Photo of Steven Mollura, LMHC, LPC, Counselor
Steven Mollura
Counselor, LMHC, LPC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Pittsburgh, PA 15221  (Online Only)
Accepting new clients. Sometimes when we feel things that are overwhelming and painful, our first thought is to blame ourselves and keep doing things the exact same way, praying for different results and hoping to become a different person. I provide a warm, safe, and open place so that clients can learn to both accept themselves as they are, and improve themselves into the person they always wanted to be. You can take control of your life in the way that you want. You are allowed to be who you are and feel how you feel, even while facing the stress and challenges of life. Together we can embrace self-acceptance and self-improvement
Accepting new clients. Sometimes when we feel things that are overwhelming and painful, our first thought is to blame ourselves and keep doing things the exact same way, praying for different results and hoping to become a different person. I provide a warm, safe, and open place so that clients can learn to both accept themselves as they are, and improve themselves into the person they always wanted to be. You can take control of your life in the way that you want. You are allowed to be who you are and feel how you feel, even while facing the stress and challenges of life. Together we can embrace self-acceptance and self-improvement
(321) 306-0359 View (321) 306-0359
Photo of Barbara Duarte Esgalhado, PhD, MFA, Psychologist
Barbara Duarte Esgalhado
Psychologist, PhD, MFA
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221  (Online Only)
I believe that it is really important for a person to feel that someone truly hears and understands them. My approach is to create a space where you can feel safe, valued, and understood. From that place, we work together at helping you explore the life you want to live, including understanding and changing the obstacles that are getting in the way of your sense of self fulfillment and relatedness to others and the world.
I believe that it is really important for a person to feel that someone truly hears and understands them. My approach is to create a space where you can feel safe, valued, and understood. From that place, we work together at helping you explore the life you want to live, including understanding and changing the obstacles that are getting in the way of your sense of self fulfillment and relatedness to others and the world.
(412) 415-7427 View (412) 415-7427
Photo of Christopher McCann, PhD, Psychologist
Christopher McCann
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
In my practice I offer a space for you to say what cannot be said anywhere else. It is an unconditional welcome to speak what is most real for you; and to speak freely, fully, and without censorship. Dreams, fantasies, memories. Ruptures and traumas. Experiences of love and sexuality as lived in your body and relational bonds. Crises, complaints, and all of the repetitions that happen again and again. These formations (and more) we raise to the dignity of what is most unknown and alive within you. Read deeply into yourself and articulate the 'other scenes' between the lines of lived experience.
In my practice I offer a space for you to say what cannot be said anywhere else. It is an unconditional welcome to speak what is most real for you; and to speak freely, fully, and without censorship. Dreams, fantasies, memories. Ruptures and traumas. Experiences of love and sexuality as lived in your body and relational bonds. Crises, complaints, and all of the repetitions that happen again and again. These formations (and more) we raise to the dignity of what is most unknown and alive within you. Read deeply into yourself and articulate the 'other scenes' between the lines of lived experience.
(412) 744-3247 View (412) 744-3247
Photo of Hannah Damgaard, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Hannah Damgaard
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Finding balance and living a fulfilling life is easier said than done. But I'm in your corner to support the happier version of you. Knowing everyone is a fellow human journeying on a path to transformation, I bring to our talk therapy a sense of genuine curiosity, gratitude and honest compassion to meet you exactly where you are. We can be released from what holds us back, integrate hidden aspects of ourselves and fully embrace our authentic selves.
Finding balance and living a fulfilling life is easier said than done. But I'm in your corner to support the happier version of you. Knowing everyone is a fellow human journeying on a path to transformation, I bring to our talk therapy a sense of genuine curiosity, gratitude and honest compassion to meet you exactly where you are. We can be released from what holds us back, integrate hidden aspects of ourselves and fully embrace our authentic selves.
(724) 436-1343 View (724) 436-1343
Photo of Lee Jacobs Riggs, LPC-PA, LCPC-IL, Licensed Professional Counselor
Lee Jacobs Riggs
