Consultation to Parents/Significant Others

Sometimes concerned family members/significant others may have questions about how they themselves may assist their student who may be struggling with a specific problem or are in need of specific services. We encourage such concerned individuals to review the student section of our online information for details about our services. Of course, we are available for consultation by phone (785-532-6927) or by e-mail to answer questions about how students may obtain services at the K-State Counseling Services. We are willing to consult with you about your concerns and, where appropriate, we can make recommendations for handling the situation. When our services are not the appropriate option, in many cases we can help you identify service options outside of the university.

Limits of such consultations

Sometimes family members/concerned individuals are curious or worried about whether their student is receiving counseling. Confidentiality requires that we not acknowledge to any other party information about a client including whether a person is being seen as a client. Client information is private and privileged meaning that it is mandated by law that only the person can authorize by written signature a release of their personal information.

There are only a few instances when confidentiality can be breached as in cases where the agency has direct knowledge that a) a person is a danger to himself or others, b) a child is being abused, or c) an elderly person is being abused or d) where there is a direct court order to release the information. These safeguards are essential for an individual's privacy as well as for the development of an effective counseling relationship with clients.

As consultants, we encourage the concerned individual to talk directly to the student to discuss their concern and request that they be allowed to speak with the student's therapist at whatever agency may be serving them. It is also important to know that before any information can be shared, the student would have to contact whatever agency at which he/she is receiving services and sign the necessary "authorization to release information" forms giving specific permission to that agency about what information and to whom it can be released.

Some Helpful Websites

Listed below are some links to websites that you might find helpful and informative:


Adapted from resources offered on the Parents and Family Resource pagefor Westfield State College. 7/27/04.