Client Rights & Responsibilities
Clients, and their parents/guardians, have the right and/or responsibility to:
- Get respectful treatment that will be helpful.
- Expect a safe treatment setting free from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
- Be informed about the terms of therapy, for example, fees, payment arrangements, privacy issues, and so on.
- Clarify and/or ask questions, at any time, about their therapy.
- Actively participate in the course of therapy.
- Privacy and confidentiality. In general, no one will learn about the content of the therapy sessions unless there remains on file written permission to do so (e.g., Release of Information Consent Form). However, by law there are certain circumstances that require appropriate authorities be advised. Limits of confidentiality are:
- If the client is in danger to self or others.
- Any child (persons under 18 years) is need of protection.
- If court ordered, and a client file is subpoenaed.
- Refuse therapy, of any kind, including testing procedures, evaluation, or therapeutic techniques/interventions, without jeopardizing future treatment availability. If treatment has been court ordered (e.g., parole requirement), however, legal problems may arise if treatment is interrupted or terminated prematurely.
- Ask to be informed about the progress of therapy, and participate in ongoing evaluations of its procedures and goals.
- Together, with the therapist, review the client file information during any scheduled appointment.
- Know about the therapist’s qualification and training. If preferred, clients may be provided with the names of some additional helping professionals.
- Read a copy of the guidelines with respect to the therapist’s professional code of conduct and practice (e.g., Code of Ethics).
- Resolve any concerns or issues directly with the therapist and, if unable to reach a satisfactory accord, make a formal complaint to the therapist’s professional association(s).
- End therapy at any time. Clients or their parents/guardians are responsible to pay only for counselling and/or assessment services already received, unless previously agreed upon.
Therapist Rights & Responsibilities
Therapists have the right and/or responsibility to:
- Expect clients will attend sessions regularly, be punctual, and pay for services when rendered unless previous arrangements are made (e.g., insurance provider, social service agency).
- Expect clients will follow through on agreed upon homework assignments or exercises.
- Act in the best interest of their client(s) and maintain a professional relationship.
- Maintain a reasonable level of current knowledge and skills in their therapeutic practice.
- Be in good standing with their professional association(s).
- Limit the services provided (e.g., practice within qualified areas of expertise and training).
- Expect full fee for cancellations without 24 hours notice or no-show appointments, unless previously arranged or under discretionary circumstances.