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC-PA, LCPC-IL
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221  (Online Only)
In my individual, couples, and family work, values of collaboration, mutuality, and connection guide my practice. I partner with clients to identify their own unique strengths that can be used as resources to foster growth and change. I am attentive to the role of early family experiences, cultural values, oppression, and stigma in shaping client's experiences. Particularly when addressing painful or traumatic areas, I attend to clients' emotional safety using mindfulness and body awareness. I believe that healing happens in the context of honest relationships and invite my clients to engage in open dialog about our work together.
In my individual, couples, and family work, values of collaboration, mutuality, and connection guide my practice. I partner with clients to identify their own unique strengths that can be used as resources to foster growth and change. I am attentive to the role of early family experiences, cultural values, oppression, and stigma in shaping client's experiences. Particularly when addressing painful or traumatic areas, I attend to clients' emotional safety using mindfulness and body awareness. I believe that healing happens in the context of honest relationships and invite my clients to engage in open dialog about our work together.
(412) 968-8191 View (412) 968-8191
Photo of Thomas Brady, MA, NCC, CMHP, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Thomas Brady
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, NCC, CMHP, LPC
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
I fully believe that we must understand where we came from to better understand how we deal with situations today. Our past has made us who we are today, and we respond to our needs by what we have learned from our past. I've spent the last 24 years trying to better understand how to support people as they learn who they want to be and work towards their goals. I try to make a safe and comfortable setting where we can talk about what you want in life and how to achieve it. You will find me to be pretty laid back and easy to talk to.
I fully believe that we must understand where we came from to better understand how we deal with situations today. Our past has made us who we are today, and we respond to our needs by what we have learned from our past. I've spent the last 24 years trying to better understand how to support people as they learn who they want to be and work towards their goals. I try to make a safe and comfortable setting where we can talk about what you want in life and how to achieve it. You will find me to be pretty laid back and easy to talk to.
(412) 960-1297 View (412) 960-1297
Photo of Sara Troupe, PsyD, Psychologist
Sara Troupe
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Pittsburgh, PA 15221  (Online Only)
I am currently accepting new clients. My work centers on helping clients heal from difficult life experiences and self-defeating beliefs by recognizing personal strengths and developing healthier relationships with others, themselves, their emotions, and their bodies. I focus on creating a strong relationship with each client that centers on authenticity, trust, vulnerability, and compassion.
I am currently accepting new clients. My work centers on helping clients heal from difficult life experiences and self-defeating beliefs by recognizing personal strengths and developing healthier relationships with others, themselves, their emotions, and their bodies. I focus on creating a strong relationship with each client that centers on authenticity, trust, vulnerability, and compassion.
(412) 324-7323 View (412) 324-7323
Hope & Health Counseling
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, MSW
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Having been in the mental health realm for 12+ years now, I have learned that in life there can be great hurt, loss, and suffering but there is also great healing, hope, and joy. We all have a story we were made to tell. We were all made to heal and thrive in relationships. Each person's story is different but each person's story is full of strength, and courage. I'd like to walk with people on their road to healing and better health. I aim to help find resources of comfort, coping, and support. I hope to bring warmth, humor, and practical skills to help clients on their way, and help you lighten whatever burden you are carrying.
Having been in the mental health realm for 12+ years now, I have learned that in life there can be great hurt, loss, and suffering but there is also great healing, hope, and joy. We all have a story we were made to tell. We were all made to heal and thrive in relationships. Each person's story is different but each person's story is full of strength, and courage. I'd like to walk with people on their road to healing and better health. I aim to help find resources of comfort, coping, and support. I hope to bring warmth, humor, and practical skills to help clients on their way, and help you lighten whatever burden you are carrying.
