Counseling and Psychological Services staff adhere to professional, legal, and ethical guidelines set by the American Psychological Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and Pennsylvania law.
In doing so, we maintain confidential records of all counseling. Information about a student’s contact with the office is not released to any other office or individual without the student’s written permission and signature, except in circumstances listed below.
Students participating in group counseling agree to keep any information shared confidential.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
Information shared by you in counseling sessions will be treated confidentially. While information will not be released by CAPS to other individuals or organizations without your permission, CAPS professional staff may consult with each other to be sure to make appropriate referrals and to ensure the quality of services provided to you. Rare exceptions to confidentiality, as required by state law, include the following situations:
- If there is a reason to believe that you might be in imminent danger of seriously harming yourself or others;
- If there is reason to suspect, based on professional judgement, that a child or vulnerable adult has been, or is likely to be, abused or neglected (even if the counselor does not see that child or vulnerable adult in a professional capacity);
- If there is a valid court order which requires disclosure of information.
Though these situations can happen, they are rare. It is important to remember that a counselor’s primary goal is to provide a safe environment where students feel comfortable to talk about personal concerns.