Informed Consent Form
“I’ve always worked very, very hard, and the harder I worked, the luckier I got.”
~ Alan Bond
Your Informed Consent Form is the legal contract that you and your clients sign outlining the procedures and policies of your practice.
This is the document that should provide the information necessary for your clients to make an informed decision about whether to enter into a therapeutic relationship with you. If you are using specific techniques, you may want to explain them in this document.
I use a combined informed consent, and policies and procedures document which you can find a template for below. Some people choose to separate these into two different documents. Neither is right or wrong, if comes down to personal preference.
Some options for having clients fill out the informed consent form:
1) Email the form to clients in advance, have them print it out and bring in the completed paperwork to your first session together.
2) Embed your informed consent form as a link on your website, have clients download it and like above, have them print it out and bring in the completed paperwork to your first session together.
3) Ask clients to arrive at least 30 min early to a first appointment and have clients fill out their paperwork in the waiting room or hallway.
4) Have clients read and complete the paperwork at the beginning of the first session
Consider how you work best and use that approach.
Personally I email my clients in advance, request they bring in the completed paperwork to the first session, and then go over the signed and completed paperwork with them. I verbally review a few specific pieces, such as limits to confidentiality and then initial beside those sections as a double back-up that they are aware of what was contained in the document.
The following template can be used as a guide to create your own informed consent form. It is general in nature with specific additions at the end that can be used as applicable. In all cases, personalize to your needs and check with your regulatory bodies and legal counsel if necessary.
Informed Consent Form Template –> Informed Consent Template