Client bill of rights and confidentiality

Rest assured that our services are confidential, which is demonstrated below in our client bill of rights and confidentiality statement.

1.  You will consult with a counselor who will help you identify key issues and potential resources and strategies for assistance.

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Recommended resources might include counseling services or other services available at the university, in Flagstaff, or in other communities. A consultation or counseling session can take up to 45 minutes.

Counseling is a conversation or series of conversations between you and a trained professional, who may be a psychologist, a social worker, a counselor, or an intern. An intern is a graduate student who is in the process of being trained as a professional.

The conversations between you and the professional are intended to help you clarify confusing issues in your life, to help you manage difficult relationships, or to help you find ways to lessen emotional distress.

If more than the initial consultation is recommended, the frequency of sessions, number of sessions, goals, and type of counseling (e.g., either individual or group counseling) will be determined by you and your counselor within the limits of our center's resources and within our professional staff's clinical expertise.

Our services are designed to address short-term issues and concerns; issues requiring longer-term treatment will be referred elsewhere. Sometimes students may find that a referral to a counselor off-campus will more likely meet their counseling needs; your counselor will help you with such a referral, if appropriate.

Group counseling brings people with common therapeutic goals together. Our groups are professionally led and are typically 90-minute weekly meetings for about 10 weeks of the semester. Frequently offered groups deal with:

  • enhancing relationships
  • support for relaxation/stress management
  • women's issues
  • alcohol/drug education and recovery
  • eating and body image concerns
  • personal growth

2.  Everything you say will be confidential, with some exceptions.

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What you say during counseling is confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone without your permission. Notes from meetings—along with any related items such as correspondence, psychological inventories, or referral information—will also be kept secure and confidential and will not be shared with anyone outside of Campus Health Services without your permission.

There are, however, some exceptions to confidentiality. Psychologists and counselors are required by law, and by their professional ethics, to break confidentiality if:

  • a counselor believes that someone is seriously considering and likely to attempt suicide
  • a counselor believes that someone intends to assault another person
  • a counselor believes someone is engaging or intends to engage in behavior which will expose another person to a potentially life-threatening communicable disease
  • a counselor suspects abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a minor or of an incapacitated adult
  • a counselor believes that someone's mental condition leaves the person gravely disabled
  • ordered by the courts

3.  You will receive quality team treatment.

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Our team approach consists of:

  • supervision: All interns and unlicensed counselors receive regular supervision from a licensed professional at this center who will be reviewing the progress of your counselor's work with you. You get the help of two professionals for the “price” of one.
  • consultation: To ensure the quality of comprehensive services, counselors regularly consult with other Counseling Services staff members as well as health service providers at Medical Services. On a regular basis, the counseling staff meets with staff from Medical Services and from Disability Resources to coordinate treatment.
  • shared information: Because we are a unit within Campus Health Services, our counselors have access to chart notes from Medical Services and Medical Services has access to chart notes from Counseling Services; this information is used only in situations that warrant coordinated team treatment.

Confidential information about the characteristics of the students who utilize our services and the services students have received is maintained in a secure, electronic database.

This information is gathered for the purposes of program evaluation, and, in selected situations, research studies. Research results are provided only in summarized form and will not identify individual clients.

If a student uses Emergency Services (during regular hours or after hours), it may be necessary to let others in the university system know you are in crisis in order to coordinate services for you and/or to minimize the negative impact the crisis might have on others in the community.

We therefore may notify Residence Life, Student Life, Police, and/or Medical Services with only minimal information. We may also notify your parents and/or other appropriate persons if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of you or other persons.

4.  You will know what the costs of our services are.

5.  You will be referred to Disability Resources when appropriate.

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Individuals struggle with many different concerns. Sometimes these concerns indicate a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Please feel free to discuss with your counselor whether your concerns might constitute a disability and whether you might want to talk with a coordinator in Disability Resources. Disability Resources can be contacted at 928-523-8773.

6.  We will give feedback to your counselor.

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In addition to an anonymous survey we conduct each semester, you are encouraged to tell your counselor about what is helping and what is not. This feedback can increase the effectiveness of the counseling as well as your overall satisfaction with the process and outcomes.

E-mail is neither an effective nor confidential form of communication with Counseling Services or with your counselor. If an emergency arises, please use the telephone to contact us at 928-523-2261.