In almost every case, the counselor will keep material discussed in counseling sessions completely confidential. There are two exceptions:
First, if the client faces legal proceedings, the opposing attorney may request and the judge may grant a subpoenae of the counselor and/or your records. In such cases, the counselor is required by law to surrender the documents or be jailed.
Second, the counselor is legally and ethically obligated and has a duty to warn the appropriate officials if a client intends to take harmful, dangerous, or criminal action against him/herself or others. Likewise, if someone is committing sexual or physical abuse against the client or a child, the counselor is legally and ethically obligated and has a duty to inform the appropriate officials.
Before taking such action, the counselor may attempt to resolve the issue with the client to prevent such a breach in confidentiality. However, the counselor may deem it necessary and in the endangered party’s best interest to do so without forewarning the client.