When we seek consent from our clients for participating in a treatment or in a research study or audit, it is essential that they understand what it is they are consenting to. Informed consent simply refers to ensuring that as far as possible the main risks and benefits are made clear. This is inevitably both a complex and inexact process. We cannot always foresee what the consequences will be for any individual and also, if we were to try and set out an exhaustive account of the possible consequences of participating in any process the chances are we might alienate a potential client who is primarily driven by a wish to seek help. There is therefore an inevitable pragmatism that is employed.
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