Immunity is provided for from suit relating to disclosure of confidential information.
A licensed professional counselor may not reveal any communication revealed by their client when the client has employed the counselor in a professional capacity.
There shall be no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action shall arise against, any person who is a licensed marriage and family therapist in failing to predict and warn of and protect from a patient's violent behavior except where the patient has communicated a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or victims.
The duty shall be discharged by making reasonable efforts to communicate the threat to the victim or victims and to a law enforcement agency.
(Possibly permissive disclosure if Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorney's would apply - See opinion of attorney general Ark. (Possibly permissive disclosure if Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorney's would apply - See opinion of attorney general Ark. Yes - Duty to Protect - Permissive; Applies to: licensed certified social workers, licensed master social workers, and licensed social workers or their secretaries, clerks, and stenographers.
No licensed certified social worker, master social worker, or his or her secretary, stenographer or clerk may disclose any information he or she may have acquired from persons consulting them in their professional capacity except these professionals shall not be required to treat as confidential a communication that reveals the contemplation for a crime or a harmful act.
Information may be provided to Governmental or law enforcement agencies if necessary to (1) secure the return of a patient who is on unauthorized absence from any agency where the patient was undergoing evaluation and treatment; (2) report a crime on the premises; or (3) to avert a serious and imminent threat to an individual or the public.
Any duty owed by a mental health provider to take reasonable precautions can be fulfilled by the following: (1) communicating when possible the threat to all identifiable victims; (2) notifying a law enforcement agency in the vicinity of where the patient or any potential victim resides; (3) taking reasonable steps to initiate proceedings for voluntary or involuntary hospitalization if appropriate; or (4) taking any other precautions that a reasonable and prudent mental health provider would take under the circumstances. See Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys, Rule 1.6 which allows for disclosure to prevent future harm, specifically refer to Comments. See Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys, Rule 1.6 which allows for disclosure to prevent future harm, specifically refer to Comments.Most states have laws that either require or permit mental health professionals to disclose information about patients who may become violent.Those laws are receiving increased attention following recent mass shootings, such as those in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn. 15, 2013, moves that state's law from a permissive to a mandatory duty for mental health professionals to report when they believe patients may pose a danger to themselves or others but protects therapists from both civil and criminal liability for failure to report if they act "in good faith." New York's new law also allows law enforcement to remove firearms owned by patients reported to be likely to be dangerous.Information and records obtained in the course of a screening investigation, evaluation, examination or treatment by welfare, social services and related institutions are confidential except to be disclosed to a law enforcement agency when there is a substantiated concern over imminent danger to the community by a person presumed to have a mental illness.Places communications between client and a licensed psychologist on the same basis as those of attorney client privilege.One exception springs from an effort to protect potential victims from a patient’s violent behavior.California courts imposed a legal duty on psychotherapists to warn third parties of patients’ threats to their safety in 1976 in Tarasoff v. This case triggered passage of “duty to warn” or “duty to protect” laws in almost every state as summarized in the map and, in more detail, in the chart below. The American Psychological Association has advocated allowing mental health workers to exercise professional judgment regarding the duty to warn and not to unnecessarily expand “dangerous patient” exceptions.Privilege does not extend when psychologist has a duty to report as required by law. Behavioral health professional - client privilege does not extend when the professional has a duty to (1) inform victims and appropriate authorities that a client's condition indicates a clear and imminent danger to the client or others; or (2) to report information required by law.A health care entity must keep records and information contained in records confidential unless a specific exception is provided for.Exceptions allow the counselor to communicate confidential information to a potential victim, the family of a potential victim, law enforcement authorities, or other appropriate authorities concerning a clear and immediate probability of physical harm to the client, other individuals, or society.Counselors are also exempted from confidentiality as mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect and harm or assaults suffered by vulnerable adults.