Your rights in therapy

All competent therapists must adhere to ethical as well as competence standards when working with you. You have a lot of power and rights, here are the most significant rights, although there are many others too:

  • Be treated fairly, with dignity and respect
  • The therapist puts you as their primary concern
  • You can ask questions about anything related to your therapy
  • Expect the therapist to be professional and competent. They only work with you if they can and within their limits.
  • Right to privacy and confidentiality unless harm to yourself or others is a concern
  • Freedom to say “yes” or “no” to methods employed in therapy and ultimately therapy itself
  • Freedom to talk or not talk about anything
  • To know information is kept about you, usually with initial consent, and copies provided on request
  • To have access to a complaints process

Typically your responsibilities are no more than turning up, paying for sessions, providing any essential information required, and not to physically harm the therapist. There may be other responsibilities depending on the therapist or the organization. Essential personal information you provide may vary, but it could be as little as your name, doctors and contact details.

Having a lot of rights that does not mean the therapist does not have a right to refuse something you suggest, it is collaborative after all. For example, referring you on is based on putting you first as their primary concern.

International Variation: Each country may have its own regulatory or generally accepted ethical standards

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