Counseling Environments

CMHCs will attempt to provide an accessible counseling environment to individuals with disabilities.

a. To the extent possible, counseling environments should be accessible to all clients, including those with disabilities.

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b. Counseling environments should allow for private and confidential conversations.

B. Counseling Process

1. Treatment Plans

CMHCs may use treatment plans to direct their work with clients.

a. CMHCs and their clients work jointly to devise integrated, individual treatment plans that offer reasonable promise of success and are consistent with the abilities; ethnic, social, cultural, and values backgrounds; and circumstances of the clients.

2. Informed Consent

Clients have the right to understand what to expect in counseling and the freedom to choose whether and with whom they enter a counseling relationship.

a. CMHCs provide information that allows clients to make an informed decision about selecting a provider. Such information typically includes counselor credentials, confidentiality protections and limits, the use of tests and inventories, diagnoses, reporting, billing, and therapeutic process. Restrictions that limit clients’ autonomy are explained.

b. When a client is unable to provide consent, CMHCs act in the client’s best interest. Parents and legal guardians are informed about the confidential nature of the counseling relationship. CMHCs embrace the diversity of family systems and the inherent rights and responsibilities parents/guardians have for the welfare of their children. CMHCs strive to establish collaborative relationships with parents/guardians to best serve their minor clients.

c. Informed consent is ongoing and needs to be reassessed throughout the counseling relationship.