I’m studying for my Psychology class and need an explanation.

Informed Consent

As discussed in your Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling text, clients and students have the right to know about the counseling process and relationship prior to engaging in a counseling relationship with you. We call this process informed consent.

In this process, we give the client or student information, ensure that he or she understands this information, and obtain verbal and written consent for services.

For this discussion, write a summary of how you might discuss this with a client or student. Your summary will be different depending on the setting or the age of the person, so start by letting us know about the age of the client or student and create a fictionalized name. Provide a brief explanation of the client’s or student’s cultural background and presenting problem that could impact his or her ability to understand the counseling process. Address the client directly and explain the following information:

  • How you will use the personal information.
  • How you will keep the personal information private (consider whether there will be paper or electronic case notes).
  • When you might need to disclose the personal information.
  • How you will inform the client or student of his or her rights (that is, the right to revoke consent).

Provide specific examples to illustrate your ideas, and support them with citations for the professional literature when paraphrasing ethical standards or information from your text. Avoid using quotations that will be confusing and filled with unfamiliar terms for a client or student.

Follow current APA style and formatting guidelines in your post.

Response Guidelines

Respond to the initial discussion post of one other learner. What reactions do you have to the ideas the learner has presented? Include examples from your own experience to support your perspective, and raise questions to continue the dialogue.

Learning Components

This activity will help you achieve the following learning components:

  • Practice interpreting counseling-related information for different audiences.
  • Identify how state laws protect both counselor and the public.
  • Determine the proper application of APA formatting requirements.
  • Develop communication appropriate for professional counseling settings.


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