typically do this via online verification by a state board of certification website (there's one for each state). By federal law, a mental health professional or related agency is unable to release any information about a client without his or her express written permission. Airlines and other businesses may call or email us (our contact info and office telephone number is listed on the "contact us" page of this website) to verify licensure information, but it is unlawful for us to confirm even the name of a client.