A "patient" is a person who consults or is
examined or interviewed by a psychotherapist.
A "psychotherapist" is (A) a person authorized to
practice medicine in any state or nation, or reasonably believed by the patient so to be,
while engaged in the diagnosis or treatment of a mental or emotional condition, including
drug addiction, or (B) a person licensed or certified as a psychologist under the laws of
any state or nation, while similarly engaged.
A communication is "confidential" if not intended
to be disclosed to third persons other than those present to further the interest of the
patient in the consultation, examination, or interview, or persons reasonably necessary
for the transmission of the communication, or persons who are participating in the
diagnosis and treatment under the direction of the psychotherapist, including members of
the patients family.
(b) General rule of privilege. A patient has a privilege to refuse
to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications,
made for the purposes of diagnosis or treatment of his mental or emotional condition,
including drug addiction, among himself, his psychotherapist, or persons who are
participating in the diagnosis or treatment under the direction of the psychotherapist,
including members of the patients family.
(c) Who may claim the privilege. The privilege may be claimed by
the patient, by his guardian or conservator, or by the personal representative of a
deceased patient. The person who was the psychotherapist may claim the privilege but only
on behalf of the patient. His authority so to do is presumed in the absence of evidence to
(1) Proceedings for hospitalization. There is no privilege under
this rule for communications relevant to an issue in proceedings to hospitalize the
patient for mental illness, if the psychotherapist in the course of diagnosis or treatment
has determined that the patient is in need of hospitalization.
(2) Examination by order of judge. If the judge orders an
examination of the mental or emotional condition of the patient, communications made in
the course thereof are not privileged under this rule with respect to the particular
purpose for which the examination is ordered unless the judge orders otherwise.
(3) Condition an element of claim or defense. There is no privilege
under this rule as to communications relevant to an issue of the mental or emotional
condition of the patient in any proceeding in which he relies upon the condition as an
element of his claim or defense, or, after the patients death, in any proceeding in
which any party relies upon the condition as an element of his claim or defense.