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One of the essential ingredients in therapy is empowerment. This should be understood from the very first session. Many times when a person goes to any medical professional, they are seated in a waiting area with a stack of forms. It is my personal experience that you breeze through the pile of papers with their myriad questions, and nobody remembers or completely understands the power granted within those documents.

When someone enters my office, the very first conversation is about the Consent for Treatment. I tell the individual that, while I realize they usually fill this form out without instruction, I feel this is such an important document I could not leave to chance that they would not have a full understanding of the power granted in the consent. I completely define what the Consent for Treatment means. I am very excited by this moment with someone who is feeling broken and like an outsider. I literally start to vibrate with excitement during this introduction.

The conversation starts with, ‘Hmmm, do you know what the consent for treatment is?’ The person usually nods in agreement and then I go into action. I remind them that every day they give consent and may not even realize it; when they go to the hairdresser, buy shoes and go to a medical professional. This moment is your opportunity to ask questions, get information, and decide yes or… no.

You always have a choice. It is always your decision. I am realistic and state that the options aren’t always ideal, but still, you get to choose. You get to decline if a specific treatment is something you feel won’t work or you are not comfortable with. You have the power at all times. Almost like in the Wizard of Oz, when Glenda tells Dorothy you had the power the whole time. It is my favorite part of the session, and the entire therapy process, helping someone realize the power that they had the entire time. OH YEAH!