The ethical guidelines of the International Association of Counseling Services and Ohio state laws guide the services of the Counseling Service. These guidelines require that the information you share with your counselor will not be given to individuals who are not on the Counseling Service professional staff without your knowledge and written consent, and no record of your use of this service will be placed on your college records, placement files or your official transcript.
You should also know, however, that we are required by law to report situations involving imminent danger to you or someone else, or circumstances involving the neglect or abuse of a child (under 18) or an elderly person. By law, we must also respond to court ordered subpoenas of client records. Your counselor will inform you of his/her need to take such actions before they are initiated.
Diverse in their professional backgrounds, and committed to providing high quality service to students, the staff of the Health and Counseling Center frequently draw upon each other's knowledge in planning their treatment approaches for students. Consequently, your counselor may consult with a colleague if it will be beneficial to you. In fact, such consultations are required by law if your counselor is a graduate student trainee, or is not yet licensed/certified in his or her professional specialty and must be supervised by a licensed psychologist. Your counselor may also consult with the college physician regarding any medically-related aspects of your counseling, including medications you may be taking, stress-related health concerns, or other health related areas that may affect your progress in counseling.
If you think it would be helpful to you for your counselor to consult with your parents, academic advisor, physician, or others about your situation, please let our secretary know and she will give you a copy of our "Authorization for Release of Information" form to complete prior to seeing your counselor. This will allow us to act immediately on your request.
Because the email system can be tapped by sophisticated computer "hackers," we suggest that you keep your messages to your counselor brief and not go into extensive detail about you personal concern(s). More specifically, we suggest that you email us only to make or reschedule an appointment or to briefly describe a personal circumstance that you would be comfortable sharing publically.
Finally, as you know Gambier is a small community, making it likely that you may cross paths with your counselor while walking down Middle Path, eating at a local restaurant, in a class, meeting, or other social event. Some students are uncomfortable when they encounter their counselor in such settings, and do not wish to be acknowledged; others are not distressed by these occurrences and don't mind sharing in a mutual "hello" or a brief discussion. We respect your right to choose how you will be treated on such occasions, so please discuss your preferences with your counselor during your first counseling session.