Confidentiality & Privacy
Confidentiality is an important aspect of our counseling. Your counselor will carefully guard your personal information. However, confidentiality is guaranteed only within the limits of biblical principles and civil law. For example:
- Your counselor might be required to divulge information to appropriate civil authorities if there is an indication that you or someone else might otherwise be harmed or be at risk of abuse or neglect.
- In counseling minor children, your counselor might be required to divulge information to parents or legal guardians.
- When a counselee has vowed submission to the government and discipline of a church (Matthew 18:15-20, Galatians 6:1) and stubbornly refuses to recognize or to repent of a particular sin, your counselor is required by scripture to seek the assistance of others in that church according to the Biblical pattern of restoration.
Our counselors strongly prefer not to disclose personal information to others, and they will make every effort to help you find ways to resolve problems as privately as possible.
Agreement by Counselee(s):
- You agree not to discuss our conversations with people who do not have a necessary interest in the counseling or conciliation process.
- In situations that involve legal action, you agree to treat all dealings with your counselor as settlement negotiations, which are inadmissible in a court of law or for legal discovery. Furthermore, you agree not to compel your counselor to divulge information acquired during counseling or to testify concerning your counseling in a legal proceeding. Your counselor agrees not to voluntarily divulge information acquired during counseling or testify concerning your counseling in a legal proceeding.
- Owen Center counselors are obligated by state law to report any incidents of suspected or obvious child abuse or neglect in accordance with Alabama state law.
- In the unlikely event of a conflict between you and your counselor, you agree to resolve the dispute in a biblical manner, through discussion, and, if necessary, through mediation and arbitration, according to the Rules of Procedure of the Institute for Christian Conciliation, available at Peacemaker Ministries’ website (www.peacemaker.net). For further information about confidentiality, see the Guidelines for Christian Conciliation at the same website.
- Before counseling begins, the counselee will have to agree to and sign our counseling agreement. To read over the agreement before applying for counseling, click here.