In counseling, I am often entrusted with the personal information of my students and their parents. This trust is something that I highly value, as it is crucial to building a helping relationship with any student, parent, or teacher. Based on the ethics of my profession as well as FERPA, conversations with a counselor are typically confidential with the exception of situations in which the student/parents have authorized the counselor to speak to someone else. In addition, there are a number of urgent situations which limit confidentiality:
· Threat of harm to oneself
· Threat of harm to another
· Any report of abuse or neglect or suspected abuse or neglect
· Reports of behavior which could reasonably lead to harm to self or others
· Court orders requiring disclosureParents and teachers are an essential component of helping elementary age children practice and generalize the skills and strategies acquired in small group or individual counseling, and my goal is to provide help. My personal policy is to ask students if they are comfortable with me sharing the content of our conversation with their parents/teachers, and children are usually happy for the grown-ups in their life to collaborate.If your child is working with a community based therapist or psychiatrist, it can be very helpful for the practitioner and the school counselor to communicate. This helps all the adults in the child's life to be on the same page, to encourage the same skills/strategies, and prevents the child from being overwhelmed by advice. Should you want me or your child's teacher to be allowed to communicate with an outside practitioner, please fill out a consent of release form.