Confidentiality & Professional Ethics
Confidentiality is an important aspect of mental health counseling (therapy). To enable students/clients to speak freely about their feelings and experiences, what is shared with a counselor is kept private. There are specific situations when a counselor is required by law to breach confidentiality; these situations include when a student indicates a threat of harm to self or others or discloses abuse of a child or of a person who is disabled or elderly. An expressed intent to commit a crime is reportable, and a counselor may disclose confidential information if subpoenaed by a court of law. Any student who sees a counselor at Bristol will be asked to sign an Informed Consent, which outlines student rights and responsibilities in counseling.
Only under special circumstances is it appropriate for someone to meet with more than one counselor concurrently. For this reason, a Bristol counselor will not typically meet with a student who already sees a private counselor for treatment. Students who do meet with a treatment provider outside the College are still eligible for treatment at Bristol for immediate emotional or psychiatric crises.