This document is to be considered as an addendum to the Informed Consent for Psychological Services. If you previously signed that document and would like a copy for your review, please let us know.
It is important for minors to have a “zone of privacy” in therapy where they feel comfortable discussing personal matters without fear that their thoughts and feelings will be immediately communicated to their parents. Children and teens often do not tell their parents everything, even when they have a very good relationship with their parents. Therapy is a safe place to discuss those private concerns.
Although the minor’s parents generally have a right to access the treatment records of their minor child, parents are urged to refrain, as this may irreparably harm the clinician’s relationship with the minor and preclude any further treatment gains from being made.
The clinician will inform the parents of information the minor has disclosed that would place the minor or someone else at risk of serious harm. Examples may include, but are not limited to, regular drug or alcohol use, any use of serious drugs such as heroin and opiates, dangerous sexual activity, and involvement in serious criminal activity.
Examples of information the clinician will generally not disclose to the parents without the minor’s assent include, but are not limited to, sexual orientation, having tried alcohol or marijuana a few times, or having had voluntary, protected sexual activity with a similar-age peer. That said, the clinician will offer information and guidance to the minor child regarding the risks of their behavior and will monitor the behavior.
The clinician is required by law to disclose information to individuals other than the minor’s parents in cases of abuse disclosure, imminent risk of self-harm or harm to others, and court orders.