When students decide to meet with a counselor, they need sufficient emotional support
to manage their life adversities and mental health concerns. A student may be going through stressful experiences, traumatic life events, fear of judgement and an emotional roller coaster ride of mental health symptoms. They may feel embarrassed, vulnerable or a sense of shame, and may be reluctant to share their private feelings and secrets if they do not feel safe
in the counseling environment. It is of utmost importance for a counselor to gain trust
from a student and build rapport
with them to ensure the effectiveness of counseling/psychotherapy. Sometimes, the discussion may involve substance abuse, sexual activity, and concerns about other behaviors that might violate the student conduct code.
Counseling/psychotherapy is considered confidential to protect students’ personal experiences and the therapeutic relationship
. Nevertheless, there are exceptions that confidentiality would not be upheld, particularly if the counselor is significantly concerned about the safety of student or someone else that the student is talking about.