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What about confidentiality?

Counseling often involves the disclosure of sensitive personal information. Any information a student shares with the Counseling Center staff is protected by professional ethics and state law. As such, information about the counseling a student receives is not released, except upon a student’s written permission, in circumstances which would result in clear danger to the student or others, or as may be required by law.

It is understandable that you may wish to be involved when your son or daughter seeks counseling, but the confidentiality issues described above do not permit such involvement without the consent of the student. Often, the best source of information for parents about the counseling process is the student. Beyond that, if more information is desired, the student must sign a written release specifically permitting us to communicate with you. While it is not legal or ethical for the Counseling Center to provide parents with information that a son or daughter reveals in counseling, parents are welcome to call our office ((540) 665-4530) and provide us with feedback or share your concerns about your son or daughter.

We hope these ideas and suggestions will be helpful to you in dealing with some of the difficulties parents experience when your student goes to college. The freshman year at Shenandoah is a tremendously exciting time, both for students and their families, and we hope and trust that you and your son or daughter will have a rewarding year!