We understand that people sometimes seek counseling for very personal and sensitive issues. Our counselors at SVRBC are trustworthy and honest, and to the greatest extent possible will preserve your privacy and confidentiality.
However, there are some situations where the Bible may require your counselor to share information with others:
If the counselor is uncertain how to best address a problem, they may need to seek advice from another pastor or counselor (Proverbs 11:14, 24:6). In this situation, as few details as possible will be shared to preserve the privacy of the counselee.
If there is an immediate possibility of abuse or harm to another, the counselor must take reasonable precautions to prevent harm, which may include alerting the authorities, or alerting the person in danger (Romans 13:1-5).
When counseling about ongoing sin which has consequences to close family relations (e.g. counseling a teenager who repeatedly steals from their parents, or a spouse who is continuing to commit adultery), the counselor will encourage the counselee to inform the affected family member, and may inform them if the counselee refuses (Ephesians 5:22, Ephesians 6:1, 1 Corinthians 7:4).
If the counselee is a church member who becomes hardened in a particular sin, and does not repent when called to do so, the counselor will have to inform others of the sin to begin the process of church discipline (Matthew 18:16). This is done with the goal of encouraging the counselee toward repentance.
Even when required to share information, SVRBC counselors will use their discretion and only share what is required to ensure the best outcome for your counseling case.