Los Angeles Chapter — California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Los Angeles Chapter — CAMFT
LMFT, NMP, CGP
Have You Reviewed Your Informed Consent Form?
Our Informed Consent forms provide our clients with important information about what psychotherapy is and our business agreement. I recently updated my form after a client tried connecting with me on Facebook, by adding some language explaining that “I do not accept “friend” requests from clients on social media.”
Once I was done with the social media part, I decided to review the entire document. I discovered a sentence asking for permission to contact clients via their “office phone.” I deleted it since all my clients have cell phones. Next, I updated the language in “About the Therapy Process.” This section explains the way therapy works, and how clients and therapists can evaluate whether the treatment is effective or not. I added some collaborative language—“Over the course of therapy, I will attempt to evaluate whether our work together is beneficial to you. We are partners in the therapeutic process, and I encourage you to ask questions and give me feedback at any time.”
Now that I’ve updated my document, I feel more grounded in discussing the content with my clients. During our first appointment, I ask clients if they have any questions about Informed Consent and, usually, they say “no.” Despite their answers, I keep a printed copy of my form handy (my clients complete their forms online) and review the details with them during our first session.
Maria Gray, LMFT, NMP, CGP, is a psychotherapist in private practice in Los Angeles. She is a Brainspotting Specialist who specializes in trauma and addictions. Maria is a Certified Group Therapist and currently offers three online groups in her practice. She enjoys working with adults who grew up around mentally ill or addictive family members. To learn more, go to www.mariagray.net.
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California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists
Los Angeles Chapter