Privacy, Confidentiality, and Privileged Communication

This course addresses privacy, confidentiality, and privileged communication in such mental health specialty areas as clinical mental health, rehabilitation, couple and family therapy, school counseling, addiction treatment, group counseling, career counseling, and clinical supervision.
The content of this continuing education program is adapted from Ethics and Decision Making in Counseling and Psychotherapy. Used by permission of Springer Publishing Company, LLC.

Target audience: Psychologists, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers, addiction counselors, nurses

This CE course is designated as beginning to intermediate.

Learning Objectives

Upon completing this program, participants should be able to:

  • Explain differences and similarities of privacy, confidentiality, and privileged communication.
  • Describe ethical standards across mental health professions addressing privacy and confidentiality in their codes of ethics.
  • Print Version / Test Preview
  • Introduction and Copyright
  • Privacy, Confidentiality, and Privileged Communication
  • Ethics Codes and Regulations
  • CE Test
  • Evaluation

Robert Rocco Cottone, PhD, is a professor of counseling and family therapy at the University of Missouri–St. Louis in the Department of Counseling and Family Therapy. He earned his BA and MEd degrees at the University of Missouri– Columbia and his PhD degree at Saint Louis University. He has served on the American Counseling Association (ACA) Ethics Task Force that produced the 2005 revision of the Association’s ethics code. He chaired the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association’s and the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification’s (CRCC’s) collaborative Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors task force for revision of the code in 2000. Dr. Cottone is a licensed professional counselor in Missouri and a licensed psychologist in Missouri and Arizona. He is a Certified Family Therapist (NCACFT). He is the author of several books, including Paradigms of Counseling and Psychotherapy (2012), Toward a Positive Psychology of Religion: Belief Science in the Postmodern Era (2010), and an earlier edition of this text, Counseling Ethics and Decision Making (2007). He has published extensively on matters of professional ethics and ethical decision making in counseling and psychology. He has also written extensively on advanced philosophical and theoretical issues in counseling and psychotherapy.

Vilia Tarvydas, PhD, LMHC, CRC, is professor emeritus and former chair of the Rehabilitation and Counselor Education Department at the University of Iowa. She was the founding director of the Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Ethics (I-DARE), and continues her active scholarship with I-DARE. Dr. Tarvydas previously served as the president of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association, and the American Association of State Counseling Boards (AASCB). In the latter capacity, she was a member of the ACA/AASCB 20/20 Initiative Oversight Committee and developed the Delphi methodology that has guided that process in its last several years.

Dr. Tarvydas has extensive experience in ethics governance and leadership and has chaired the Iowa Board of Behavioral Science and its Disciplinary Committee, as well as the ACA and CRCC ethics committees. She also chaired the CRCC Code Revision Task Force that wrote the 2010 CRCC Code of Professional Ethics, and was a member of the ACA Code Revision Task Force that wrote the 2005 ACA Code of Ethics. Currently, she is a member of the ACA Ethics Appeals Committee. For the last 6 years, she has produced and provided an annual ethics webinar continuing education series that was jointly produced by I-DARE and CRCC, and is series editor for ethics for CRCC’s new continuing education online learning initiative. She was the senior coeditor of a special 2010 joint edition of the new code for three professional journals in rehabilitation counseling: Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, and The Rehabilitation Professional. Dr. Tarvydas has published and presented extensively on ethics, ethical decision making, and professional governance and standards. Her most recent textbooks are Counseling Ethics and Decision Making and The Professional Practice of Rehabilitation Counseling.

APA approved, Yo! At Health is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. At Health maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

At Health is an approved provider of the California Board of Behavior Sciences (PCE 3319). These courses meet the qualifications for continuing education credit for MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

At Health is a provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (CA BRN), Provider # CEP 15512.

California Licensed Vocational Nurses and California Psychiatric Technicians can take online courses by California Board of Registered Nursing (CA BRN) approved providers, such as At Health, to fulfill their CE requirements.

NBCC approved, Yo! At Health, Inc. has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6719. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.  At Health, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Programs are available for continuing education credit for social workers through the co-sponsorship of At Health, Inc., and Amedco, LLC.  Amedco, #1346, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Amedco maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 6/24/2016 to 6/24/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. The following recognize the ASWB program: AB, AK, AL, AR, AZ, BC, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA (PA requires that courses be at least 2 credits), RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VI, VT, WA, WI, and WY.  Participants must pass a posttest with a score of 80% or higher and complete an attendance/evaluation form in order to receive a certificate of completion/attendance. is an approved provider of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, provider #908.

These programs meet the criteria of an approved continuing education program for social work in Arkansas.

These programs meet the criteria of an approved continuing education program for social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, master's level psychologists, licensed clinical psychotherapists, and alcohol and other drug abuse counselors in Kansas.

These programs meet the criteria of an approved continuing education program for mental health practice and for social work in Nebraska.

These programs meet the criteria of an approved continuing education program for psychologists, pastoral psychotherapists, clinical social workers, clinical mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, and alcohol and drug abuse counselors in New Hampshire.

These programs meet the criteria of an approved continuing education program for social workers, professional counselors, marital and family therapists, and clinical pastoral therapists in Tennessee. is approved as a continuing education provider by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) Provider #148460.

The above CE sponsorships are honored by many additional state boards of social work, marriage and family therapy, and licensed professional counseling. Some restrictions may apply. Check with your state board or certifying organization to find out if online courses or home study are accepted as part of your continuing education requirement for license renewal or re-certification, or call At Health at 888-284-3258 for information regarding CE approvals.

Page last modified on July 27, 2016

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Type: PDF    Credits: 2 CE    Price: $33   Refund Policy
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