(412) 801-7133 View (412) 801-7133
Photo of Tracy Thorpe Scott, MS, CLC, CHT, Pre-Licensed Professional
Tracy Thorpe Scott
Pre-Licensed Professional, MS, CLC, CHT
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
It's time. You desire to understand and move forward from the experiences that limit your personal growth and development. As a results-oriented Masters Level Clinician, I can help. My priority is to create a warm and welcoming space where you feel seen, heard, understood, and inspired to create change. My ability to quickly build trust and rapport has allowed me to successfully assist clients from adolescence through adulthood, using a variety of therapeutic modalities and coaching. Create the healing and forward momentum you desire and deserve. Make the investment in your present and future self. My services are self-pay only.
It's time. You desire to understand and move forward from the experiences that limit your personal growth and development. As a results-oriented Masters Level Clinician, I can help. My priority is to create a warm and welcoming space where you feel seen, heard, understood, and inspired to create change. My ability to quickly build trust and rapport has allowed me to successfully assist clients from adolescence through adulthood, using a variety of therapeutic modalities and coaching. Create the healing and forward momentum you desire and deserve. Make the investment in your present and future self. My services are self-pay only.
(412) 754-7479 View (412) 754-7479
Photo of Amber Moskowitz, LCSW, CCTP, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Amber Moskowitz
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW, CCTP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
I opened a mental health practice because after a decade working in traditional counseling settings, I am most drawn to supporting individuals interested in empathically instilling acceptance for themselves and the way they have learned to survive within their environment. I work best with teens and young adults who tend to over-think and want to lean to befriend their feelings. If you find yourself struggling with transitions, managing emotions or trusting yourself and others, I would be honored to support you in discovering ways to reduce tension and increase understanding around what your “symptoms” are trying to tell you.
I opened a mental health practice because after a decade working in traditional counseling settings, I am most drawn to supporting individuals interested in empathically instilling acceptance for themselves and the way they have learned to survive within their environment. I work best with teens and young adults who tend to over-think and want to lean to befriend their feelings. If you find yourself struggling with transitions, managing emotions or trusting yourself and others, I would be honored to support you in discovering ways to reduce tension and increase understanding around what your “symptoms” are trying to tell you.
(412) 435-1225 View (412) 435-1225
Photo of Robin Clarke, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Robin Clarke
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Waitlist for new clients
I am an EMDR certified trauma therapist and a Brainspotting practitioner. I emphasize unconditional positive regard, attuned presence, teaching mind-body skills to relieve anxiety and depression, and developing safe spaces in which to heal from trauma.
I am an EMDR certified trauma therapist and a Brainspotting practitioner. I emphasize unconditional positive regard, attuned presence, teaching mind-body skills to relieve anxiety and depression, and developing safe spaces in which to heal from trauma.
(412) 790-2090 View (412) 790-2090
Photo of Matthew Steiner, MSW, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Matthew Steiner
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSW, LCSW
Verified Verified
7 Endorsed
Pittsburgh, PA 15221  (Online Only)
Everyone has a unique story. Feeling safe and comfortable in therapy to share your thoughts, feelings, and questions is essential to the therapeutic process. I understand that the decision to choose a therapist can be a daunting task and the first step into treatment requires a lot of courage. For the past 20 years I have specialized in working with people who have been impacted by complex trauma and loss. Anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, distorted self-image, and a sense of disconnect with self, their environment, and others are often the byproducts of trauma that I see my clients experiencing.
Everyone has a unique story. Feeling safe and comfortable in therapy to share your thoughts, feelings, and questions is essential to the therapeutic process. I understand that the decision to choose a therapist can be a daunting task and the first step into treatment requires a lot of courage. For the past 20 years I have specialized in working with people who have been impacted by complex trauma and loss. Anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, distorted self-image, and a sense of disconnect with self, their environment, and others are often the byproducts of trauma that I see my clients experiencing.
