Patient Bill of Rights
You have the right to:
- Request and receive full information about the therapist’s professional capabilities, including licensure, education, training, experience, professional association membership, specialization, and limitations.
- Have written information about fees, method of payment, insurance reimbursement, number of sessions, substitutions (in cases of vacation and emergencies), and cancellation policies before beginning therapy.
- Receive respectful treatment that will be helpful to you.
- A safe environment, free from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.
- Ask questions about your therapy.
- Refuse to answer any questions or disclose any information you choose not to reveal.
- Request that the therapist inform you of your progress.
- Know the limitations of confidentiality and the circumstances in which a therapist is legally required to disclose information to others.
- Know if there are supervisors, consultants, students, or others with whom your therapist will discuss your case.
- Refuse a particular type of treatment or end treatment without obligation or harassment.
- Refuse electronic recording (but you may request it if you wish).
- Request and (in most cases) receive a summary of your file, including the diagnosis, your progress, and type of treatment.
1.08 Access to Records (a) Social Workers should provide clients with reasonable access to records concerning the clients. Social Workers who are concerned that clients’ access to their records could cause serious misunderstanding or harm to the client should provide assistance in interpreting the records and consultation with the client regarding the records. Social workers should limit clients’ access to their records, or portions of their records, only in exceptional circumstances when there is compelling evidence that such access would cause serious harm to the client. Both clients’ requests and the rationale for withholding some or all of the record should be documented in clients’ files. (NASW Code of Ethics)
- Report unethical and illegal behavior by a therapist. (Refer to the Board of Behavioral Sciences website).
- Receive a sound opinion at any time about your therapy or therapist’s methods.
- Request the transfer of a copy of your file to any therapist or agency you choose.