Procedural Informed Consent to Psychoanalysis: the Challenge from Transformative Experience

Procedural Informed Consent to Psychoanalysis: the Challenge from Transformative Experience
Christopher Poppe
Journal of Ethics in Mental Health Open, 2019; 10 pp 1-11
Abstract
Any valid informed consent to medical treatment needs the personal weighing of consequences of different treatment choices. In psychoanalysis, personal consequences are often unknown and, more importantly, cannot be reasonably weighed up before the start of analysis, as psychoanalysis constitutes a transformative experience in the sense of L.A. Paul (2014). The transformative potential hence complicates informed consent to psychoanalysis. In light of this, some authors have recommended to adopt a procedural approach to informed consent, where informed consent is repeatedly obtained throughout the process of psychoanalysis. However, this procedural informed consent, as I argue in this paper, does not constitute a valid form of informed consent due to the irreversibility of the psychoanalytic experience.

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