Confidentiality

Communication with your counselor will be kept in confidence and will not, except under the circumstances explained below, be shared with anyone outside of the Counseling Center, unless you give us written authorization to do so. Counseling Center records are not part of academic records, and no one on or off campus has access to Counseling Center records except under extremely rare conditions which are included in the exceptions below.

Exceptions to confidentiality mandated or permitted by law include:

  • We may break confidentially if there is risk of imminent harm to any person (yourself or another identified person).
  • When we have reason to suspect that a minor or an elderly person is in danger of being abused or neglected we are legally required to report this to the Department of Social Services.
  • If a court of law or federal security entity orders the release of certain information about a client we are legally required to comply with this order (although we work to release the minimum information needed).
  • Professional standards recommend confidential consultation within the agency to ensure quality care.
  • If you file a lawsuit or other legal action against UW or its employees, agents or officers contesting your services at this Center, information contained in your records could be released to UW’s attorneys if relevant to your lawsuit.

If at all possible your counselor will discuss any of the above exceptions that would apply to you, and will obtain your assistance in resolving this matter.

In addition to the ethical and legal obligation of counselors to protect confidentiality, special care is given to instructing support staff in the requirements of confidentiality. Persons who work in the Counseling Center in any of these capacities may not reveal the name of a client who has come to the Counseling Center, nor discuss that client’s presence in any way that could cause the client’s identity to be discerned.

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