Question about minor in therapy

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Whiteheron

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Question about minor in therapy
« on: May 10, 2017, 02:29:19 PM »
I have a question I'm hoping someone out there can help me with. DD is in therapy. stbx is demanding the therapist hand over his private notes from their sessions. Can he do this? DD's therapist keeps insisting it's not in the best interest of DD, but stbx's lawyer is persisting in trying to force T to hand over his notes.

Side note, stbx and I were instructed to not involve the kids in our divorce matters. IMO, this is directly involving DD. (DD knows, as her therapist told her what was going on) The only reason I can think stbx would want these records is to go on a fishing expedition to try to find something he can twist to use against me. (since I'm not taking the bait when he tries to provoke me into a fight and he's run out of mud to sling)

Is there anything I can to to help safeguard DD's privacy? Or does she not have privacy because she is a minor?
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

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HotCocoa

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Re: Question about minor in therapy
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2017, 02:51:02 PM »
Whiteheron, I went through this.  In my state, a child over 14 has to sign something in order to hand them over. 
I would speak with your attorney about this and don't let your child sign something if they are over 14 without your knowledge.
I would also not speak to stbx AT ALL about this issue, only your attorney. 
Stick only to schedules and medical care about the children in all correspondence.  He is trying to bully you and probably your daughter into complying.  Make sure you know your daughter's rights per your state.
The smarter you become about narcissistic abuse, the crazier the narcissist will say you are.

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Adria

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Re: Question about minor in therapy
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 03:01:22 PM »
Oh Whiteheron, that is so creepy.  Your daughter is going through enough with a divorce.  She should be allowed to have a safe place to vent and express her feelings without interference from you stbx. That's the point of going to a counselor, right?   If her counseling can't be confidential, maybe ask her if she would like to stop for now and resume it at a later date without your stbx knowing about it. Ugh! That's just wrong.  :sadno:

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Whiteheron

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Re: Question about minor in therapy
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 03:16:30 PM »
Thanks for responding. I am trying to find out the laws for my state.

DD is 13
You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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Onefoot

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Re: Question about minor in therapy
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2017, 12:55:15 PM »
How awful.   Perhaps if you suggested that you would insist on a court order to hand over the therapist's notes.   I can't imagine any judge agreeing that this would be in the best interest of your child.
  Hugs... it's exhausting dealing with a bully.

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kazzak

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Re: Question about minor in therapy
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2017, 01:01:52 PM »
I recently received all of my son's therapy records over the past couple years. Private notes were not included and the therapist had no obligation to provide them. This is solely based on the state laws where I live. What you described with notes specifically is covered by state law.

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sonto92

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Re: Question about minor in therapy
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2017, 10:56:52 PM »
My kids are in a similar situation.  In my state, if there appears to be a need to protect what is said in therapy by the children, you can legally push for a safe harbor agreement, which will protect the kids from this type of interference.  Our parenting consultant has put this in place for all 3 of my children.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2017, 10:25:38 AM by Spring Butterfly »

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Whiteheron

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Re: Question about minor in therapy
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2017, 08:52:38 AM »
Thanks for your responses! We just had a law guardian appointed last week, at this meeting the judge put a hold on the records. I think the judge put it into the guardian's hands, whether or not the notes get released. I know there is precedent where the notes were not allowed to be released in the matter of a custody battle. Hopefully we can make that stick in our case. I'm just astounded that stbx is going down this path...trying to get to me through violating our daughter's privacy. Either that or he wants use the notes as an 'in' to get DD to confide in him about all of her problems  :roll: (stbx to the rescue!!!)

I will fight like he!! to safeguard her privacy. This is the one 'safe' place for her to open up. The only way I was able to get her to agree to therapy in the first place was to ensure her that there was no way her dad would ever know what was said behind those doors...grrr. Therapy has helped her immensely. If she no longer feels safe opening up...hopefully her therapist can offer some reassurances in her next session.

The real kicker - he can't see that he's damaging his relationship with DD irreparably (DD's therapist told her that her dad was trying to get the notes, so she knows). Any indication DD doesn't want to spend time with him or doesn't open up to him means I've tainted her against him  :stars:

And he walks around saying he only wants what's best for the children. B*llsh!t

You can't destroy me if I don't care.

Being able to survive it doesn't mean it was ever ok.

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kazzak

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Re: Question about minor in therapy
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2017, 09:23:25 AM »
I once knew a therapist who would write all their notes in a scribble that was completely unreadable to anyone else. That way if the notes ever did get out, they couldn't be read. I always thought it was a wise approach.

My son's therapy wasn't ruined over notes getting out, but the battle over it destroyed his safe place to grow. While the unhealthy parent made a mess, it also excluded me from my son's therapy and put the therapist in the middle of it. Bottom line, that wasn't what the therapy was for.

I learned a term called "forensic therapy". It's a different type of therapy. I found that many people wanted to use my son's therapy for a purpose it wasn't intended - nor the therapist even trained for. Just all went wonky, and then it was no longer productive but counterproductive. Eventually, it was just easier and better for more son not to do therapy because of the disputes in court about DS' therapy.

I hope things go much better for your child. I think its a shame when a child's needs aren't put first in a court case when it comes to therapy. But I've seen it firsthand.