Confidentiality is a very important and necessary condition of counseling. It means that when a student (or anyone) comes for counseling it is clearly explained that anything regarding that person’s counseling interaction is strictly confidential. This includes content (what is discussed), commitment and progress (whether or not the student is invested in the process or has made changes in behavior), and consistency (whether or not the student is attending sessions). This also means that unless the student gives us written permission, we will not notify anyone as to whether that student is or is not participating in counseling services.
At Bloomfield College, personal counseling services are confidential and free-of-charge. There is no reference to counseling services on the student’s academic records and no information is shared with anyone outside of the counseling office, not even with a dean or parent, without the explicit written permission of the student. However, there are some important exceptions to confidentiality.
Exceptions to Confidentiality
Counselors are legally and ethically required to breach client confidentiality when:
- A student poses clear and imminent risk of harm to self or others, our staff members are required by New Jersey state law to report that information and to take action to protect you and/or the person who is in danger.
- If there is a suspicion that a minor (under 18 years of age) is being harmed or if an elderly person is being harmed, Personal Counselors are required to notify the appropriate authorities.
- If a court issues a subpoena for the release of the record.
Email and On-line Counseling or Advice
The staff of the Personal Counseling Office values your privacy and therefore offers the following information to help you decide on the best method for contacting us.
Email Confidentiality: We cannot guarantee that your e-mail will remain confidential. We will do our best to keep your communications private. However, the college reserves the right to monitor its employees’ e-mail usage and might therefore see the text of your message. If you are in any way concerned about the contents of your e-mail being read by someone other than the person you are contacting, you should consider alternate ways of contacting us. When we respond to your e-mail, we will respond to the address from which it is sent. If you do not wish others who may have access to the e-mail account you are using to also have access to our response, please consider another means of communication.