Privacy and Confidentiality

Privacy and Confidentiality

Your Personal Privacy and Confidentiality

Protecting your privacy and confidentiality is essential to support your comfort in the work we do together — in addition to the professional, legal, and ethical requirements of my profession.

In addition, DC brings its own set of challenges and concerns for those in the public eye — and/or dealing with concerns about security clearance — who want to work on deeply personal or vulnerable issues.

While many of the people who see me hold very high security clearances, or are considered “high profile” citizens, I take every patient’s privacy and confidentiality extremely seriously, and have a very strong privacy policy.

  • Voicemail and email are accessed only by me. I personally handle all calls and emails from patients, without additional staff.
  • I’m the only person who has access to any psychotherapy charts. Those charts aren’t accessible to anyone else in my office, nor will they be provided to or discussed with anyone else without your clear, specific permission and authorization. As an example, you might ask me to coordinate care with your physician; I’ll only do so after you sign a form authorizing me to speak with them for that specified communication.
  • I won’t speak to your spouse, partner, family, or friends, or even acknowledge that you are a patient of mine, without your specific, signed authorization. You won’t have a diagnosis in your psychotherapy chart unless you choose to file for insurance reimbursement.
  • The door to my suite has only the suite number on it, not my name or profession; there’s no indication on the door (nor on the building) that it is a psychotherapy office.

It’s important to understand that there are certain circumstances where I legally must breach confidentiality.

Limits of Confidentiality:

• Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse
• If a patient is threatening serious bodily harm to another person
• If a patient intends to harm himself or herself
• If a court order or subpoena has been placed. I will always do my best to have such orders quashed/cancelled.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about maintaining your privacy and confidentiality in psychotherapy.

Marsha Lucas, PhD – Psychologist
1350 Connecticut Ave NW, at Dupont Circle
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-3318