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Access to school counselling file?

Hi everyone,

 

I have finished my HSC and am about to sign out of school this week. Yay! Throughout year 11 and 12 I have been consistently seeing the school counsellor. I was just wondering if anyone knows if I am allowed to request to have a copy of my counselling file as I feel like it might be useful for the next psychologist that I'll see or it might be useful for the uni counselling service that I might use just so they have something to refer to regarding my mental health history in high school.

 

I'm just scared that the school counsellor might think it's weird I want to have access to my file as I haven't heard of anyone that requested their counselling file from school before.

 

Thanks everyone. Smiley Happy

Re: Access to school counselling file?

Hi @justkeepswimming ! From my understanding you should be able to have access to the original file or a copy of it if you request it. I’m not 100% sure but there’s no harm in asking! 

Re: Access to school counselling file?

Thanks @Bingo1234 ! I'll email the school counsellor and see how it goes. Smiley Happy

Re: Access to school counselling file?

Hello @justkeepswimming, I think Bingo1234 is right, you should be allowed access to the files as they are relevant to you. I think that you have a perfectly understandable reason why someone would request their files and I would think that the counsellor would think that too and would have no issues giving you access! Feel free to let us know how you go here on the forums Heart Congratulations on finishing Your HSC too, what a great achievement!

Re: Access to school counselling file?

Hi @Sophia-RO @Bingo1234 


The school counsellor emailed me back this morning and he said that he can’t share the counselling file notes with me because they must stay confidential. But he said that he could write me a one page summary statement of the counselling support that I’ve received at school for me. 

I just said yes to that but also I feel like I should be able to have a copy because I’ve signed out of school and I am the client? Or maybe he just doesn’t trust me with the notes. I don’t know. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Re: Access to school counselling file?

Hey @justkeepswimming, that is a little odd, as it is to my understanding that a client is allowed to access their case files, you can see this article here written by the APA which outlines this policy. It might help to explain that you only want the notes to pass on to any future mental health practitioners you work with. One alternative if he is being stubborn, is to ask whether he would instead feel more comfortable passing these notes on to your next therapist directly 

Re: Access to school counselling file?

Hi @Andrea-RO ! Yeah I did explain to him I only want my file so that my next psychologist will be aware of my history. He said that he is happy to give me a one page summary so I think he'll just write something from my file notes. It's not the same compared to the actual copy of my file but it will do I guess.

 

I'm still in the process of finding a new psychologist because the last one didn't work out so I can't ask him to pass on the notes to my next psychologist yet.

 

 

Re: Access to school counselling file?

Good job for working up the courage to email your counsellor @justkeepswimming! I'm not sure why it would be the case that you can't access your file. It could be something to do with the school or APA policy as Andrea-RO said? I wonder why your counsellor just wants to do a one page summary... Anyway, I imagine that being able to hand over your file would be a lot easier than having to repeat everything to a new psych?

Re: Access to school counselling file?

Hi @Lost_Space_Explorer5  yeah it might be the school policy. Pretty sure my school is being very careful of mental health stuff because someone in the year below me committed. I just felt like having a copy of my file would make me more accountable for my own mental health but also would give my new psych more info from a professional point of view. There's not much I can do if they're not willing to give me my actual file but to me, it makes sense that I should have a copy of the file because I graduated and no longer attend my school.

Re: Access to school counselling file?

That sounds like a really tough situation @justkeepswimming. I can understand why you would like to have a copy of your own file, and I think it is fair for you to have access to your own records. It might be worth looking into the school policy to see what else you can do. Andrea also suggested a good idea around asking the counsellor to transfer their notes to your new psych directly. I understand that you might not have a new psych set up yet, but that could always be kept as a plan B just in case nothing else turns out!