Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Robert L. HeilbronnerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_956


Confidentiality has been defined as “containing information whose unauthorized disclosure could be prejudicial to the national interest.” In psychology, it is one of the most important components of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2002) and the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists (1991). The boundaries of confidentiality vary based on the setting, that is, whether it is in the clinical versus forensic realm or whether it is in the civil versus criminal realm. In treatment settings, clinicians consider confidentiality of paramount importance, and they are reluctant to disclose information obtained from a client even when there are explicit legal or countervailing ethical mandates to do so (such as when a patient may harm another). Such a position is unrealistic in the forensic context because the results of forensic evaluations (be it civil or criminal) are routinely disclosed to third parties. In both clinical and forensic contexts,...

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References and Readings

  1. American Psychological Association. (2002). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. American Psychologist, 57, 1060–1073.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Committee on Ethical Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists. (1991). Specialty guidelines for forensic psychologists. Law and Human Behavior, 15, 655–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Melton, G. B., Petrila, J., Poythress, N. G., & Slobogin, C. (2007). Psychological evaluations for the courts (3rd ed.). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chicago Neuropsychology GroupChicagoUSA