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Photo of Emma Mahony, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Emma Mahony
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221  (Online Only)
Hello! I am excited to meet you! My approach emphasizes three key areas: your relationship with yourself, with others, and with the world around you. We'll explore both past and present experiences to deepen your awareness and comprehension of your journey thus far, guiding you toward the future you envision and feels a little better.
Hello! I am excited to meet you! My approach emphasizes three key areas: your relationship with yourself, with others, and with the world around you. We'll explore both past and present experiences to deepen your awareness and comprehension of your journey thus far, guiding you toward the future you envision and feels a little better.
(412) 618-2515 View (412) 618-2515
Photo of Jeanne Matucheski, LPC, Counselor
Jeanne Matucheski
Counselor, LPC
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221  (Online Only)
Parents of children with special needs are often misunderstood, and for over a decade I have been their advocates in the healthcare industry. I have over seventeen years of experience in various aspects of mental health, and for the last decade has been helping parents of children with special needs. I have a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. I am also the parent of four children with special needs. With a work history including residential treatment, outpatient, and community based mental health, I bring a wealth of clinical knowledge to my profession.
Parents of children with special needs are often misunderstood, and for over a decade I have been their advocates in the healthcare industry. I have over seventeen years of experience in various aspects of mental health, and for the last decade has been helping parents of children with special needs. I have a Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Licensed Professional Counselor. I am also the parent of four children with special needs. With a work history including residential treatment, outpatient, and community based mental health, I bring a wealth of clinical knowledge to my profession.
(412) 991-2547 View (412) 991-2547
Photo of Sarah Rizzi, MA, ATR-P, Pre-Licensed Professional
Sarah Rizzi
Pre-Licensed Professional, MA, ATR-P
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
I am pro-you in whatever way you show up–your gender identity, sexual orientation, justice system involvement, relationship style, body size and physical ability, race and ethnicity, and unique way of experiencing and interacting with the world are welcome and celebrated here! I am affirming of neurodiversity and dissociative identities, and I believe that you are the expert on yourself and your experiences. I love working with the LGBTQIA+ community, neurodivergent folks, dissociative systems, and people who have experienced trauma.
I am pro-you in whatever way you show up–your gender identity, sexual orientation, justice system involvement, relationship style, body size and physical ability, race and ethnicity, and unique way of experiencing and interacting with the world are welcome and celebrated here! I am affirming of neurodiversity and dissociative identities, and I believe that you are the expert on yourself and your experiences. I love working with the LGBTQIA+ community, neurodivergent folks, dissociative systems, and people who have experienced trauma.
(412) 376-4123 View (412) 376-4123
Photo of Brian Joseph Nuckols, LPC Intern
Brian Joseph Nuckols
LPC Intern
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Welcome! If you're seeking a fresh approach to addiction recovery, you're in the right place. I believe in addressing the root causes of addiction, not just the behavior. I enjoy working with all addictions including gambling, porn, and gaming, I use body-based and relational methods for deeper healing. My ideal clients are motivated individuals ready to explore and resolve the underlying issues driving their addiction. Together, we'll develop vibrant, healthy coping mechanisms for sustainable recovery and a fulfilling life. I will never ask you to get rid of a coping mechanism before we figure out something to replace it.
Welcome! If you're seeking a fresh approach to addiction recovery, you're in the right place. I believe in addressing the root causes of addiction, not just the behavior. I enjoy working with all addictions including gambling, porn, and gaming, I use body-based and relational methods for deeper healing. My ideal clients are motivated individuals ready to explore and resolve the underlying issues driving their addiction. Together, we'll develop vibrant, healthy coping mechanisms for sustainable recovery and a fulfilling life. I will never ask you to get rid of a coping mechanism before we figure out something to replace it.
(412) 903-3606 View (412) 903-3606
