I found this interesting piece in the Huffington Post by a psychiatrist who wonders about his patients' reactions to what is written in their psychotherapy notes. Patients may be provided access to their mental health treatment notes, but what if the information in the notes is misinterpreted? And what if the therapist has not been careful to write in a way that is sensitive to the client's point of view? Therapists often use jargon or professional language that just isn't geared toward patients-- they generally write for other treatment providers.
For this reason, patients are not necessarily legally entitled to their mental health records. If the provider believes that something written in the notes may harm you, they can deny you access to your records (for more on how medical and mental health records are regulated in the U.S., see "Requesting Medical Records"). But, even if there is nothing in the notes that is deemed by your treater to be potentially harmful, your therapist may wish to review your notes with you to make sure you understand what is written in them.
Have you ever read your psychotherapy notes? If you did, what was your reaction? Did you discover things that your therapist had not told you directly?