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counseling notes & documents

  • Thread starter Lil Miss Smarty Panties
  • Start date

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L

Lil Miss Smarty Panties

Guest
What is the name of your state? Indiana
Husband and daughter have been in so called family counseling for apx. a yr. The sessions were always seperate, they never attended together. Now that it is over, with the counselor sending a letter to the court and both lawyers, can hubby send a request to the counselor for copies of her notes and and anything she documented during those sessions with him and his daughter?
 


JaneyS4

Member
Lil, I can't answer your question, and maybe I am not understanding it right, but why can't your husband get the notes and documents from the counseler directly? If its his file, his case, he has a right to them, doesn't he?
 
L

Lil Miss Smarty Panties

Guest
I would think he does have the right to them, but i don't know, thats why I'm asking. And I'm asking if he can ask for notes and any documents from his daughters sessions also. So if he just calls the counselor, asks for copies of notes, files, whatever, from his sessions and his daughters, can the counselor refuse to give them to him?
 

JaneyS4

Member
I think they have to give it over to him if its his file, but I can't swear on that. And I would think that they'd have to give his daughters too, because he's the parent. I don't think they can refuse to give you information pertaining to yourself or your children. I know doctors can't refuse to give you your own medical files, I would think that this would be the same.

Just a guess though...I'd try it, what could it hurt?
 
I

Illinois Dad

Guest
Janey is right. He has the right to all the files pertaining to himself and the kids. You also have a right to those files that pertain to just the kids, but would need a court order to subpoena his files. Then questions of doctor/patient privelege need to be addressed.
 
I think

that he wouldn't be able to get the notes on his daughter as that was considered a different session.
When my son was in counseling, I couldn't know the details, just a general how's he doing. But, i could be wrong. Call a counslor (any) and ask some general questions... They can and will tell you the privacy issues answers.

Good Luck,
Cookie
 
I

Illinois Dad

Guest
I can only speak from my own experience and maybe this varies from state to state. Unless the counselling is court ordered and that order includes a privacy statement, the parents of minor children have a right to access ALL medical records of their children.
 

Whyte Noise

Senior Member
Lil..

From Indiana's statutes...

Mental Health Records:

IC 16-39-2-9
Sec. 9. (a) For the purposes of this chapter, the following persons are entitled to exercise the patient's rights on the patient's behalf:


(1) If the patient is a minor, the parent, guardian, or other court appointed representative of the patient.
(2) If the provider determines that the patient is incapable of giving or withholding consent, the patient's guardian, a court appointed representative of the patient, a person possessing a health care power of attorney for the patient, or the patient's health care representative.

(b) A custodial parent and a noncustodial parent of a child have equal access to the child's mental health records unless:

(1) a court has issued an order that limits the noncustodial parent's access to the child's mental health records; and
(2) the provider has received a copy of the court order or has actual knowledge of the court order.

If the provider incurs an additional expense by allowing a parent equal access to a child's mental health records, the provider may require the parent requesting the equal access to pay a fee under IC 16-39-9 to cover the cost of the additional expense.

So yes, under the statutes, the father can get his daughter's counseling records. He can also get his own records. The full files in both cases. All he would have to do is ask. He needs no permission from the custodial parent to get his daughter's records. Although, they might tell you that. SPARC has a great little letter that you can use to send to the doctor or counselor if they deny you the first request. (Which you really should put in writing, IMO) If they deny, copy that letter, and alter it to fit your husband's circumstance, and send it. The URL is:

http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/medrecords.htm
 
L

Lil Miss Smarty Panties

Guest
Damn you are awesome, thats just what I was looking for. thanks a bunch.
 

stealth2

Under the Radar Member
When my kids were in counseling during the divorce, the agreement that we had - I, the kids and the counselor - was that what they said to her outside of my presence, stayed with her *UNLESS* it was something that indicated they were in serious danger. They knew that anything they said was confidential, but if they needed help, they'd get it ASAP. I think it would have destroyed their trust in me and the counselor if they knew I could get access to everything they said.
 
I am responding to this as a parent of a child who has been in counseling, an adult who had been a child in counseling and as a child of a counselor...

There are a few very limited circumstances in which a parent should NOT be advised of what is going on in a counseling session. Things such as the child being in counseling because of abuse or neglect perpetrated upon them by the parents, unrepentant drug/alcohol use/abuse by the parents, etc. And of course, the most important factor is the age of the child.

The reason for counseling is the other big factor here. A child whose parents are going through a divorce and/or custody battle is in counseling to help them navigate the emotional mine field they are living in. They are talking to a counselor as a 3rd person, unbiased party, whose primary job is to help the child deal with the emotions and traumas. Any counselor who is worth their salt can and should be talking to the parents at every step. The counselor can and should function as an intermediary for the child, addressing issues with the parents that are directly affecting the child. Things like "Johnny is very upset/confused by seeing you continue to battle", "'Susie feels like she has to be loyal to one parent or the other".

From the perspective of a parent, I demanded to know everything that was going on as it was going on with my child. I initially had him at a counselor who was more concerned with the 'trust' issue than with MY priorities. And guess what? I'm the parent, my priorities are the only ones that count. It is up to me to take the information I get from the counselor and modify my behaviour and/or the behaviour that he is exposed to of others so that my child can heal. It is up to me, as his parent, to do this in such a way that does not let him feel his privacy has been violated. And whether or not I am intelligent and responsive enough as a parent to do this is my decision. The litmus test on this is very simple. If my child grows up relatively well adjusted, healed of the traumas that I and his father visited upon him through our divorce, I did my job. The point is, I am the most qualified person to make that judgement call, and I am the one who will be responsible if I'm wrong.
 

kidoday

Senior Member
If the counselor has written notes to the courts and both lawyers regarding her sessions, the information is permissable to be obtained by both parties under the Indiana Law if they are named in the report.

Unless court ordered, this counselor should not have sent any information to any party without a subpoena to do so. Without the instruction of the courts, the counselor does not have to oblige with the instructions due to the client counselor privacy act.
 

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