What do you want to know about your therapist before beginning therapy
Bernasek, Jennifer L.
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Many studies prior to this one have introduced informed consent from a researcher's, author's, and therapist's perspective. Although years of practicing therapy does entitle a professional to his or her opinion, consumers also possess their own ideas of what a therapist should be like and what services may be more helpful to them in their therapy process. This study contains information regarding what respondents wanted to know about their therapist before beginning therapy and possible reasons why some information never gets addressed. Respondents interviewed in this qualitative study were prospective clients at Northern Illinois University's Family Center. Respondents were presented with open-ended questions regarding what they would like to know about their therapist before beginning therapy, and were also questioned on several possible informed consent areas in which therapists may differ. This study occurred in two phases. Emerging categories led the researcher to alter questions regarding what respondents would like to know about their therapist and why. What was found was a difference between what respondents would "like" to know professionally and personally about their therapist. Also, differences were found between what respondents would "like" to know about their therapist over time, and what they "expect" their therapist to inform them about before even beginning the therapy process. Concerns of the researcher were some respondents' hesitations to question their therapist out of trust that their therapist would inform them of everything they needed to know, and intimidation by the therapist's authority. Respondents indicated that they would wait for three sessions for their therapist to fully inform them and then they would either raise the questions themselves or simply terminate therapy.