Informed consent and setting goals

Key concepts

Before beginning a psychodynamic psychotherapy, the therapist and patient should

-Discuss treatment recommendation and alternatives in order to obtain informed consent

-Discuss and set realistic goals for the treatment

Informed consent in psychodynamic psychotherapy

Talking to patients about why you are recommending psychodynamic psychotherapy but also discussing potential alternatives enables them to give their informed consent for beginning the treatment.

the minimum informed consent includes:

Statement of the problem

Description of the recommended treatment

likely course with and without treatment

Common and serious side effects


supervision (if applicable, as in for a case conducted by a trainee)

Setting goals:

does something have to be done right now? this is true when patients are in danger of hurting themselves or others. You can set layered goals, prioritizing urgent goal while also discussing goals that you will et to later.

the nature of the setting: you and your patient will have to set goals that makes sense for the setting in which the treatment is occurring.

What does the patient think is wrong? Listen to patient to set realistic goals. The best way to join with the patient is to listen to what he or she wants to work on right now.

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