Note: see session law sections for effective dates.
(a) A person licensed under sections 148B.50 to 148B.593 may not disclose without written consent of the client any communication made by the client to the licensee in the course of the practice of professional counseling, nor may any employee of the licensee reveal the information without the consent of the employer or client except as provided under section 626.556 or 626.557.
(b) For purposes of sections 148B.50 to 148B.593, the confidential relations and communications between the licensee and a client are placed upon the same basis as those that exist between a licensed psychologist and client. Nothing in sections 148B.50 to 148B.593 may be construed to require any communications to be disclosed except by court order or as provided in paragraph (c).
(c) Private information may be disclosed without the consent of the client when a duty to warn arises, or as otherwise provided by law or court order. The duty to warn of, or take reasonable precautions to provide protection from, violent behavior arises only when a client or other person has communicated to the provider a specific, serious threat of physical violence to self or a specific, clearly identified or identifiable potential victim. If a duty to warn arises, the duty is discharged by the provider if reasonable efforts are made to communicate the threat to law enforcement agencies, the potential victim, the family of the client, or appropriate third parties who are in a position to prevent or avert the harm. No monetary liability and no cause of action or disciplinary action by the board may arise against a provider for disclosure of confidences to third parties, for failure to disclose confidences to third parties, or for erroneous disclosure of confidences to third parties in a good faith effort to warn against or take precautions against a client's violent behavior or threat of suicide.
(d) For purposes of this section, (1) "provider" includes a licensee, an applicant for licensure, and a student or intern practicing professional counseling or professional clinical counseling under supervision as part of an accredited graduate educational program or under a supervised postgraduate experience in professional counseling or professional clinical counseling required for licensure; (2) "other person" means an immediate family member or someone who personally knows the client and has reason to believe the client is capable of and will carry out the serious, specific threat of harm to a specific, clearly identified, or identifiable victim; and (3) "reasonable efforts" means communicating the serious, specific threat to the potential victim and if unable to make contact with the potential victim, communicating the serious, specific threat to the law enforcement agency closest to the potential victim of the client.