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Informed Consent and Psychotherapy

Informed consent to psychotherapy is approval, provided by the client (or, in some cases, the client’s parent, guardian, or other representative) to the therapist, to move forward with the psychotherapy. The client decides whether to grant this approval after receiving relevant information from the therapist about the psychotherapy.

Informed consent to psychotherapy is a vital issue for any discipline in which psychotherapy is a primary professional activity, including clinical psychology. Providing information to clients about the proposed psychotherapy is an important way for therapists to acknowledge clients’ autonomy and their rights to make educated choices about their own mental health care. Requiring consent based on this information ensures that therapists do not implement treatment to which clients may object.

Historically, informed consent has not always been ...

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