Photo of Abby Middleton, LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Abby Middleton
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Pittsburgh, PA 15221  (Online Only)
Not accepting new clients
I see psychotherapy as an opportunity to explore the stories of our lives with the hope of finding healing in our ability to connect more deeply with ourselves and one another other, gain insight, flexibility, compassion, and freedom. I specialize in working with individuals who are looking to heal from trauma, past or ongoing traumatic stress, sexual and gender-based violence, spiritual abuse, and grief.
I see psychotherapy as an opportunity to explore the stories of our lives with the hope of finding healing in our ability to connect more deeply with ourselves and one another other, gain insight, flexibility, compassion, and freedom. I specialize in working with individuals who are looking to heal from trauma, past or ongoing traumatic stress, sexual and gender-based violence, spiritual abuse, and grief.
(412) 723-8467 View (412) 723-8467
Photo of Patricia Hanson, MS, LPC, NCC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Patricia Hanson
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, LPC, NCC
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
You can schedule on my Website if you like. What you can expect from our first session • A Safe and Nurturing Environment • Enhanced Self-awareness • Practical Coping Strategies • Holistic Well-being • Empowerment • A Deepened Connection • Transformational Conversations In essence, sessions with me are a blend of empathy, expertise, and empowerment. Whether in a crisis, seeking strategies for specific challenges, or yearning for personal growth, our collaborative journey is designed to illuminate paths forward and cultivate enduring mental and emotional strength.
You can schedule on my Website if you like. What you can expect from our first session • A Safe and Nurturing Environment • Enhanced Self-awareness • Practical Coping Strategies • Holistic Well-being • Empowerment • A Deepened Connection • Transformational Conversations In essence, sessions with me are a blend of empathy, expertise, and empowerment. Whether in a crisis, seeking strategies for specific challenges, or yearning for personal growth, our collaborative journey is designed to illuminate paths forward and cultivate enduring mental and emotional strength.
(878) 313-6450 View (878) 313-6450
Photo of undefined - A Wellness Place, LLC., LCSW, Clinical Social Work/Therapist
A Wellness Place, LLC.
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
A Wellness Place (AWP) is a mental health outpatient group practice which provides individual, family, and group therapy; retaining four masters level clinicians who are professionally licensed in the state of Pennsylvania. We are dedicated to the growth and development of our clients within themselves, their families, their relationships and their futures. We pride ourselves on providing service from an authentic and genuine posture as foundational to true connection and care. Only through true connection and care will the journey to Wellness be achieved.
A Wellness Place (AWP) is a mental health outpatient group practice which provides individual, family, and group therapy; retaining four masters level clinicians who are professionally licensed in the state of Pennsylvania. We are dedicated to the growth and development of our clients within themselves, their families, their relationships and their futures. We pride ourselves on providing service from an authentic and genuine posture as foundational to true connection and care. Only through true connection and care will the journey to Wellness be achieved.
(412) 436-5256 View (412) 436-5256
Photo of Jennifer Ruth Rozell-Whitaker, LPC, ATR-BC, Licensed Professional Counselor
Jennifer Ruth Rozell-Whitaker
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, ATR-BC
Verified Verified
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Choosing to start therapy takes courage. It's not easy to look within one's self and challenge yourself to change. In our work together, I will support you in your journey towards personal growth, discovery and change. As an Art Therapist, I believe that engaging in the art process has a powerful way of touching the deepest aspects of one's soul. Through creative approaches in therapy, you can connect authentically with yourself and thrive. Regardless of what brings you to therapy, I can help each person use the process to grow.
Choosing to start therapy takes courage. It's not easy to look within one's self and challenge yourself to change. In our work together, I will support you in your journey towards personal growth, discovery and change. As an Art Therapist, I believe that engaging in the art process has a powerful way of touching the deepest aspects of one's soul. Through creative approaches in therapy, you can connect authentically with yourself and thrive. Regardless of what brings you to therapy, I can help each person use the process to grow.
(878) 768-7027 View (878) 768-7027

