Principle V

Confidentiality

Analysts have a primary obligation to respect the confidentiality of information that is relevant to the treatment of an analysand in the course of their professional activities.

  1. Analysands are entitled to know under what conditions their material may be divulged. Where appropriate, analysts shall inform their analysands of the legal limits of confidentiality.
  2. Information obtained during analytic sessions and group therapy, and/or presented in case seminars and professional meetings is discussed only for professional purposes, always taking care to protect the anonymity of the analysand.
  3. Analysts should refrain from presenting case material of recognizable analysands (e.g., trainees or Foundation staff members) in training seminars and professional meetings. This material should be confined to consultations with colleagues or supervisors and the identity of the analysand should be carefully protected.
  4. Analysts who present personal information obtained during the course of their professional activities in writings, lectures or other public forums must obtain prior consent from the analysand to do so and must disguise all identifying information.
  5. Analysts shall make provisions for maintaining confidentiality in the storage and disposal of records. An analyst may release confidential information only with the written authorization of the analysand or under proper legal compulsion.
  6. Analysts at times may find it necessary, in order to protect the analysand or the community from imminent danger, to reveal confidential information disclosed by the analysand. At all times the analyst must weigh the right of the analysand to confidentiality and thus to unimpaired treatment and the right of the community to protect its own welfare and the right of the profession to preserve its ethical standards.