Patient Rights

This was taken from a typical outpatient handout given to patients upon their first visit to a therapist. It was not written by me. Ask your own therapist if they have something similar.

  • To participate in developing an individual plan of treatment.
  • To receive an explanation of services in accordance with the treatment plan.
  • To participate voluntarily in and to consent to treatment.
  • To object to, or terminate, treatment.
  • To have records protected by confidentiality and not be revealed to anyone without my written authorization.
    Confidentiality may only be broken under the following conditions (state laws will vary):
    • If the therapist has knowledge of child or elder abuse.
    • If the therapist has knowledge of the client's intent to harm oneself or others.
    • If the therapist receives a court order to the contrary.
    • If the client enters into litigation against the therapist.
  • To have access to one's records.
  • To receive clinically appropriate care and treatment that is suited to their needs and skillfully, safely, and humanely administered with full respect for their dignity and personal integrity.
  • To be treated in a manner which is ehtical and free from abuse, discrimination, mistreatment, and/or exploitation.
  • To be treated by staff who are sensitive to one's cultural background.
  • To be afforded privacy.
  • To be free to report grievances regarding services or staff to a supervisor.
  • To be informed of expected results of all therapies prescribed, including their possible adverse effects (eg.- medications).
  • To request a change in therapist.
  • To request that another clinician review the individual treatment plan for a second opinion.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Oct 2013
    Published on All rights reserved.



The time when you need to do something is when no one else is willing to do it, when people are saying it can't be done.
-- Mary Frances Berry