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Patient Bill of Rights

You have the right to:

• Request and receive full information about the therapist's professional capabilities, licensure, education, training, experience, professional association membership, specialization & limitations.
• Have written information about fees, method of payment, insurance reimbursement, anticipated length of treatment, therapist substitutions (in case of vacation or emergency) and cancellation policies before beginning therapy.
• Receive respectful treatment in a safe environment, free from sexual/physical/emotional abuse.
• Ask questions about your therapy.
• Refuse to answer any questions or to disclose any information that you do not want to reveal.
• Request that the therapist inform you of your progress.
• Know the limits 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 your diagnosis, progress and type of treatment.
• Report unethical or illegal behavior by a therapist.
• Receive a second opinion at any time about your therapy or the therapist's methods.
• Request the transfer of a copy of your file to any therapist or agency you choose.


Excerpted from "Professional Therapy", California Department of Consumer Affairs, 1997