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ERIC Number: ED340956
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Informed Consent: Therapists' Beliefs and Practices.
Somberg, Daniel R.
Although informed consent has been incorporated into psychologists' ethical standards, it has been suggested that significant variation exists among therapists' practices and beliefs. To assess the current state of informed consent among therapists, American Psychological Association members (N=189) were surveyed. Counselors indicated their primary therapeutic orientation: eclectic, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, systems, behavioral, existential, or humanistic. The survey limited the scope of informed consent to five specific issues: limits of confidentiality; potential risks of therapy; possible procedures to be used in therapy; and alternatives to therapy. Survey responses provided information on the percentage of clients informed of each issue, method of communication used, timing of presenting issues, extent of the issue's importance, and the reasons for not informing clients. The results indicated that when clients are typically informed of the consent issue therapists typically inform them during the initial session. Results suggest considerable variability in therapists' practices and beliefs. Therapists of a behavioral orientation were found to inform clients more often and consider the issues more important than other orientations. Since the majority of therapists reported informing at least some of their clients, awareness of the issues does not appear to be a major factor in whether one obtains informed consent. These findings, along with reasons given for not informing clients, highlight the complexity of applying ethical standards to a therapist's unique context. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A