Consultation With Other Professionals

Good practice often involves the need to consult with other professionals to insure the provision of quality care. It is good practice to seek and document consultation with psychologists and other professionals after obtaining the consent of the patient/client.

In agency settings, a psychologist with any question concerning professional practice usually has supervisor and/or staff consultations available. Psychologists in independent practice may be wise to use a consultant whenever they have any doubt concerning their interventions, or have other questions or concerns involving diagnosis, risk factors, or treatment techniques.

It is necessary for the patient to have given informed consent to permit personally identifiable information to be revealed to a consultant, or for the psychologist to disguise the information so that the patient cannot be identified. Normally, in a hospital or clinic setting, the patient gives such consent at the outset of care, but this usually is not the case in private practice settings. Obtaining consultation would not relieve the psychologist from the responsibility of patient consent for the release of information in either setting, unless all personally identifiable information has been removed.

Psychologists who attend post-licensure training programs or workshops as a means of improving or learning new techniques should follow the same precautions if information regarding their specific patients is used in these settings: the patients must give consent or all identifiable information must be removed from the presentation.

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Last Updated: June 11, 2009