Monday, September 8, 2014

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Confidentiality in Counseling

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Anyone who has been in counseling or therapy will tell you that confidentiality is an extremely important consideration. In order to feel comfortable sharing our thoughts and feelings with a counselor or therapist, we must have confidence that he or she will protect our privacy and keep what we discuss confidential. We also need to be informed about the few legally-mandated exceptions to confidentiality.  

The American Psychological Association has some great information about the nature of confidentiality in counseling, why it is so important, and how it works.

At the Community Counseling and Assessment Clinic, potential clients learn about confidentiality when they complete paperwork during their first visit. Our Consent Form explains the meaning of confidentiality and the times when we may be legally obligated to disclose confidential information. This information is then reviewed during the initial interview session so that potential clients have the opportunity to ask questions and decide whether counseling is for them.

We encourage anyone seeking mental health services to review the information they receive about confidentiality carefully and ask questions about any parts that are unclear early in the counseling process.