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What can you expect as a counseling client.

Your Rights As a Consumer 

Be  informed of the qualifications of your counselor: education, experience, professional counseling certification(s), and license(s).

 Receive an explanation of services offered, your time commitments, fee scales, and billing policies prior to receipt of services.  

Be informed of the limitations of the counselor's practice to special areas of expertise (e.g. career development, ethnic groups, etc.) or age group (e.g. adolescents, older adults, etc.).

 Have all that you say treated confidentially and be informed of any state laws placing limitations on confidentiality in the counseling relationship.

 Ask questions about the counseling techniques and strategies and be informed of your progress.

 Participate in setting goals and evaluating progress toward meeting them.

 Be informed of how to contact the counselor in an emergency situation.

 Request referral for a second opinion at any time.

 Request copies of records and reports to be used by other counseling professionals.

 Receive a copy of the code of ethics to which your counselor adheres.

 Contact the appropriate professional organization if you have doubts or complaints relative to the counselorís conduct.  

Terminate the relationship at any time.

 Your Responsibilities As A Client

 Set and keep appointments with your counselor. Let him or her know as soon as possible if you cannot keep an appointment.

 Pay your fees in accordance with the schedule you pre-established with the counselor.

 Help plan your goals.

 Follow through with agreed upon goals.

 Keep your counselor informed of your progress towards meeting your goals.

Terminate your counseling relationship before entering into arrangement with another counselor.

 If You are Dissatisfied with the Services of a Counselor

 Remember that a counselor who meets the needs of one person may be wrong for another. If you are dissatisfied with the services of your counselor:

 Express your concern directly to the counselor, if possible.

 Seek the advice of the counselor's supervisor if the counselor is practicing in a setting where he or she receives direct supervision.  

Terminate the counseling relationship, if the situation remains unresolved.

 Contact the appropriate state licensing board, national certification organization, or professional association, if you believe the counselor's conduct to be unethical


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Last modified: 02/09/09