The Student Counseling Service keeps medical records in accordance with professional, legal, and ethical guidelines. Other than authorized SCS staff, no one will have access to records unless the patient releases them in writing. They will not become part of the patient’s academic file, and even the fact that the patient has come to SCS will not be divulged to anyone without the patient’s permission.
Therapists may consult with supervisors and colleagues to improve his or her skills and to provide the patient with the highest quality services possible. This will be done without the use of the patient’s name whenever possible. If the therapist is being supervised, the patient will be informed of the name of his or her supervisor. The patient’s sessions will never be taped without the patient’s written consent. Statistics are compiled on SCS activities, and from time to time the SCS staff may make presentations and write articles as part of their work in an academic setting. In these cases, specific identifying information is either absent or highly disguised.
An exception to confidentiality would be a situation in which the patient was assessed to be a danger to themselves or others, the patient’s records were subpoenaed, or reporting (e.g., of the patient’s abuse or neglect of a minor) were required by law. Even in these cases, the patient would be informed if possible and no more information than necessary would be released.
Effective therapy requires an atmosphere of trust. Questions about the confidentiality policy can be raised with the patient’s therapist, or with David Albert, PhD, Director of the SCS.