Do You Have a Patient’s Bill of Rights?

Q: Do you have a patient’s bill of rights?

A: Yes. I subscribe to the patient’s bill of rights proposed by the California Board of Psychology.



(Source:  California Board of Psychology)

You have the right to:

  • Request and receive information about the psychologist’s professional capabilities, including licensure, education, training, experience, professional association membership, specialization, and limitations.
  • Verify licensure of the psychologist with the Board of Psychology and receive information about any license discipline. You can do this on the Board’s website at Click on “License Verification.”
  • Have written information about fees, methods of payment, insurance reimbursement, number of sessions, length of sessions, professional assistance when your psychologist is not available (in cases of vacation and emergencies), and cancellation policies before beginning therapy. This kind of information is referred to as informed consent.
  • Know the limits of confidentiality and the circumstances in which a psychologist is legally required to disclose information to others.
  • Receive a verbal or written treatment plan.
  • Have a safe environment, free from sexual, physical or emotional abuse.
  • Expect that your psychologist should not involve you in any social or business relationship that conflicts with your therapy relationship.
  • Ask questions about your therapy or psychological assessment.
  • Refuse to answer any question or disclose any information you choose not to reveal.
  • Request that the psychologist inform you of your progress.
  • Know if there are supervisors, consultants, students, registered psychological assistants or others with whom your psychologist will discuss your case.
  • Refuse a particular type of treatment or end treatment at any time without obligation or harassment.
  • Refuse or request electronic recording of your sessions.
  • Request and (in most cases) receive a summary of your records, including the diagnosis, treatment plan, your progress, and type of treatment.
  • Report unprofessional behavior by a psychologist.
  • Receive a second opinion at any time about your therapy or about your psychologist’s methods.
  • Receive referral names, addresses and telephone numbers in the event that your therapy needs to be transferred to someone else and to request that a copy or a summary of your records be sent to any therapist or agency you choose.

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