Increasingly Informed Consent: Discussing Distinct Aspects of Psychotherapy at Different Points in Time
Pomerantz, Andrew M.
Ethics and Behavior 2005; 15(4): 351-360
Psychologists are ethically obligated to obtain informed consent to psychotherapy "as early as is feasible" (American Psychological Association, 2002, p.1072). However, the range of topics to be addressed includes both information that may be immediately and uniformly applicable to most clients policy or rule, as well as information that is not immediately presentable because it varies widely across clients or emerges over time. In this study, licensed psychologists were surveyed regarding the earliest feasible point at which they could provide information regarding specific aspects of psychotherapy. Results indicate that, although psychologists believe that they are capable of presenting some information, such as payment and confidentiality policies, at the outset, they believe that a discussion of more substantive issues, such as psychotherapy duration, goals, orientation, and activities, can take place only after some therapy has transpired. Implications are discussed regarding the process and event models of informed consent.
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