Urgent: Time to Update your Informed Consent

Updating Informed Consent

If you are like most therapists I know- your paperworks gets updated as little as possible. We try to make it perfect right away. I realized yesterday that I had completely missed an important law that was passed and becomes effective January 1st, 2015. 

It turns out a lot of other therapists have missed the memo as well. And this particular memo is that the mandatory reporting law in California has been expanded. California AB 1775 Child Abuse and Reporting law now requires a therapist to report if they have knowledge that anyone “downloads, streams, or accesses” anything with someone under 18 engaged in obscene sexual conduct. Yes, this can include sexting, past viewing of pornography involving children, etc. I will include resources below for you to check out other articles about this issue. But whether this law impacts you are not- it is time to take a look at your informed consent! 

What should you look for? 

Here is a short list of things you might review and update before the close of the year: 

  1. Have any laws changed that impact your clients (like the one above) you need to include it in writing in your informed consent, inform your clients verbally, and note it in the chart. 
  2. Is it time to update your fees? 
  3. Is it time to update or start enforcing your cancellation policy? 
  4. Have you included information about your electronic health record in your informed consent and how you keep their data secure? 
  5. Are there any patterns or themes driving you crazy in therapy that might be addressed at the start of therapy that you could include in the informed consent document?
  6. Is it time to consider moving to a electronic health record? Now is the time- you could have your clients signing your new informed consent online! 

What about you? What do you need to get done in your private practice before the year's end? We'd love to have you join us for our next free training- check it out and get signed up here

A few articles on the subject from various perspectives: 

Miranda Palmer

I have successfully built a cash pay psychotherapy practice from scratch on a shoestring budget. I have also failed a licensed exam by 1 point (only to have the licensing board send me a later months later saying I passed), started an online study group to ease my own isolation and have now reached thousands of therapists across the country, helped other therapists market their psychotherapy practices, and helped awesome business owners move from close to closing their doors, to being profitable in less than 6 weeks. I've failed at launching online programs. I've had wild success at launching online programs. I've made mistakes in private practice I've taught others how to avoid my mistakes. You can do this. You were called to this work. Now- go do it! Find some help or inspiration as you need it- but do the work!