Our counsellors are professionally trained and accredited by their respective national and/or provincial bodies. This means that in addition to a personal commitment to keeping counselling confidential, they have a professional and ethical obligation to do so. Confidentiality means that information regarding your counselling sessions is kept between you and your counsellor.
Limits on confidentiality include:
- Risk of harm to self or others – when a counsellor believes that a client is an imminent and specific risk to harm themselves or someone else, they have an obligation, both professionally and legally, to take appropriate action to ensure safety.
- Reports of on-going child abuse – professional and legal obligations require that on-going child abuse be reported to appropriate authorities.
- Professional supervision – counsellors may discuss cases, in a confidential setting, with other trained counsellors. This may be done during peer consultation or during a supervisory process in order to ensure appropriate treatment.
- Court order – counselling is not protected by a legal definition of privilege in the courts; as such, a judge may order access to counselling records and counsellor testimony. There would have to be a compelling reason to do so, and a client would have a right to contest the order.
- Client release – a counselling client has the right to request the release of counselling information to a third party. This will usually be done in consultation between the client and the counsellor.
All students at UPEI are protected by provincial and federal laws concerning access to information and protection of privacy. This means that student records and information can only be accessed by the student themselves, and university personnel in the legitimate pursuit of their occupational duties.