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. This means that 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 will not report any information about student-clients, including attendance or lack there of, to any person, agency, or group who has mandated counseling for the student.