QUESTION: Im just curious about HIPPA... can a minor tell the counselor anything without the counselor telling their guardians as long as it doesnt have to do with self harm, or putting others in harm.

ANSWER: Hello,

In most cases, yes. If there is any question about the policy, talk to the counselor beforehand so that you have full disclosure. Counselors are mandatory reporters and must also report child abuse, elder abuse, and sexual abuse- however, this may be waived in some circumstances.

Laura Giles

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QUESTION: I was reading online about how counselors also report sexual activity if they're a minor even if there was no abuse involved. And i also read they will inform guardians of substance use... even if it was a one time usage. Is this true? Or does it depend on who you go to? I would like to start going to counseling, but if they tell my guardians everything then i rather not.


You need to speak with the agency to find out their rules. I have worked in some places where the minor's rights were strictly observed (except in cases that involved mandatory reporting). I have also worked in places where the parent's were informed of the child's behavior if it was felt to be in the best interest of the child. It really depends on who the counselor or agency sees as the client. In either case, the client has to be told what the guidelines are in advance.

Laura Giles


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Laura Giles, MSW


I can answer questions about sexual assault, sex offending, domestic violence, substance abuse, acudetox, hypnosis, biofeedback, neurofeedback, ADHD, relationship issues, and run of the mill mental health questions.


Extensive inpatient, outpatient and criminal justice experience.

BS counseling, MSW social work

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