Dignity and Respect: Why Therapeutic Assent Matters

Dignity and Respect: Why Therapeutic Assent Matters
Discussion and Review Paper
Jaime Flowers, Jillian Dawes
Behavior Analysis in Practice, 19 January 2023
During therapeutic treatment and research in psychology and related fields, informed consent by the client or participant is required when they are over the age of 18; assent is required when a client or participant is under the age of 18 or a conserved adult. During both research and treatment, behavior analysts often work with neurodiverse individuals who have language deficits, and these clients may require unique assent procedures. This article will outline reasons behavior-analytic research and therapy require field-specific assent procedures. Furthermore, the goals of research and therapy are different and therefore assent may need to differ as well. This article will also argue that therapeutic assent during behavior-analytic treatment requires a unique set of guidelines and procedures that may differ from the behavior-analytic research.

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