My privacy practices document goes into detail regarding my privacy practices. In general, I believe that mental health records need to be even more private than most other medical records and I do my best to keep them so. I do take notes on my laptop and all patient information is stored in a locked file cabinet or encrypted computer files so that if my laptop is lost or stolen, none of your private information will be revealed.
Unless you are a minor (in which case your parent or guardian is in charge of privacy issues and records), I will not talk to anyone else (this includes other family members) about your case unless you have given me permission. However, I will speak to your insurance company if needed, but I will not release detailed records without your consent. If someone calls me, such as a relative, I will call you first before discussing your case with them unless you have previously given me permission to speak with them.
You should know though, that there are certain situations where these rules don't apply. If you are in an emergency situation (such as being in an emergency room) I will discuss whatever aspects of your case I think are necessary so that other doctors can take care of you. If I believe (or someone credible, such as a partner, tells me) that you are in clear and imminent danger of harming yourself or someone else, I will take action to make sure that you and they are protected. Finally, state laws in Maryland require that I disclose your information to the proper authorities if I believe that you have abused a child.