ERIC Number: ED269660
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Privileged Communication: Legal Status & Ethical Issues.
Herlihy, Barbara; Sheeley, Vernon Lee
This report presents findings of research regarding extant privileged communication statutes in the 50 states for selected helping professionals: psychologists, social workers, marriage and family therapists/counselors, school counselors, and licensed professional counselors. Data are reported regarding the extent to which each of these professional groups has been successful in establishing that their communications with clients are entitled to legal privilege, the scope of privilege extended, and specified exceptions to privilege. Implications for practice are addressed. Counselors are cautioned that existing statutes do not represent absolute guarantees, and that there are certain circumstances under which they are always obligated to breach confidentiality. Finally, four strategies are discussed for counselors desiring to maintain confidentiality when called upon to testify in court: (1) they may explain their code of ethics to the presiding judge and request that privilege be extended to them; (2) if a request for privilege is denied, they may ask that their testimony be heard in camera; (3) they may enter into an attorney-client relationship with the lawyer representing the client's case; and (4) they may testify, or refuse to testify and risk being held in contempt of court. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Association for Counseling and Development (Los Angeles, CA, April 20-23, 1986).