Confidentiality and privacy

The Counselling Service has strict codes of confidentiality. We will not normally divulge anything to tutors, doctors, parents or anyone else without your permission.

Occasionally, your counsellor may suggest that it could be helpful for you to see your doctor or Academic Adviser, but whether you do is up to you.

Read our policy on confidentiality and information sharing.


Breaking confidentiality

Only in very exceptional circumstances, where you or someone else could be at risk of serious harm, or where required by law, might a counsellor consider breaking confidentiality.

About the practice of counselling

  • To help us work productively, all counsellors attend external counselling supervision in which we discuss our work. Supervisors are bound by the service confidentiality policy. External supervision is normal counselling practice and is to help the counsellor think clearly about their work.
  • We may attend training, in which anonymous case material is sometimes used.
  • When you register with the Counselling Service, you are asked to give us contact details. This enables us to contact you to provide you with the services you require. We will not use your contact details for any other purpose, without your consent (unless there are exceptional circumstances were someone might be at risk of harm).
  • You will be asked to fill in clinical questionnaires at the beginning and end of your counselling. These questionnaires are held confidentially within your counselling file. Your responses help us understand more about the effectiveness of counselling, and the ways in which our services can be improved.

About records

  • The Counselling Service collects statistics about numbers of students attending and the types of problems they bring.
  • All counselling records are strictly confidential and are kept securely on our electronic client management system, in accordance with the requirements of the UK Data Protection law. All your notes are deleted from this system after six years. If you have questions about any aspects of our confidentiality and record keeping policies, or if you would like to see your counselling notes, please discuss this with your counsellor.