Dear therapist:

Dear therapist:

I like you a whole lot. You are insightful, caring, and have helped me work my shit out in ways that I never even knew needed to be worked on. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, and the grace with which you do it.


If you would like to send out an email to your entire patient list, please put that patient list in the GODDAMNED BCC line. Particularly if you are the compulsive sort that inputs all of your patients’ first and last names along with their email addresses. I think none of us particularly wanted to be identified as therapy patients to the entire world. Also, that’s a HIPPA violation.

If you feel the need to call my boss (who is also a patient) to warn him that his daughter is scheduled back-to-back with me, and he or his wife may run into me in the waiting room when they bring her in… you might also give me the courtesy of the same phone call.

If you do not apologize very thoroughly, and very quickly, when I come in to see you tonight, I am going to tear you a new asshole.

Thanks ever so,


Well that fine’s gonna be one way to help shore up our National Debt.

Wow. What is your therapist, new? That’s pretty unacceptable right there.

No, he’s a very experienced (and very talented) therapist. What he’s new at is this interweb thingy.

Yep. That’s just about a case study in HIPAA violation.

How to get a massive fine with a single mouse click.

I once took a phone message for an officemate that The Epilepsy Clinic needed to reschedule his appointment. I actually had to explain to the clinic why it was a violation of privacy to leave such a message.

My sister works at a counseling center, and one of her unofficial jobs is make sure this thing doesn’t happen, since she seems to be the only tech who knows HIPAA forwards and backwards.

The therapist better hope that none of the other clients are more upset than you are.

I’ve had opportunity to waive privacy with regard to telephone contact. i.e., they can speak only to me, they can leave a message on my answering machine, or they can leave a message with whoever happens to answer the phone. It’s possible that your officemate chose the latter.

As it happens, he hadn’t. It was also in pre-HIPAA days. I don’t think this would happen nowadays (mischievous’ therapist notwithstanding).

I once worked in a hospital where a psychiatrist accidently put a private call with a client on the PA system!

You really need to get a get some perspective. You have a therapist who helps you and you bitch about this?

Puh-lease. He made a mistake. Buck up and have a saltine.

Christ, no wonder you’re in therapy.

As an aside, being in therapy is so passe that no one cares that you are in therapy. If you fear that you’ve been outed, shut up, realize that you are not a unique little snowflake and get a fucking livejournal, already.

While I agree that this shouldn’t necessarily be a career-ender for the therapist, the HIPAA rules are in place for a very good reason. Therapy still has a stigma in a lot of places; some people (wrongly) will assume that a person is “crazy” or mentally unstable if they hear so-and-so is in therapy. Others will hear “therapy appointment” and think that the person needs to “just get over” whatever is bothering them, see that life is hard, yadda yadda. But bring up a physical ailment and those same people will go out of their way to offer sympathy. There’s still the mindset that mental problems=made up, physical problems=legitimate.

My point being, privacy is still important to maintain even though it’s “just” therapy.

I’m sorry, but I feel I must ask: Why the mean-spirited remarks? I know this is the Pit, but despite what others believe, I don’t think it requires people to attack the Pitter. Maybe you’ve had some bad experiences with therapists? Or do you just think most therapy is bullshit?

I’m asking in all sincerity.

Hey Zhen’ka, thanks for only posting around four times a year. You may be one of the two or three biggest assholes I’ve ever come across here.

Maybe Zhen’ka could use some therapy?

So tell us about your childhood, Zhen’ka. Were you abused by your parents? Bullied by your peers (or did you bully them)? Tell us what makes you the way you are. It’s OK to let the emotions out. Just sit on this couch here and tell me all about it. There are no judgments in this room.

I’m still seeing a lot of confusion about HIPPA, particularly with medical receptionists and other front line personnel. Although it doesn’t seem so much HIPPA as just common sense. Last year my doctor prescribed an antibiotic that gave me a rather interesting side-effect: Apparently it killed off all the “good” bacteria, allowing yeast to replace it in some very intimate places (I’m a guy, by the way, and not wise in the ways of yeast infections). When I went to the front of the office to announce I was here, the receptionist asked, “And what should I tell the doctor is the reason for the visit?”

Aw, c’mon. Can you not see that this is not really an appropriate question to ask in hearing range of a waiting room full of patients? I guess I should have said, “My asshole itches like fire,” but I just said, “I’ll discuss it with the doctor,” even after she prodded me a couple of times (heh) for more details.

I did the favor of letting the doctor know that he might want to have a discussion with his personnel, though.

And now it’s time for “things people rarely say” theatre: I agree with lissener in all the particulars of this statement.

Wow. That’s completely unacceptable.

I wholeheartedly concur.

My husband thought that I was griping about nothing, until he got HIS first yeast infection.

By the way, the OTC cream works for just about any topical yeast infection, except of course the eyes, nose, and mouth. I hope you never need this knowledge, but it’s good to know this stuff.

That’s a peeve of mine, too - I don’t need my pap smear or apocalyptic diarrhea announced to the whole waiting room, if it’s all the same to you. I also don’t care for them shouting my home address across the waiting room - “Are you still at 555 East Madeup Street?” Well, not after this - any crazy people want to meet me at home and discuss the results of my pap smear/apocalyptic diarrhea?

When I have to send emails to my anxiety support group, I always use the BCC, and I am not a healthcare worker - it’s just common sense that not everyone wants everyone else to know their private information. You’d think people actually working professionally in the field would have that covered early on in their career, but I guess not.