Medication and Confidentiality Issues

In the early days of psychoanalysis, analysts believed that treatment with medication would interfere with psychoanalysis. Most modern psychoanalysts believe that, although medicine can sometimes interfere, there are times when it can be used in a helpful way in combination with psychoanalytic psychotherapy or even with psychoanalysis.

"Confidentiality" is the term used to describe the privacy necessary for individuals to be able to speak freely about all their thoughts and feelings. Responsible psychoanalysts and psychotherapists agree to keep private everything about their patients, including the fact that the patient has come for treatment, unless the patient gives permission to release some specific information. One exception is when patients are at risk for hurting themselves or someone else. In Jaffe v. Redmond, an important case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995, the Supreme Court confirmed that confidentiality is necessary for the patient to speak freely in psychotherapy.

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