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Article   |    
Long-Term Psychotherapy and Informed Consent
Kenneth Wenning
Psychiatric Services 1993; doi:
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Clifford W. Beers Guidance Clinic, 93 Edwards Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511

1993 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Many long-term psychotherapies begin without sufficient attention to an in formed-consent process. Failure to obtain informed consent may leave patients ill prepared to question the recommendation for long-term psychotherapy or to make alternate treatment choices. The author presents a model for informed consent to stimulate debate on ethical approaches to this type of treatment. The approach covers six areas therapists should discuss with candidates for long-term psychotherapy: the diagnostic, model used and the recommendation for treatment, potential risks and benefits of treatment, availability of less expensive short-term interventions, clarification of the necessity for psychotherapy, limits of insurance coverage, and plans for measuring the patient's response to treatment. The decision to recommend long-term psychotherapy should be made through careful analysis of indications and contraindications for such treatment and in the context of informed consent.

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