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Informed Consent & Confidentiality

This statement outlines policies regarding confidentiality and informed consent which governs the counseling work of our staff:

Informed Consent

The counseling staff is here to assist you with concerns that often arise during the college years. Counseling is talking through your individual concerns with a professional counselor. Your concern may be specific and focused, or simply a general feeling of dissatisfaction or unhappiness. Some examples of such issues are: difficulties adjusting to college life, sadness over a loss, low self esteem, anxiety, depression, difficult interpersonal relationships, sexual concerns and loneliness. Should you need more specialized help, your counselor is prepared to make referrals to other professionals in the community.

As a client you have certain rights. These include the right to participate actively in developing alternatives for addressing your concerns. You may terminate counseling at any time for any reason, preferably only after discussing such termination with your counselor. You are encouraged to ask questions about anything you don't understand.

Confidentiality

Strict confidentiality is maintained for all client information and records. The only persons allowed access to such information are Counseling Services staff who have professional need for the information. For example, your counselor may review the content of your therapy with her/his supervisor, or, in some cases the administrative support staff member may need to type your report.

No information will be disclosd to anyone outside Counseling Services without your prior written consent. Should you wish information forwarded to other parties (QCC staff or others), we will be glad to provide verbal or written reports to any person(s) you designate once we obtain your written permision to do so.

A few exceptions to the confidentiality principle exist. For example, information may be revealed when you threaten to harm yourself or another person, when a child or elder is believed to be suffering physical or emotional abuse or in those rare instances when the courts subpoena a counselor to testify, such as in a hearing related to psychiatric hospitalization. Such exceptions to your rights of confidentiality are mandated by Massachusetts State laws or QCC policy.

If you have any questions about any of the above policies, please feel free to discuss them with your counselor.