In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a patient and psychotherapist. Information is never disclosed without prior written permission from the patient.
However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. Exceptions include:
Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse: the therapist is required to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person: the therapist is required to notify the police.
If a client intends to harm himself or herself: the therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to ensure their safety; however, if they are felt to be at risk, the relevant authorites will need to be contacted (i.e. psychiatric or medical emergency team, police.