All therapeutic services at The King’s College Counseling Center are strictly confidential. This means that nothing students share with a therapist is revealed to anyone outside of the Counseling Center without the student’s permission.
We do not disclose student names, attendance or identifying information to anyone outside of the Counseling Center including other students, family, professors and administrators.
To provide students with the highest quality of care, a therapist may consult with other counseling center staff. Other than these internal consultations, it is the student’s decision whether to tell anyone that they are in counseling.
All students requesting counseling services will be asked to read and sign our Counseling Agreement at their first appointment. This document describes Counseling Center policies and procedures including confidentiality. Your counselor will also review this with you in your first meeting.
Limits to confidentiality
There are situations in which we are required by law and/or professional ethics to release information. These include:
Our assessment that a student may be a danger to himself or others.
Our assessment that a child or elder is being abused, neglected or exploited.
Requirement to present records or information as a part of a legal proceeding.
If any of these situations do arise, our staff will make every effort to discuss with the student what steps will be taken.
Are my counseling records part of my permanent file?
No. No information about your contact with the Counseling Center is kept in your permanent academic or financial record.
In compliance with New York State law, all counseling records are kept in a confidential file for 6 years. During this time, only Counselors have access to these files. You may obtain your records with written permission at any point during this time. After 6 years, records are destroyed.
Can counselors share information about me with others?
Therapists are unable to release any information about you without your permission. If you want your counselor to talk with someone else, you may sign an authorization form. This legal document enables your counselor to discuss any matter of your choosing with a specified person.
On rare occasions, the Dean of Students will mandate a student to have a mental health evaluation at the Counseling Center. This is done to ensure student health and safety. If this student does not attend a mandated evaluation, Counseling Center staff may inform the referring source. At the appointment, the student will be asked to provide written consent to relay pertinent information back to the referring administrator. This information often includes, but is not limited to, whether the student attended the session(s) and the treatment plan and factors that may put students’ health at-risk.
While Counseling Center staff conduct mandated mental health evaluations to students of concern, we do not provide mandated counseling. All counseling sessions at the Counseling Center are voluntary, confidential and private.
There are some employers and institutions that ask whether students have been in counseling on their application forms; it is always your choice if you want to disclose this information. HIPPA does not allow employers or institutions to mandate this.
If you do choose to disclose that you received counseling services to an outside organization, you may submit a request in person or in writing to your counselor; a phone call is not an acceptable means to release information. No outside agency will receive records or be informed of student contact with the Counseling Center unless you give explicit permission and sign a release.