Counseling and Confidentiality - What You Need to Know

Counseling records are kept separate from all other records to ensure your confidentiality. Records are maintained in an electronic database stored in a secured, password-protected environment and accessible only to Oakton counseling staff.

Information obtained during counseling sessions is not disclosed to anyone without your knowledge and written consent. If you do provide written consent allowing us to disclose information, you may cancel that (in writing) at any time. Once we have received your cancellation, we will not disclose any additional information.

The only exceptions to these strict confidentiality rules are rare instances where psychologists and counselors are required to reveal information by federal, state, or local laws. These exceptions come into play when:

  • We believe there is a substantial likelihood that a client will cause serious physical harm to themself or another person unless protective measures are taken. In these cases, Illinois law mandates that the parents of dependent students must be notified.
  • We have reasonable cause to believe that a child is being abused or neglected, or an aged or incapacitated adult is being subject to abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
  • We receive a court order upon good cause shown or in compliance with a subpoena.
  • We are approached by authorized federal officials for information related to national security and intelligence activities. By law, we may not be able to reveal to the client when we have disclosed such information to the government.
  • We need to seek legal advice from Oakton's policy and legal affairs advisor.
  • The parents of a minor (i.e., a student who is under the age of 18) request information.

Social Networking and Confidentiality
Oakton counseling staff will not accept friend or contact requests on social networking sites from clients or students with whom they have professional relationships (including trainees and student employees). This policy exists to minimize the potential for online relationships that could compromise client confidentiality and the privacy of both clients and staff.