In Jaffee v. Redmond, the United States Supreme Court recognized a psychotherapist-patient privilege in federal common law. The Court, however, failed to define the parameters of the privilege and left the refinement of the common-law definition for the lower federal courts to make on a case-by-case basis. This Article addresses the issues courts will encounter as they develop the psychotherapist-patient privilege. After reviewing existing approaches, this Article suggests the course courts should follow as they construe the federal common-law privilege.
Confidential communications -- Psychotherapists, Mental health counseling