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Where do counselors report things?
Old 02-22-2013, 11:53 AM   #1
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Where do counselors report things?

My youngest is struggling a bit at school with some behavior issues and DW suggested we ave her talk to a counselor. I am OK with that, but I do not want her to suffer any long term repercussions from being branded as a problem. I am intending to require the counselor to agree in writing that any of their conclusions are for my express use as the paying client (will be paying cash if we do this) and that they will be recorded or reported to noone else. Is this a real concern? I know enough about how individuals effectively get blacklisted by the medical profession via insurers that I am extremely suspicious. I would probably never agree to counseling for myself as a result and am only willing to consider it for DD because we are trying to help her.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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Even though preexisting conditions are eliminated as a reason to deny payment or coverage, there is no requirement for insurers to stop tracking or accumulating individual data. If data can be used in the future, it will be. I think your concern is reasonable and approach realistic.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:22 PM   #3
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I assume by counselor you mean a mental health professional such as a psychologist or a social worker or other type of psychotherapist.

In general, communications with such therapists are privileged. You should talk with the therapist as to what exceptions to privilege exist in your state. For example, in some states a therapist is required to give warning or to report if someone threatens to kill someone else. This is a complex issue as to what exceptions exist and does vary from state to state so you should talk with the therapist.

Are you just taking the child to a therapist or do you plan to have an evaluation done? In general, when a child has behavorial issues this can be due to a variety of different things. Just off the top of my head - there is a difference between a child who is a depressed and a child with ADHD, for example. Sometimes learning disabilities can seem like behavioral issues. And, so how that issue is treated can vary depending on the underlying cause.

If the child has behavioral problems at school sometimes the school will want to talk to the child's therapist. In general, I would refuse to allow this. That said, sometimes a child may need to have some accommodations at school and you might provide a report to the school to support the need. Even in that situation, I would provide the written report but would not authorize the school to talk to my child's therapist.

All of that said - I have children with ADHD who have seen therapists over the years and I've never had any medical repercussions from it at all.

Sometimes people if they don't want a record of it in insurer records pay for mental health treatment themselves and don't submit it to insurance. I can understand doing that if the treatment won't be for a long period of time.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:33 PM   #4
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She isn't disabled, its just a bad behavior pattern that needs to be corrected. We are considering a child counselor/psychologist. I know these discussions are privileged, but once things are written down they have a way of escaping, especially if there are insurers circling around. I am not looking for a formal diagnosis, just perhaps some help in changing behavior. I frankly have a deep-seated distrust of the entire profession, but we are struggling with how to help DD and DW is a counselor (org psych/career counselor; different specialty) so I am being pushed toward haveing to consider it against my better judgement.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
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I can't address the question of confidentiality. But FWIW my DD had behavior problems as a pre-teen (approx 20 yrs ago). We used a counselor (social worker, not psychiatrist) and, frankly, hadn't given thought to the long term potential of those visits finding their way into a medical records.
In any event, start to finish her sessions lasted maybe 6 months. Her behavior improved. She is now an attorney, wife, and mother of my oh-so-loved grandson.
From my experience anyway, it was worthwhile (by the way, money was VERY tight back then but of course we found a way).
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:13 PM   #6
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I am wary of school officials (including counselors), I wouldn't tell them a thing unless you need them to do something. I have seen very bad judgment and flapping lips.

While you are working this have your daughter's hearing checked. To be hard of hearing is very frustrating. My son had issues, then we learned that he was lip reading. His hearing aids were a target of bully's.. then came adolescence. We, and he, survived but not without a lot of work.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Most of us remember hearing one of our grade school or high school teachers say something like, "This is going on your permanent record!" You may have thought about it back then, but it's something easily forgotten about. Now that you're a parent, you may be wondering if your child has a "permanent" school record.

Yes, she does. And odds are, yours is still around, too.
Does My Child Have a "Permanent" School Record? - Lawyers.com
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
She isn't disabled, its just a bad behavior pattern that needs to be corrected. We are considering a child counselor/psychologist. I know these discussions are privileged, but once things are written down they have a way of escaping, especially if there are insurers circling around. I am not looking for a formal diagnosis, just perhaps some help in changing behavior. I frankly have a deep-seated distrust of the entire profession, but we are struggling with how to help DD and DW is a counselor (org psych/career counselor; different specialty) so I am being pushed toward haveing to consider it against my better judgement.
If you do this, I think it is normally better to find a private practioner and pay out of pocket. No one needs to know any SS numbers. I know a guy who went to a therapist under an assumed name. As to diagnosis, they will almost always make a diagnosis, as to not do so and embark on treatment may invite trouble in the event of a lawsuit.

I'd avoid anything even partially tax supported; they tend to be busybodies and rule bound and obviously are not working for you, but for their agency. This is one reason why I am not really impressed by rock bottom budgets.

Ha
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:56 PM   #9
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This would be cash on the barrelhead if we do it.
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