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confidentiality
March 20, 2000
8:58 pm
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chris-tina
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does anyone know the particulars on the laws in the US re a therapists confidentiality. particulary when they feel that a patient's own life is at risk? when can they talk and to whom?

March 23, 2000
11:58 am
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Frieda
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Are you asking because you would like to admit that you are suicidal without being hospitalized?

March 27, 2000
12:03 am
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WillieDe
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confidentiality in most states requires a therapists to report if a person might do harm to themselves or another. Check with your BSRB in your state for your state law. As far as I know there are no federal laws, because each state governs their own therapists.

April 10, 2000
10:11 pm
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chris-tina
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Awnsering Freida's question. . . yes. . . i guess. I don't want to be hosipitalized, and i don't want my therapis to talk to my parents (i'm not a minor, but becuase my mother pays my therapy bills, she talks to my therapist on the phone.) I'm scared that by talking i will take controll of my life out of my own hands. In a way suicide was the only controll i have left. But, it has now gotten out of control. However, i'm afraid that by admitting how bad it has gotten, i will loose even more controll. Does that make any sense??? I'm not sure what to do now.

April 11, 2000
8:49 am
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hazza
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Christina,
i think that you need to talk this through with your therapist.
but surely if you seem on the edge of suicide, then your therapist would be right to talk to your mother? if you are not feeling so suicidal, then there would be no reason for the therapist to talk to your mother, as you would not be in that "emergency" state.
your idea that suicde is the only control you have left, is understandable, but that is the very thing that would make your therapist likely to break confidentiality. the therapist would need to act in order to make sure you didn't take your own life.
if you are feeling suicidal your therapist must put your PHYSICAL saftey over the confidentiality.
if you are not suicidal, then there would be no reason to break the confidentiality. there is no reason for your mother to be told anything that goes on UNLESS it looks like you would be a danger to yourself.

is there no way that you can talk to your mother yourself about things?

there is no reason that she should be told anything just because she is paying the bill, other than maybe if you are making progress or not.
But she may be desperatey worried about you, and wants to help you. maybe you could tell her that you are glad she is there for you but you have some things that it is best left between you and the therapist.
there may be other things that you can discuss with her, it may even help. it is a lot of stress trying to protect yourself and keep everything private. I found that when i finally told my mother some of my issues, the fact that she annoys me alot and doesn't really understand everything was not so important and the facts that i didn't have to hide so much anymore, and she understood me a little better and i realised that she did care because she tried the best she know how to help.
peace
Hazza

April 11, 2000
10:16 pm
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chris-tina
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Thanks Hazza. That makes sense. Still I don't know if I can talk to my therapist about it. I am really scared about loosing control. I do not want to be hosipitalized! I'm in school right now, and only a year away from graduating. It is Very hard finishing my classes... I have lots of incompletes. But, I'm doing the best that I can to finish. I can't afford (time or tuition) to take time off now. And, I'm studying elementary education. when I'm applying for a teaching job, how do I explain why I took that time off? Still, my thoughts are getting out of control. So bad that I really need to talk to someone. But the worse that I get the more scared I am that my therapist will break that confidentiality. Where do I turn? I need someone that I can talk to who won't break that confidentiality. I thought that I could talk to my best friend. But, 6 months ago she called my parents and two of my friends. Everything spun out of control after that. The next month was the worst of my life! I'm so scared of that happening again. How do I know that if I talk that won't happen?

April 11, 2000
11:43 pm
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Ima
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I like to ask theoretical questions: What would happen if a client told you he was suicidal? It is of course a leading question, but I found I could introduce the topic, and my counselor would help me evaluate how serious I was. I don't know why I would be suicidal. Control? Attention? To make it obvious that I'm not just struggling, I'm drowning? Your counselor will want to know if you have a "plan" of any kind, and will probably make himself more available, which can be a great pressure valve. I'd encourage you to get it out in the (very safe, guarded) open. It takes away a good amount of the tension. Well, that's my first-hand account, chris-tina. You're not alone.

April 13, 2000
3:29 pm
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eve
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christina,

if you don't dare talk to your therapist - talk to a crisis hotline. They are anonymous, and maybe they can reassure you aubout confidentiality.

Take care.

April 14, 2000
6:02 pm
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lew45
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christina, When you started therepy did they give you any papers on what they could do or not. The one I go to and it is in ks. it says right on their if you have thoughts to self harm they can call the board or police and have you put in a hospitol for your own saftey. On the other hand I think it depends on your councler and she should not tell your Mom any thing just becouse she pays the bill only if you say its ok. I have been suicidal and put my therapist in a bad position but she has called someone that I ask her to instead of the cops which I appreciated more than she will ever know cause my husband new nothing about what I was doing to myself. I think you could be more open with your therapist if you wouldn't have to worry about her telling your Mom. Talk to her about it.

April 14, 2000
8:47 pm
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chris-tina
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lew45--that makes a lot of sense. I'll give it some thought. Thanks!

