Patient Rights

As a patient, you have the right to:

  • choose a therapist that you are comfortable with.

  • know the details of the therapist's education, special training, and credentials.

  • be informed of available treatment alternatives, their effectiveness, and the reasons why cognitive therapy is being recommended in your case.

  • ask questions, research, read, and learn as much as you can about cognitive therapy and other psychotherapy orientations, if you wish. This does not make therapy more difficult. It makes your participation in therapy more informed and effective.

  • refuse to answer any question at any time during therapy. You are in control.

  • confidentiality. The only exceptions involve certain violations of the law or the potential for life-threatening danger to you or others. Ask your therapist about this.

  • ethical and professional conduct from your therapist. Your relationship with your therapist is like that with no one else - expect and demand proper behavior at all times.

  • end therapy at any time for any reason.

Some questions to ask your therapist:

  • What is the highest degree he or she obtained? When, and where?

  • What additional supervision, specialized training, or skills has he or she obtained? When, and where?

  • How did he or she become a Cognitive Therapist?

  • What continuing education has the therapist received in psychology in general, and cognitive therapy in particular? When and where?

  • Where are the diplomas, certificates or other evidence of the therapist's education, training, and continuing education programs?

Some questions to ask the therapist about your case:

  • What is my diagnosis? Why?

  • What is my prognosis?

  • What program of treatment are you recommending for me? Why?

  • How long, in general terms, is therapy likely to last?

  • Who will decide when treatment is successful or complete, and how?

  • What are your fees?

Some things to remember about your therapy:

  • You are in charge.

  • You are responsible for your physical and mental health - not the therapist. You must be aware of and in agreement with all aspects of therapy. You cannot surrender yourself to the therapist's judgment.

  • If you are unhappy with your therapist at any time for any reason, you have the right to terminate treatment and find another therapist.

  • If your therapist doesn't want to answer your questions about his or her credentials, or is unable to provide evidence of those credentials - get another therapist.

  • If your therapist feels it is unnecessary or beneath his or her dignity to respond to your questions regarding his or her credentials - get another therapist. The therapy is about your health - not your therapist's insecurities.

  • If your therapist says that, for any reason, he or she no longer requires continuing education - that he or she has learned everything or only gives, does not get, training - get another therapist. A truly conscientious, professional psychotherapist constantly seeks out additional training, experience, and insight wherever it can be found, in order to maintain and increase the ability to provide the best possible care for his or her patients. This never ends. Even the founder of Cognitive Therapy, Dr. Aaron Beck, continues to study and learn from his own and others' research and writing.