Late in 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of Jaffee v. Redmond, over the issue of psychotherapy-patient confidentiality and specifically whether a clinical social worker and her client had the right to withhold case notes in a federal court proceeding. In early 1996 the Supreme Court ruled that, in all federal courts, the principle of privacy and confidentiality of therapeutic disclosures trumped the evidentiary value of such notes (with very limited exceptions). The present publication is intended to provide teachers, students, and other readers with an introduction to the case and its issues, including salient materials from Jaffee v. Redmond, as a means of examining the issue of confidentiality and its clinical and legal importance.
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