Syracuse UniversityCounseling Center

Confidentiality

Counseling Center services are completely confidential, except in cases where there is a court order requiring the release of information or there is imminent danger to self or others. For you this means, we do not release information to your parents, faculty, staff, or others about your counseling without a signed release from you that would permit such an exchange of information. 

Policy

The Counseling Center adheres to the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association, including strictly respecting your right to confidentiality of records and information shared by you in a counseling session. All records, computerized and written, will be stored, retrieved, and maintained according to acceptable ethical guidelines. The Counseling Center will generally release records only to other mental health care providers; however, you should be aware that there are certain circumstances under which your right to confidentiality may be outweighed by a conflicting legal or ethical duty of the Counseling Center to disclose confidential information. For example, if the Counseling Center determines that you are potentially harmful to yourself or others, or learns of child neglect or abuse, or is ordered by a court of law or otherwise required by law to surrender its records (as in child custody cases), then the Counseling Center may have to disclose information that you shared on a confidential basis. In all other circumstances, the Counseling Center will obtain your prior written permission before disclosing your confidential information to anyone.

For specific information on confidentiality regarding sexual assault and relationship violence, click here.

Academic Records

Counseling Center records are separate from a student’s academic record. No one in the University has access to a student’s Counseling Center record unless the student gives permission for that access.

Taped Sessions

Under rare circumstances a session may be audiotaped or videotaped. You would be asked prior to the session and have the right to decline being taped without any impact on your ability to receive services at the Counseling Center.

Electronic Mail

Due to concerns regarding confidentiality, the Counseling Center does not use e-mail to communicate with clients.

Excuse Notes

As a general policy, the Counseling Center will not write notes to excuse you from your academic responsibilities. In specific circumstances, mutually agreed upon by you and your therapist, the Counseling Center can verify only that you were a client at the center and the dates that you attended sessions. Missed classes or incomplete work are issues between you and your instructor.

Mandated Referrals

Some students may be required to come to the Counseling Center as a result of drinking or drug related consequences.  Students may be referred through the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Office of Residence Life, the Athletic Department, or other administrative offices. Our services are still confidential.  To confirm your involement in services, you will be asked to sign a release of information allowing communication between the Counseling Center and the referring office.  Any release will be fully explained to you if one is needed.  You have the right to decline signing any release, however the Counseling Center will not be able to confirm your involvement.