Discovery Counseling Austin
Relationship & Family Counseling
Consent Addendum

RELATIONSHIP COUNSELING

Relationship counseling works best when the focus of our work is on your relationship. When working with you, it is expressly understood that our “client” is both your relationship and each of you as individuals. In order to maintain fidelity to both of you and to your relationship, I ask for your consent on the following agreements.

 

No Secrets Policy

When individuals in a relationship enter into counseling together, it is considered to be one unit. This means that the counselor’s allegiance is to the relationship “unit” and not to the members of the relationship as individuals. We find this is particularly important in creating a space where all relationship members can feel safe. Therefore, we adhere to a strict “No Secrets” policy. This means that we will not hold secrets for anyone in the relationship. This policy is intended to allow us to continue to treat the relationship by preventing, to the extent possible, a conflict of interest to arise where an individual’s interests may not be consistent with the interests of the unit being treated.

 

Individual Counseling within Relationship Counseling

On occasion during the counseling process, individuals in the relationship may be seen for an individual counseling session. In this case, the individual session is still considered as part of the relationship’s counseling and is recorded in the shared clinical chart. Information disclosed during individual sessions may be relevant or even essential to the proper treatment of the relationship. If an individual chooses to share such information with me, I will offer the individual every opportunity to disclose the relevant information and will provide guidance in this process. If the individual refuses to disclose this information within the relationship’s session, I may determine that it is necessary to discontinue the counseling. If there is information that an individual chooses to address within a context of individual confidentiality, I will be happy to provide referrals to therapists who can provide concurrent individual therapy. This policy is intended to maintain the integrity of the relationship counseling.

 

Court Proceedings/Subpoena of Records

It is understood that the purpose of relationship counseling is for the amelioration of distress within a relationship. Therefore, if you are engaged in relationship counseling, it is expected that you will not use information given to me during the therapy process against the other party in a judicial setting of any kind, be it civil, criminal, or circuit. Likewise, neither party shall for any reason attempt to subpoena my testimony or my records to be presented in a deposition or court hearing of any kind for any reason, such as a divorce case. *If my records are subpoenaed, please see the practice informed consent for information about fees.

 

Records

In relationship counseling, all individuals in the relationship must provide their consent to release counseling records. If one individual does not provide consent, records will not be released.  Counselors are required to keep appropriate records of the counseling services that they provide.

 

If you have any questions about this information, please speak with your counselor or you may email the Practice Director at hello@discoverycounselingaustin.com