In order to ensure a safe environment for students to explore their personal concerns all counseling services are confidential. This means that our staff will not reveal the identity of students who seek our services, will not confirm or deny a student's participation in counseling, and will not provide any details about what has been discussed in counseling without the student's written consent. We do not give information to parents or to other offices or departments within the university without a student's written consent. Similarly, information about participation in counseling will not appear on a student's academic records.
Students may request to have information shared with the person(s) of their choice and can sign a release granting us permission to share confidential counseling information. However, it is because of the strength of our belief in the importance of you feeling safe about sharing information about yourself with your clinician that we want to inform you of the times when we might legally and/or ethically be required to share information about you without your consent. A summary follows:
- Information released to other professionals involved in your treatment. Most commonly, this would be the other members of the counseling staff at CAPS, or the psychiatric staff of the University of Houston Student Health Center (“Student Health Center”) if you are also being seen there.
- If you are under 18, your parents or legal guardian(s) may have access to your records and may authorize their release to other parties.
- If you are reasonably suspected to be in imminent danger of harming yourself or someone else.
- If you disclose abuse or neglect of children, the elderly, or disabled persons.
- If you disclose sexual misconduct by a therapist.
- To qualified personnel for certain kinds of program audits or evaluations.
- In criminal court proceedings.
- In legal or regulatory actions against a professional.
- In proceedings in which a claim is made about one's physical, emotional, or mental condition.
- When disclosure is relevant in any suit affecting the parent-child relationship. This includes divorce and child custody deliberations.
- Upon the issuance of a court order or lawfully issued subpoena.
- Where otherwise legally required.
The above is considered to be only a summary. If you have questions about specific situations or any aspect of the confidentiality of CAPS records, please ask a member of the counseling staff.