There is no basis in the myth often seen in literature that you pay a psychotherapist to be nice to you and care for you. The therapeutic relationship is a psychologically intimate but strictly professional one. It’s the therapist’s absolute commitment and requirement of ethics and law that the relationship is limited to counseling sessions and necessary email, phone, or text contacts. Clinicians who break the boundary between a professional relationship and friendship can lose their licenses for such infractions. The client’s name and personal story are strictly confidential.
In an episode of the TV series “The Sopranos,” a serious ethical lapse occurred when one therapist revealed the name of another therapist’s client across a crowded table at a dinner party full of clinicians. Around the country the next day, the episode outraged clients and therapists because of this egregious ethical violation. Some fans even lost faith in their ability to maintain “belief” in the television program.