Chapter 7. Informed Consent

The Three-Legged Stool

  1. Sharon K. Anderson Ph.D. professor licensed psychologist1 and
  2. Mitchell M. Handelsman Ph.D. APA Congressional Science Fellow president licensed psychologist Professor2

Published Online: 28 JUN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324303.ch7

Ethics for Psychotherapists and Counselors: A Proactive Approach

Ethics for Psychotherapists and Counselors: A Proactive Approach

How to Cite

Anderson, S. K. and Handelsman, M. M. (2009) Informed Consent, in Ethics for Psychotherapists and Counselors: A Proactive Approach, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324303.ch7

Author Information

  1. 1

    Colorado State University, USA

  2. 2

    University of Colorado Denver, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 JUN 2010
  2. Published Print: 3 JUL 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405177672

Online ISBN: 9781444324303



  • informed consent - the three-legged stool;
  • informed consent to psychotherapy - more than clients saying “Sure!”;
  • informed consent, uniqueness of therapy relationship most clear;
  • American Counseling Association (ACA) - freedom to choose in entering into or remaining in a counseling relationship;
  • informed consent in our cultures of origin;
  • culture of consent;
  • getting along with a long consent process;
  • psychoanalytic therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, family therapy and existential psychotherapy;
  • amicable advice about alternatives - clear consent and boundary bolstering


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Basics

  • Journal Entry: Informed Consent in Our Cultures of Origin

  • The Three-Legged Stool

  • Journal Entry: Foundations of Consent

  • The Culture of Consent

  • Journal Entry: Personal Components of Informed Consent

  • Food for Thought: Getting Along with a Long Consent Process

  • Journal Entry: Informed Refusal

  • Food for Thought: Assent

  • Green Flag: Informative Information

  • Food for Thought: Persuasive Information

  • Journal Entry: Information, Please

  • Acculturation Tasks and Stresses

  • Green Flag: Amicable Advice about Alternatives

  • Red Flag: Dissing the Different

  • Food for Thought: Credentials

  • Red Flag: Defensive Declarations

  • Food for Thought: Perspective-taking on Documentation

  • Green Flags: Clear Consent and Boundary Bolstering