School counselors walk a fine line when it comes to confidentiality. They have to balance their clients’ needs against the rights of parents, the administration, and the community. One time when confidentiality must be breached is when someone’s – either the client’s or somebody else’s – safety is at risk. Still, knowing when a threat is legitimate and when it’s “just talk” can be difficult. Ultimately we must err on the side of caution, but this article, though focused on a community counseling case, offers some helpful insight into what a counselor might consider when making a judgment about whether or not to break confidentiality.
School mental health services have been getting more scrutiny since Sandy Hook, but it isn’t always easy to get kids the help they need. The Affordable Care Act should help, and many schools are implementing “classroom-based strategies and practices that build respectful, positive school communities and teach children social and emotional competencies.”
As schools focus more and more on group work and project-based learning, autistic-spectrum students sometimes struggle to keep up. These students struggle with social-emotional tasks and perform far better with the type of challenging solo work that used to be the norm in public school classrooms. School counselors who understand the challenges these students face are best able to meet their unique needs.