‘Informed Consent’ on the part of the client can be identified during the interview /consultation stage. Informed consent is that where the client has all relevant information and the necessary understanding to decide whether the course of action is the right one or not for them. Compliance/ consent to having therapy which uses hypno and psychotherapy techniques can be judged on the willingness of the client to share their feelings and concerns and background information, including medical histories with the therapist and the understanding they express of the use of hypnotherapy and other psychotherapies. Where the client is clear in their expectations of therapy and its outcomes and these are realistic, the therapist is able to discuss with them popular myths and misconceptions, allay fears and build rapport. Informal Inductions require Informed Consent, such as techniques where induction may be by way of metaphor, this ensures that the client understands what technique or techniques are going to be used.
‘Implied Consent’ is that which is not explicitly sought or expressed by the client. Implied consent is taken to exist when surrounding circumstances exist which would lead a reasonable person to believe that this consent had been given, although no direct, express or explicit words of agreement had been uttered. It can be seen as the granting of permission for health care without a formal agreement between the patient and health care provider. An example is an appointment made with a physician by a patient with a physical complaint; it is implied that by making the appointment the patient gives consent to the physician to make a diagnosis and offer treatment.
To ensure that informed consent exists, written consent should be obtained where hypnotherapy is used to manage pain where traditionally pain would be managed by analgesic solutions provided by medical practitioners, for instance in dental treatment and childbirth. This is a written indication that the client can be said to have given consent based upon an appreciation and understanding of the facts and implications of an action. However the client needs to be in possession of not only the relevant facts but also of their reasoning faculties, such as not being mentally retarded, mentally impaired or mentally ill and without impairment of judgement at the time of consenting. Such impairments might include illness, intoxication, insufficient sleep and other health problems.
Some acts cannot legally take place because of a lack of informed consent. In cases where an individual is considered unable to give informed consent, another person is generally authorized to give consent on their behalf. Examples of this include the parents or legal guardians of a child and caregivers for the mentally ill. In these cases it is again advisable to have written consent from the authorised person/s.