The law protects the privacy of all communications between a client and a mental health professional. In most situations, the Counseling Service can only release information about your treatment to others if you sign a written authorization form that meets certain legal requirements.
If you and your counselor agree that it would be beneficial for your counselor to share confidential information about your treatment with someone else, your counselor will prepare an authorization form for your signature.
At the time of your first appointment, you will be asked to sign an authorization form allowing us to share information about your treatment with the off-campus mental health professionals who provide consultation services to the Luther Counseling staff.
Our consultants are Marilyn Southard, LISW and Karla Presler, LISW of Therapy Associates in Decorah. These professionals are legally and ethically bound to keep confidential all client information disclosed to them in consultation sessions. We strongly believe that such consultation enhances the quality of our work with clients.
However, if you have any reservations about signing the Authorization to Southard and Presler, do not sign and discuss your concerns with your counselor. Counselors will not routinely inform clients of consultation discussions with Southard and Presler, but will do so if sharing ideas gleaned from consultation would be helpful to the counseling process.
In some situations, no authorization to release confidential information about a client's treatment is required by law or ethical standards. In these situations, the counselor may release information without the client's permission. Information sharing within the Counseling Service for clinical and administrative purposes is routine. The other situations in the following list are unusual at the Counseling Service, but do occur occasionally:
If one of the preceding situations (other than clinical/administrative sharing) arises, the counselor will make every effort to fully discuss it with the client before taking any action and will limit disclosure to what is necessary. In some emergency situations, there may not be an opportunity to discuss disclosure with the client before action is taken.