Policy Title

Confidentiality Policy: Counseling Services


To delineate the nature of and limits of confidentiality within the Counseling Relationship as well as the governing bodies who regulate confidentiality. Describes the nature of supervision for Counselors in Training and Mandated Counseling.


Students who are potential clients and those referring students as clients.

Policy Number:3.7.3
Effective Date:08/01/2008
Date Reviewed: 10/01/2016
Last Review Date: Jan 1 2016 12:00AM
Responsible Official: Clinical Coordinator of Counseling Services
Responsible Office: Health and Counseling Services
Contact Information:

Counseling Services:



1.0 Specific meanings of bold terms seen throughout this policy can be found within the University's policy definition glossary by following the link below.

1.1 http://www.winthrop.edu/policy-definitions-glossary

The ethical codes of the American Psychological Association and the International Association of Counseling Services and the laws of South Carolina guide the policies of Winthrop University Counseling Services. As such, the information you share with your counselor is confidential. University officials, teachers, parents, law enforcement officials, potential employers, and others have no access to any of your records without your written permission. The only exceptions to this rule of confidentiality are the following:

•If appropriate, your counselor may consult with your treating physician or other healthcare provider at Winthrop University Health Services to coordinate your care.

•If you are clearly likely to do physical harm to another person in the near future, it is your counselor’s duty to warn the person involved. This step would be taken as a last resort and only if absolutely necessary.

•If you are clearly likely to do physical harm to yourself in the near future, it is your counselor's duty to contact others. This step would be taken as a last resort and only if absolutely necessary.

•If you share information about the abuse or neglect of any juvenile(s) or disabled adult(s), your counselor may be required by state law to report that information to the Department of Social Services.

•If you are seventeen or younger, your parents may have legal access to your counseling records.

•If ordered by a judge to testify or provide counseling records as part of a judicial proceeding, your counselor would be required to comply. Such a situation may arise in child custody proceedings or in proceedings in which your emotional condition is an important element.

Psychologists and counselors at Counseling Services may receive supervision from senior staff. This means that information you share with your counselor may be reviewed by a supervisor to ensure that you are receiving the highest quality of service. It is your right to know the name of your counselor’s supervisor. Your counselor also may seek consultation with other professional psychologists and counselors on the Counseling Services staff in order to help you better deal with your concerns. The medical and counseling staff of Winthrop University Health and Counseling Services may share access to your medical and counseling charts for the purpose of coordinating your care. You may limit sharing of information between providers. If you have any questions or concerns regarding confidentiality, please feel free to discuss them with your counselor.

Counseling staff at Counseling Services do not provide mandated counseling (i.e. ongoing counseling that is required by a judicial process through the University or government agency). Attendance of any student-client in counseling sessions can only be reported after the student-client has signed a release that designates who specifically can receive such information.

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