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Privileged communication is the confidential communication between professionals and their clients which are protected in law from being shared with others.
The ethical principle of confidentiality requires that information shared by the client with the therapist in the course of treatment is not shared with others. This is important for the therapeutic alliance, as it promotes an environment of trust. However, there are important exceptions to confidentiality, namely where it conflicts with the clinician's duty to warn or duty to protect. This includes instances of suicidal or homicidal ideation, child abuse, elder abuse and dependent adult abuse.