April 15, 2000
12:30 pm
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lew45
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christina, I also know what you meant by the control deal. For a long time I would keep pills so that if I needed a way out I would have them Just the other day I took them to my therapist becouse i didn't trust myself .one of the hardest things I've done becouse that was one thing that I could fall back on if I needed to. I think a person that is suicidal doesn't really want to die they want to be helped in the worse way. I really don't think people who havn't delt with this has any idea that you can't control the feeling you have. You don't want to hurt anyone like some people say You just want to be helped. If you can't talk to your therapist about this becouse of being afraid they will put you in the hospitol their are lots of help lines that don't even need to know your name. They will still talk to you and you need to seek that when you feel this way. Please talk to someone about this cause it won't just go away.

April 16, 2000
1:17 pm
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chris-tina
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Lew45,

Thank you so much. You're the first person that I've talked to that seems to understand. Yes I do want help in the worst way. But, I'm just afraid to seek that help for how people react. I'm sick of my best friend telling me how selfish I am for feeling this way or therapists either not taking me seriously or threatening to commit me to a hospital. Your words really hit home, and somehow gave me a little more stregnth do do something. Thanks. I will consider taling more to my therapist about it. And, does anybody know where I can find the number of a hotline to call if I need?

April 16, 2000
5:12 pm
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lew45
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Chris Tina, Type in suicide hot line and you can see the different places to call one number I found was 1-800-233-4357 and they said if you got someone on their that you didn't think understands you to hang up and try again cause sometimes you might feel they don't understand. I don't think your friend understands you and thats why she says the things she does. Are you on any medications that could help? I'm glad I can help and if you need some more help I will try to anyway I can so just write and I will try and ck. often. God bless you and I do know how you feel and I do want to help you if I can.Hang in their cause their are alot of people out their that do understand what your going through and will help just talk about whatever you need to you will not be judged from anyone that undersstands you and what your going through.

April 16, 2000
10:38 pm
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chris-tina
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Thanks. I wrote down the number and put it by my phone. I also noticed just after I got your message I also noticed the banner at the top of the page to log onto this web page has a link for crisis phone numbers. Anyway, thanks so much for listening. Today was a bad day. I only got out of bed for a shower, breakfast, and dinner. I made it through the day though and hopefully tomorrow will be better. What you said about giving your pills to your therapist interested me. I've actually thought about that many times, but it seemed pointless since I know that I'll always have access to some (even if it is only my perscription.) I've tried putting my box of medicine on top of a high shelf, so that it is harder for me to get to them and every time that I do I am reminded that I do not want to kill myself. Any other ideas? I'm scared of what I might do next time I get really bad.

April 16, 2000
11:30 pm
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soos
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Please give yourself permission to call a hotline, even if it's just to say what you've told us here. Just knowing I CAN call (and have) gives me a sense of protection. I know there is a boundary out there4 that I can set. Go ahead and call! They won't hospitalize you, and you can get a better perspective of how much danger you're in. It's worth your peace of mind, and it's worth a chance at hope. They'll also give you a way to talk to your therapist. Don't give up, Babe! My heart is right there with you. Giving your therapist your meds might just be token, but I think it's BRILLIANT!!!

April 17, 2000
12:10 am
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lew45
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chris-tina, Promise me that you will call someone and talk to them about how you are feeling don't wait till you get at your worst. I know I have a tendancy to think well I can't call becouse they will think I'm stupide and I allways think that i'm sure their are others that need to talk worse than me so why should I bother them .Think about it how much worse can you get when your thinking about harming yourself? When people say your selfish when you want to harm yourself what they don't understand at that point and time your not thinking about others you just want out of the pain your in and you don't no what else to do. True, you can always find pills to take but it did make me feel better to at least no that I am trying. Just remember before you do anything call someone who will understand not someone that will say things like oh you won't do it or your selfish cause that has a tendancy to eat on you.I'm really sorry you had such a bad day. Tomarrow will be a new day and we just take one day at a time.I'm hear if you need me.

April 17, 2000
2:47 am
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soos
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CALL

Have you called yet?

April 17, 2000
1:24 pm
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chris-tina
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I'm feeling a lot better today. At least I was until I read this. Now I'm really shakey.I just feel like I don't have time to deal with this all right now. I'm already a week behind in my classes. If I start thinking about myself again, talking to people, and calling a hotline it is just going to drag more of it up again and I won't be able to accomplish anything. I feel like if I push it all away for a couple more months then I'll have time to deal with it.

. . . that is if I could only figure out how to get through the next couple of months.

You were right on when you said this: "I know I have a tendancy to think well I can't call becouse they will think I'm stupide and I allways think that i'm sure their are others that need to talk worse than me so why should I bother them." I'm feeling so much better lately and am in no immediate danger of harming myself. What's the use in calling? I called a crisis line once before. I was a ton worse than I am now, but even then after I got off of the phone I felt so stupid for calling. I was fine. . . what did I expect them to do?

I don't know. . . I'm really confused right now.

April 17, 2000
4:32 pm
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soos
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OK, we're not professionals. I just know what helps me, and I want desperately for you to finish your year well, with no regrets. Will you have time this summer to think about you? Your first post was March 20th and look! You've made it another month. You'll make it. Just remember if it all gets overwhelming again, you have resources. My heartfelt best wishes, chris-tina!

