problems with my previous psychologist

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luvdogs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 1/23/2008 4:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone.  I just have a question, and I can't figure out how to go about finding the answer.
 
Ten years ago, I saw a clinical psychologist for a severe anxiety-related disorder.  I was in therapy with her for about four years.
 
Now, the issue that caused me to enter therapy ten years ago is coming to the surface again.  As a result, I need to get either a copy of my records from this therapist or ask her to write a letter explaining my condition when she saw me.
 
Does anyone know if I have a right to these records?  Can patients get a copy of their counseling records?
 
Another issue is that these therapy visits took place several years ago.  It seems to me that therapists would have to hold onto their records in their archives.  I'm not totally sure about this though.
 
I've located where my former therapist is now working, and over the past couple of months, I have left her voice messages and sent her letters.  I'm getting very frustrated, however, because my former therapist will not call or write me back.  Even my family doctor attempted to contact her, but she didn't call him back either.
 
I've been clear in my contact why I need her feedback now, so nothing is ambiguous to her.  If she won't get back in touch with me, I at least need to see if I can get a copy of my counseling records.  So, that's why I'm now asking everyone for feedback.  Do I have a right to get a copy of these records?  Has anyone else ever requested a copy of their medical records?
 
Thanks in advance for your feedback. 
Take good care,
luvdogs
"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you will have been all of these."  George Washington Carver
 
 


Mochiah
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 1/23/2008 4:49 PM (GMT -7)   
luvdogs - yes you have a right to your records. You don't need to speak with the doctor, when you call the office just ask the receptionist who handles their records...then when you contact that place you can ask what happens (when are the records put into archives, when are they destroyed), and how to go about getting a copy of them if they are still around.
Mochiah/a.k.a. Sue
cervical fusion 2006, with great result
L4-5 surgery with cages, plates, and screws in 2005, I have continued pain 
MEDS:  Fentanyl patch, Norco, Celexa, trazodone, and Parafon Forte
 
To handle yourself, use your head...to handle others, use your heart
 
I'm going to smile like nothing is wrong, act like everything is perfect, and pretend its not hurting me.


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/23/2008 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello,
I believe that the medical record would be located at the clinic you were going to when you were seeing this therapist. The medical record does not belong to you it belongs to the clinic, however, you have the right to access this medical record.  You may do as  advised above, ask how you go about obtaining a copy of you medical record.

You will be ask what forms you want from your record, whether it is just the clinical notes, or lab results etc.  Forms will need to be completed by you and prove of your identiy and there may be a fee for copying the records.

Of course I am in MN and I do not know where you are so it may be a bit different but this is the  basics of otaining a copy of your personal medical record. Take care and good luck with your new therapist.


 
Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 1/23/2008 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I have worked in medical admin and yes, you have right to get a copy of your notes, you need to submit a written request (which sounds like you already have).  The laws where I live require us to keep records for seven years after the last session/appointment.  If you saw her for four years there is a good chance these records haven't been destroyed but you will need to get on it quick! Hassle the receptionist or physically drop in (if possible) to pick them up.  Best of luck

I alone can do this, but I cannot do it alone. 
 
NervyMeg


luvdogs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 1/24/2008 12:42 PM (GMT -7)   

Thank you for your replies!  I'm so lost about what to do about this, so I'm very appreciative of the feedback.

This psychologist actually had her own private practive when I saw her several years ago.  Therefore, I imagine that the records moved with her when she left town.

(She now lives in another city.  She works at a prison now, and she is impossible to get on the phone there.)

Mostly, I'm hurt that she hasn't replied back to me in some way or another.  This is someone that I opened up to about very difficult details, and I really trusted her.  I've come a very, very long way since then, and it's painful that this therapist won't even talk to my doctor.  I realize that she's probably switched gears in her career and started to see a different type of client, but I just wish that she'd hand over the records that I need now.

I've sent letters.  I've called.  My mother has called.  My doctor has called.  But, she won't get back to any of us.  Ugh. 

I'll keep trying though.  I just need to figure out how to get through to her and make her understand that I really need my records.

Thanks again, everyone!



"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you will have been all of these."  George Washington Carver
 
 


CaryF
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 1/24/2008 1:05 PM (GMT -7)   
You have every right to your records, but what are you going to do if you don't/can't get them? Or they have been destroyed? I have changed therapists & issues of records has never come up?

I would think your mental health is more important than finding these records. Why can't you get an appt. without them?

Best to you,
Cary

luvdogs
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 184
   Posted 1/24/2008 3:12 PM (GMT -7)   

Sorry I forgot to clarify the reason for the records..

I need them for legal reasons.  I don't need them to see another therapist.  I suppose that the records could be requested by subpoena (sp?) if it comes down to that. 

 


"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong.  Because someday in life you will have been all of these."  George Washington Carver
 
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/24/2008 4:31 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi, It is not our business but it crossed my mind if the therapist you are trying to contact is involved in a legal issue that you are also involved in she may not be returning your calls or talking to you to protect herself which would be her right.

You may have to subpoena the records if you need them for a legal issue and your attorney should know how to go about doing this.

Please don't take it to heart that she no longer has a vested interest in your well being.  She is no longer your therapist.  I am sure you will get to the bottom of this anxiety provoking issue.

Keep posting, we are here for you. Kitt


 
Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 

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