University of Washington
Counseling Center

Client Rights and Responsibilities
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The purpose of this Web page is to explain briefly how the law regulating counselors helps you and your counselor work together. Feel free to talk about any of the information on this page with your counselor. Remember, his or her role is to help you.
Client and counselor rights and responsibilities
Client rights
Client responsibilities
Therapist rights
Credentials of Counseling Center staff
More information
Client and Counselor Responsibilities and Rights

You and your therapist should discuss the type of counseling you will get; the methods or techniques that might be used; the therapist's education, training and experience; and the cost of counseling sessions. The counselor must give you written information that explains these topics, let you read the information, and have you sign a statement that you've received it.

If you have concerns about being dependent upon your counselor, talk to him or her about it. Remember, you are going to that person to seek assistance that helps you learn how to control your own life. You can and should ask questions if you don't fully understand what your counselor is doing or plans to do.

All clients in psychotherapy have certain rights in addition to the right of confidentiality.  These include: You have certain responsibilities that include: There are also certain rights which your therapist may exercise in the course of the therapy process. These include: Credentials of Counseling Center Staff
Your therapist must be either registered or licensed through the Washington State Department of Health. Some people do not need to be either registered or licensed because they are exempt. You may ask your therapist if he or she is registered, licensed, or exempt and discuss his or her qualifications.  Mental health professionals are credentialed and monitored by the appropriate board under the Washington State Department of Health.

Your counselor cannot disclose any information you've told him/her during a counseling session unless:

This Web page should not be considered as the final source of information.

If you have a concern or question about the services you are receiving, we invite you to discuss these with your therapist or with the Director of the Counseling Center.

If you want to discuss the law or talk about a possible complaint: for registered counselors cal (360) 236-4901, for licensed mental health counselors call (360) 236-4916,
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or, write to:

     Department of Health
     Professional Licensing Services
     Counselor Registration/Certification
     1300 SE Quince Street, Box 7869
     Olympia, Washington 98504

If you want more information about the law regulating psychologists, or want to file a complaint, please write to:

     Department of Health
     Board of Psychology
     P.O. Box 47869
     Olympia, Washington 98504

Or, call (360) 236-4910, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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