Obtaining Informed Consent for Psychotherapy

Every person is different, and each of them might respond differently to a certain treatment or procedure, particularly in psychotherapy. Thus, most psychotherapists would obtain informed consent from their patients, which ensures that a client or a patient is fully aware of all the benefits, potential risks, and costs of the procedure.

Normally, securing informed consent from the patient involves three phases, and all of them involve the exchange of information between the client and the therapist.

Communication

Obtaining informed consent from the patient would also include seeking their permission to communicate through e-mail or record a session. At this phase, everything should be made clear to the client while at the same time emphasizing that they are free to choose whether to proceed with the treatment or not.

Evaluation

The therapist will evaluate whether the client understood the things disclosed to him and if client is competent enough to make an informed decision. Before making one, the client must fully understand everything about the planned procedure or treatment, and must be able to accept the possible outcomes.

Agreement

Because of the sensitive nature involved in treatments such as psychotherapy, it is not enough that the client give an implicit consent. Instead, it must be expressly given to the therapist, and with full understanding of the stipulations stated in the consent form. This document will become binding proof that both therapist and client have mutually agreed to the terms of the treatment.

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