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OAIM's Confidentiality Policy

  OAIM knows that when you come to us with your problems, you are trusting us with a very important part of your heart. We, as those who minister in this work of biblical counseling, want to be faithful to you in this respect. To this end, we have set down these guidelines within which we expect our counselors to work.

  Because of the nature of the Internet and our counselors being on a volunteer basis, we cannot guarantee that the counselor you wish to talk to will be available at the time you need to talk. In order to serve you better, we do not wish to limit you to talking to only one specific counselor. However, please understand that if you are being counseled by more than one counselor, the counselors will be free to discuss between themselves the counsel they are giving you so they can work together for your best interests. This will ensure the highest quality of counseling for you. We do strongly suggest, though, that you try staying with one counselor as much as possible. We believe this helps to build a stronger counseling relationship between the two of you.

  The counseling staff at OAIM works together as a team. In some instances, it may become necessary for a counselor to ask for guidance from another counselor in a situation where they feel as if they do not know how to proceed. But please understand that the information shared will remain only between the counselors and cits (counselors in training). The counselors will not go to other sources for help in working with someone.

  At times it may appear to the counselors that there is a serious concern for either your own life or the life of others. If we believe there is a very real danger to human life, we are obligated, both by God above and by the state, to do our best to provide services that will protect human life. This may entail calling a nearby pastor, counselor, or law enforcement official. Rest assured that we do this out of our deep concern for you and will never do this for any other reason.

  We ask you to understand the limitations of the Internet in regards to privacy. We do keep transcripts of the Monday and Friday chat rooms and often retain transcripts of counseling sessions (through chat, ICQ and Messenger, as well as e-mails), but again, these are archived for the counselor’s use only (we counsel many people and it can often help to reread the last conversation before the next counseling session). However, we cannot guarantee that hackers do not hack in on conversations. As far as we are concerned we protect the conversations with you as much as it is in our power. Please be careful about the archiving features of ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger and other such instant message programs. These often hold messages until they are manually deleted, and some even require them to be deleted from two separate locations.

  In the case of a counselor being accused of improper behavior, correspondence and counseling transcripts may be subject to review by the other counselors and cits in order to determine the truth of the situation. Once again, please be assured that these materials will remain only among our counselors and cits unless legal situations or persistent false accusations require us to reveal them.

  If you have any concerns regarding this policy, please let us know. Also, if you believe that there has been a breach of confidence by one of our counselors or cits, please inform us at oaim@oaim.org. Such matters are brought before the board of counselors and will be decided following biblical guidelines as stated here. We do not tolerate our counselors to be lax in this area and we see it as a grave offense.

  Let us all work together to glorify the God who loves us so!

 

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