Your records and attendance at the Counseling Center are confidential and not a part of other records or information at the college. The counseling staff may consult with each other on occasion to provide you the best possible service, but everyone here is professionally compelled to keep the information within the Center. Information is usually released to others only with your written permission. However, there are some relatively rare exceptions, such as when the law mandates disclosure (e.g., an indication of a child or dependent adult being abused; a judicial order is issued), or there is an immediate threat of your causing serious harm to yourself or others, or a parental authority requires access when the student is below age 18. Even in these cases, the Counseling Center can inform only those individuals necessary to comply legally or to intervene and protect. In case of hospitalization for psychological reasons, the law may require parents of a financially dependent student to be notified.
The security of e-mail cannot be assured and staff members do not use it to communicate confidential information. Also, e-mail is not monitored in a way that ensures urgent messages receive a timely, appropriate response. Therefore, for sensitive, private, or urgent concerns, please call the Counseling Center during regular business hours at (540) 375-2302.
Professional standards require records of the services provided. These records are written by and for mental health professionals. Therefore, it is our policy that a counselor personally responds to concerns or questions about treatment records. Records, or a summary, can be provided to another mental health professional should you choose to be seen elsewhere. You may, of course, talk to anyone you want about your services here.