Have You Been Read Your Therapy Miranda Rights?

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used to help you. You have the right to bring anyone with you. If you cannot afford therapy, your therapist will work with you to address this problem. Do you understand these rights?”       ~ Dan Metevier, PsyD

No doubt you recognize these words, or words that sound similar. If you watch any kind of “cops and robbers” TV show, then I know you’ve heard something like this coming out of the mouth of a police officer. Miranda rights were established in 1966 from the United States Supreme Court case of Miranda v. Arizona. The Miranda warning protects a suspect’s Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer self-incriminating questions. The Therapy Miranda Rights, on the other hand, help clients understand some of the “rules of the game” before engaging in the therapy process.

You have the right to remain silent. You, the client, do not have to say or do anything you don’t want to say or do. For example, if I ask you a question, you can choose to answer it in any way you want to, including telling me a lie, answering a different question, asking me a question, or not answering the question at all. No problem. More important than the answer to my question, I want you to feel as safe as possible. You may or may not choose to answer the question in the future. Regardless, your trust in me remains the highest thing on my priority list.

Anything you say or do can and will be used to help you. This warns you in advance that I tend to listen to every word you say, including the words you don’t say. I also tend to watch everything you do. I’m saying this not to make you feel paranoid or self-conscious (I’m sorry if it does; that was not my intention). I tell you this because I want you to know that I want to do everything I can to serve you so that you will eventually feel better. I want to provide you with an environment where you feel like someone listens to you and understands you, but does not judge you in any way. I will never intentionally use something against you. And, if you ever feel like I am doing that, let me have it!

You have the right to bring anyone with you. I charge by the hour (more or less), not by the person. So, if you feel comfortable bringing your spouse, partner, child, parent, relative, friend, lawyer, or whatever with you, I have no problem with that. It gives me better perspective and it may help address issues you have within your relationship with your companions. As they say, “it’s all good.”

If you cannot afford therapy, your therapist will work with you to solve this problem. Therapy ain’t cheap. Don’t I know it! In part, this stems from the fact that therapists have a lot of overhead, like office rental, license fees, malpractice insurance, the cost of required continuing education, Kleenex® (a major expense!), and so on. Also, therapists only see one person per hour where, for example, physicians may see four or more people in an hour. They get to spread their expenses across several people, where a therapist only has, well, someone like you in any one hour.

OK, enough whining! The point here remains that if you feel that you just cannot afford my fee, please let me know. You will not be punished for speaking up about this! I will work with you by: looking at the possibility of using insurance, lowering your fee for a while (if appropriate), seeing you less often (when you’re feeling better), or trying to find someone else who will take a lower fee or pro bono (meaning free, except for the occasional Sonny and Cher song) client.

Do you understand these rights? While I have attempted to explain each of these rights above, you may still have questions or concerns. Please feel free to ask or tell me anything you believe pertains to these rights. I want to know and I want to answer your questions. I strongly believe in the importance of each of these rights.

As always, let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!

 

Copyright 2014 Daniel J. Metevier

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