A student's decision to access Counselling, and any information that is shared by a student while in counselling, will be confidential. A student's written permission will be obtained, in advance, should information that identifies a student be transmitted to another party / department. There are some limitations to confidentiality; students will be informed of these exceptions, in writing, during an initial meeting with a counsellor. For the purposes of supervision and professional consultation counsellors may discuss dimensions of a student's situation, however, identifying details will be omitted.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
There are situations where confidentiality may be limited. Counsellors, by law, are required to disclose information that pertains to the following situation(s):
- when there is a need to eliminate or reduce a significant risk of serious bodily harm to the client, another individual or a group of persons
- when there is knowledge or suspicion that a child who is PRESENTLY under the age of 16 has been previously abused or is currently being abused, neglected, or witnessing abuse
- when a judge has ordered counsellor testimony and/or client records be made available for court
- when counsellors, as members of other professional associations (i.e., CPO, OCSWSSW) are required to report instances of harassment or abuse by a professional colleague according to the guidelines of their professional association
Special Considerations - Group Counselling and Email
When providing group counselling, the counsellor sets a norm of confidentiality and stresses its importance, but clearly states that he/she cannot guarantee that confidentiality on behalf of others in the group. Group members, as appropriate, will be asked to maintain a 'contract of understanding' regarding confidentiality within the group.
Counselling invites students to respond to our services via our Counselling Feedback Survey which is available in our offices or online. Methods used to transmit information electronically are not insured of security or confidentiality. Counselling will not respond to student concerns that are presented via e-mail, students are encouraged to make an appointment with the Counselling office to discuss their concerns in person.