The law protects the relationship between a client and a psychotherapist, and information cannot be disclosed without written permission.
Exceptions under Washington state law include:
- Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse, which therapists are required by law to report to the appropriate authorities immediately.
- If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s, therapists must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
- If a client intends to harm himself or herself, therapists must make every effort to enlist the client's cooperation in ensuring their safety. If the client does not cooperate, further measures will be taken in order to ensure client safety, as provided by law, with or without the client's permission.