Home Forums Mental Health Counselors Confidentiality and communication with the IEP team


  • This topic has 5 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 4 years ago by Lynleigh.
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  • #975

    As a mental health provider, clients and students often share a lot of private information with you. Where do you draw the line on what to share with the IEP team and what to keep confidential?



    Anytime there is a threat of violence, either self-harm or harm toward others, a counselor is required to share that information with members of the team (parents/school administrators). That is important whether serving students onsite or online. You can also share general information with the team to help with carryover of goals you are working toward in your sessions.



    It’s really helpful to share the therapy strategies that you are working on with students so that other members of the team, such as teachers and parents, can help implement the same strategies in the classroom, home, or other settings.



    It is important for students to feel safe during counseling sessions, and part of that is knowing that they can share private information with their counselor. However, if someone’s safety is in question, you do need to relay that information to the parent/school admin, and always follow your state guidelines about making any specific incident reports as needed.



    It’s always important to consider privacy AND safety for the students. And also, to keep the team working as a team during the year. Since the team sees the goals on the IEP, it can be helpful to work together to share updates towards those specific goals, even after/before the IEP meetings.



    I think it’s great when counselors share student successes with the team! It can be easy to focus only on how to eliminate the negative behaviors of a student, but it is also really important to celebrate student successes- big or small!

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