April 18, 2000
1:46 am
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lew45
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chris-Tina, Well I just got home from the hospitol and cked to see if you had posted. I'm sorry we have confussed you . If you are feeling much better concentrate on your school work and get it out of the way . When we work on problems ,for me, it seems to get worse before it gets better I think alot of times thats why we try to lay them aside and not deal with them becouse we are tierd of hurting and just want to forget about them but then sooner or latter you become overwhelmed by them and your right back where you were. This is how I feel and believe me I try to do that all the timed but usually my therapist straightens me out by saying trying to avoid the problem doesn't work but for a little while cause the problems still their. You have to work on the root of the problem and It may hurt like hell for a while. Talk to your therapist about this and she what she says I would be interested to know. Like the other girl said we are not professinals by no means we just want to tell you how we feel and share with you some of our own happinings and feelings . Take care and let us know how schools going and how you are doing. God bless.

April 18, 2000
7:25 am
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janes
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What's the use in calling?
A life that is your own and not at the whims of thoughts that are telling you that you are stupid and not worthy of help.

You need to make THE call, ANY call that will put in touch with someone to help you sort out your feelings of low self esteem.

Why would others be worth more than you?

God put each of us here for a reason...perhaps you havn't noticed your reason yet. There may be a child or adult that in two years is going to need you to lean on for some reason you don't even know.

You are capable, lovable and worthy of all the love and care you can find.

If you wer a bother we would not rspond. But you are NOT A BOTHER!!!!!

April 18, 2000
8:06 am
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lew45
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Janes,You put that very well and I hope that chris-tina relizes that she is no bother and like you said we would not respond if we thought that. I wish when I was in high school that I would of had suport like this becouse I was really shy and I think this would of helped me a lot. Chris- tina we all do care very much and yes it doesn't hurt to just talk about how you feel even though you do feel better but only you will know when the time is right . Please take care and know that we are hear to help you so you are never alone.

April 18, 2000
11:34 am
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Cici
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Chris-tina,

I'm in college right now and unfortunately had to drop out last spring due to substance abuse and depression and anxiety. I went back to classes slowly because my parents wanted it that way...taking one that summer, two last fall and three this spring.

I just wanted to write to tell you that it's ok to take time off. No one will question you, especially if you just make it a non-issue. I'm open about receiving councelling (although I am a psych major and roughly 85-90% of the psych majors I know receive councelling). I'm also open about having substance abuse problems.

It's ok to take time off for yoruself because really, if you don't, your grades, your self-esteem, you yourself will fall behind. Not just your classes. If you need the help, please go get it. there is nothing wrong with that.

April 19, 2000
8:09 am
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hazza
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Christina, Hi i have read your posts and my heart goes out to you it really does. Luckily, i have never felt so suicidal that i feared i would do anything serious, but i have felt so long at times in my life to wish myself off this planet, believe me.

What it really all comes down to, as others here have pointed out so well, is that you are here living your life, and one day, as most of us learn, the priority in your life is YOU, your feelings wishes hopes etc. Many of us shy away from this fact because we have been conditioned to believe that it is selfish to put our needs first. Well that is rubbish, it is NOT selfish, it is essential.

I wish so much that i had learned this earlier in life,.

If you are this unhappy now, then quite frankly you need to realise that this is happening and you are very important and this is your priority, period.

schooling can wait, if youa re not up to it now, as Cici says, take time out, it is no big deal if you do, you may find that when you have nutured yourself more you will be better able to study later, than you are right now.

As for your best friend saying you are selfish, i am sorry but what kind of best friend is that. now she may be tired of not being able to make you happy, but you are not being selfish, you just need to get happy, and that is not an unreasonable wish is it?

things are just too much for you right now, so please take time for YOU. get yourself some councelling and take on the responsibility of looking after yourself. If you fear that you may harm yourself, then tell someone. but find someone who can handle that, like a trained councellor, because many people just can't and that may be why you feel they dont care. I bet they do care but they just don't know how to help, so with friends and family you sometimes need to tell them what you need.
i have done this a lot this year and i have actually explained to many people how i am taking this time for me because this is my priority. I have been amazed how many people have actually repsected that, now they understand that i am serious about sorting out my life, becuase i want to get back to being able to enjoy it.
please make it your no. 1 job, to do eveything you can to help yourself through this, take it on as your job to be kind to yourself, you deserve it and it will only help. feel the desire to overcome these awful feelings deep inside you and you will start making positive steps for yourslef instead of thinking you are stupid or not worthy.
You are worthy, just like I am worthy and so are we all worthy of caring for our own selves and happiness.
Peace
hazza

April 20, 2000
6:46 am
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janes
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Don't just be open to counseling. GO!!
Personally I find it a good idea that people in the counseling/therapy realm would get counsseling prior to beginning their careers. That way unresolved issues would be dealt with by other professionals and perhaps not taint the counselor/client role.

May people seek a helping profession due to issues they have, to help those that may have suffered like they have.

Seeking help does not make one any less of a person..and perhaps increases the potential for wholeness

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