How does your Therapist compare?

Number of Therapists in 15221

70+

Average cost per session

$120

Therapists in 15221 who prioritize treating:

96% Anxiety
92% Depression
75% Relationship Issues
71% Self Esteem
67% Grief
67% Coping Skills
65% Trauma and PTSD

Average years in practice

10 Years

Top 3 insurances accepted

83% Highmark
75% Aetna
70% University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

How Therapists in 15221 see their clients

74% In Person and Online
26% Online Only

Gender breakdown

70% Female
25% Male
5% Non-Binary
FAQs - About Therapy and Counseling

How can I find a therapist in 15221?

Search for nearby therapists or counselors by inputting your city, town, or suburb; or zip code; or a provider’s name into the search bar. From there, you can filter providers by the issues they treat, cost, insurance, gender, and other factors to find providers who are well-suited to your needs. To navigate between locations within the same country, enter a new city or zip code into the search bar.

Learn more about how to find a therapist

Is everyone in the Psychology Today Therapy Directory a licensed therapist?

The Psychology Today directory lists providers who offer legitimate mental health services to the public, including psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors.

Many have been licensed by the country or state where they practice; providers whose license or primary credential has been verified by Psychology Today are signified by a “Verified” symbol. Some clinicians or organizations provide services for which their state or country does not offer licenses, such as pastoral counseling. They may be selectively included without the “Verified” seal.

What’s the difference between a psychologist, a therapist, and a counselor?

Therapists, psychologists, and counselors are all licensed mental health professionals. In the US, psychologists have earned a doctoral degree. The terms “therapist” and “counselor” are used somewhat interchangeably, but generally therapists offer longer-term, mental health care, while counselors offer shorter-term care that may focus on one domain, such as marriage, career, or academic challenges.

Clients should consider factors such as insurance coverage and their primary reason(s) for seeking therapy to determine the type of professional best suited to their needs. Someone struggling with mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety, for example, may wish to seek out a clinical psychologist or therapist, while someone navigating career obstacles or marital upheaval may benefit from seeing a counselor who can offer short-term, targeted support.

What type of therapy is right for me?

The type of therapy best suited to a particular individual depends on several factors, including their primary reason for seeking therapy, their preferred timeline (some therapy types last for a set number of sessions, while others are open-ended), and their personality and preferences—some may prefer a more structured approach. For many individuals, multiple types of therapy could provide a good fit.

How much does therapy cost?

The cost of therapy depends on a number of variables, including location and the therapist’s experience and training. On average, a therapy session in the United States could cost between $100 and $200 or more. If you have insurance, the expense of mental health care is typically lower, but it varies based on your insurance plan details and whether you choose an in-network or out-of-network mental healthcare provider.

What are more affordable or low cost therapy solutions?

Many therapists offer sliding scale payments, usually on a limited number of slots, which consists in an agreement between the therapist and a client to pay a reduced rate. Therapists who provide such arrangements often consider the client's income or ability to pay, but the extent of the discount is ultimately at the therapist's discretion. Furthermore, while group therapy may have different goals and benefits compared to individual therapy, it can be a more affordable solution to address certain types of issues.

Is online therapy cheaper than in-person therapy?

Many therapists charge the same amount for online therapy as they do for in-person therapy—though clients may still find this cost-effective if it cuts down on their transportation costs. Health insurance plans often offer equivalent coverage for online and in-person therapy; indeed, in many places, they are legally required to do so. Text-based or on-demand therapy apps may be cheaper than traditional one-on-one psychotherapy; however, the practice may be less effective and is not likely to be covered by insurance.

Is online therapy a good option?

Therapy conducted online can be just as effective as in-person therapy, as long as there is a strong alliance between the client and the therapist. To find a therapist who provides telehealth services to clients in your area, click “Online Therapy” on the directory homepage and search by your city or town or your zip code.

Are therapy sessions confidential?

Confidentiality is a crucial part of the therapeutic relationship. Therapists in the United States are bound by the regulations set out by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), which aims to protect sensitive health information. With very few exceptions, a therapist will only discuss their client with others when the client has given their written permission. The instances in which a therapist would be required to disclose personal information are: if a client poses a danger to themselves or others, if the therapist suspects the abuse of a child or an elderly or otherwise dependent adult, or if they are legally forced to by court order. These exceptions to the confidentiality agreement are usually discussed with a client before their first session.