Susan Whitaker, M.Ed., QMHP
Landmark Legal Cases-Implications for the Counseling Field
The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA, 2010) describes informed consent as a clients right to be made aware of the type of services and by whom those services will be provided, the cost associated with those services, how any information learned will be used and to whom, if applicable, the information can be shared. ACA (2005) defines informed consent as information afforded the client at the beginning of a therapeutic relationship that notifies the client of the right to accept or decline counseling services, what those services entail as well as any limiting factors. (p.4) Remley and Herlihy plainly state it as “clients have a right to know what they are getting into when they come for counseling.” This paper will examine a recent legal case related to informed consent, stating the appropriate ACA ethical code related to this case, as well as the relevant AMHCA codes. To conclude the implications of this case on the counseling profession will be examined to include relevant Virginia statutes or case law. Miller v. Board of Psychologist Examiners
Dr. Debra Miller was a licensed psychologist practicing in the state of Oregon. She was reprimanded and fined $1, 000 for what the Oregon State Board of Psychologist Examiners determined was a violation of the 1992 American Psychological Association Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct Rule 4.02 (b). This particular rule deals with informed consent to therapy. Specifically it states, “when persons are legally incapable of giving informed consent, psychologists obtain informed permission from a legally authorized person, if such substitute consent is permitted by law.” (APA, 1992,
According to the case file two minor children were said to have been sexually abused and their mother, who at the time had...