Confidentiality in the Counseling Relationship

Confidentiality is essential in any counseling relationship. In order to share private thoughts and feelings, it is vital that you know that what you say in your counseling sessions will be kept between you and your counselor.

There may be circumstances where your counselor may consult with or receive supervision from another member of our professional Student Center for Health & Counseling staff members. When doing so no identifying information will be discussed.

The Counseling Center does employ students. Student employees do not have access to client records and are required to be confidential and professional on all matters relating to the Counseling Center. Confidential records are handled only by professional staff.

Exceptions to Confidentiality

There are legal and ethical exceptions to confidentiality which require that the counselor take responsible action. They include:

  • When there is a clear and present danger of harm to yourself or another person. In these circumstances we are legally required to take action to protect your safety. Thus, our actions in these circumstances may include arranging for voluntary or involuntary hospitalization, as well as notifying law enforcement authorities and/or family/friends/individuals at risk.
  • In the case of suspected child abuse or abuse of a vulnerable adult. In these circumstances we are legally required to report the abuse to Child Protection Services or other appropriate county and/or state authorities.
  • In the event of a court order for information.
  • In the case of an emergency which poses a serious health threat to the client or another person(s).
  • When allowed or required under state or federal data privacy laws including the Minnesota Data Privacy Act, HIPPA, or FERPA.