Therapy in LA
Therapy in L.A.


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  psych bytes
September 2000

When you are considering the idea of psychotherapy for yourself or someone close to you, it is important to be aware of the responsibilities your therapist has toward you. Here is a list of psychotherapist responsibilities. Beware of a therapist who does not follow these guidelines. These guidelines are not in any order of importance.
-Joyce Parker Ph.D.

  1. Provide treatment once accepted as a client.
  2. Provide treatment in the "least restrictive" setting.
  3. Not force any type of treatment on a client who refuses that treatment.
  4. Render some form of "traditional" type of therapy.
  5. Prepare a treatment plan and discuss it with the client.
  6. Obtain a signed informed consent for treatment.
  7. Discuss the cost of therapy at the first session.
  8. Discuss the policy on late cancellations or no shows.
  9. Review the limits of confidentiality with all clients.
  10. Assist with third part collections/reimbursements.
  11. Provide adequate care.
  12. Engage in continuing education.
  13. Protect life.
  14. Discuss the status of onešs license.
  15. Utilize supervision when required.
  16. Follow all state and federal laws.
  17. Respect a clientšs privacy.
  18. Maintain a clientšs confidentiality.
  19. Claim privileged communication for the client.
  20. Obtain authorization before audio or video recording.
  21. Notify the client whenever using a cellular phone.
  22. Obtain authorization before using a FAX.
  23. Consult with a colleague when needed or requested by the client.
  24. Refer a client to another therapist when necessary or when requested by the client.
  25. Focus on termination issues in final phase of treatment.
  26. Permit the client to discontinue therapy at any time.
  27. Never abandon a client.
  28. Not end therapy abruptly.
  29. Does not prolong therapy beyond that which is appropriate.
  30. Keep accurate and up-to-date records.
  31. Permit access to records if mandated by law.
  32. Send copy of records to another therapist when authorized in writing.
  33. Protect the confidentiality of records.
  34. Keep records as required by law.
  35. Destroy obsolete files and materials.
  36. Does not engage in dual relationships.
  37. Does not misuse therapeutic power.
  38. Does not defame others.
  39. Is accountable for onešs actions.
  40. Does cooperate with an Ethics Committee or Licensing Board investigation.

The author of this article, and founder of the website, Joyce Parker, passed away in 2011. To honor her we are keeping her articles posted at this website.

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