EXPLANATION OF POTENTIAL RESEARCH USE
OF AUDIOTAPE RECORDINGS OF SESSIONS
A number of analyst colleagues and I are interested in studying more about how psychoanalysis and psychotherapy actually take place. Such studies can be facilitated if audiotape recordings of such therapy sessions are available. In general, we are interested in learning how and when changes occur which appear to benefit the patient, and how and when they do not. This can be facilitated by collecting audiotapes of psychoanalyses and psychotherapies, cataloging, safeguarding and transcribing such audiotapes and other materials relating to such therapies, and making them available to qualified researchers.
The recording of sessions in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy has been carried out from time to time over quite a number of years. Experience so far has not shown any clear deleterious effects. However, treatments can be and usually are affected in one way or another by any and all circumstances of the treatment, including audiotaping. There are no known harmful effects, under the circumstances described in this document. Its effect on any given treatment cannot be known ahead of time.
The benefits of audiotape recordings include providing a basis for the scientific study of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, and the qualities of the patient and doctor and the exchanges that take place between them. Such scientific studies have not been very feasible in the past because of the limitation of available data. Therefore, such studies hold the hope of helping to improve our understanding and our abilities to help patients.
THE SAFEGUARDING OF CONFIDENTIALITY
A central concern of therapists and patients in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy is their right to privacy. One primary reason for infrequent audiotape recordings in the past has been the difficulty in safeguarding privacy sufficiently. In the last few years, extensive efforts have been made by qualified researchers to overcome some of these problems. These efforts include:
- careful screening of persons carrying out transcriptions, and when appropriate, requiring that such transcriptions be carried out in distant parts of the country;
- the alteration of all names of persons or places by transcription personnel, using computer programs for this purpose, so that any materials used by researchers do not reveal identifying information about the patient, the analyst/therapist, or the geographic location of the treatment; and
- the recognition in writing by all research personnel of their legal and ethical obligation to protect fully the confidentiality of the patient.
In view of these safeguards, I ask those of my patients for whom it is acceptable to give permission for the use of audiotape recordings of their sessions for research purposes, as long as such recording continues to be acceptable. Such permission may of course be withdrawn by you at any time during the treatment. At some time after the treatment, the recordings will be given to the Psychoanalytic Research Consortium, (the “PRC”), along with other related information including demographic information and a case description, but there will be no information whatever given indicating who you are. The PRC is a not-for-profit entity which supports research and educational initiatives associated with psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Whenever the PRC may have occasion to prepare transcripts from the audiotapes, the safeguarding of confidentiality will be accomplished using steps one through three above. In other words, the recorded material will be treated with the same respect for privacy and confidentiality as I accord to all records of and information about my patients. The materials provided by psychoanalysts with their patients’ consent will be available, after identifying material has been removed, from the PRC’s resource library for use by other qualified researchers.
The audiotapes and related materials are for research purposes and are not to be considered part of your medical record. Therefore, you will not have the automatic right to access to them for your own purposes. It sometimes happens that either or both patient and analyst may find it useful to review a given audiotape, and this, of course, may be done by mutual discussion and consent.
Additional questions which you may have about this research now or in the future can appropriately be addressed to me and I will be glad to answer them.
CONSENT TO AUDIOTAPING OF PSYCHOANALYSIS OR PSYCHOTHERAPY
SESSIONS AND SUBSEQUENT RELEASE OF THE AUDIOTAPES
AND RELATED PATIENT INFORMATION TO QUALIFIED RESEARCHERS
I understand that qualified researchers may wish to study psychoanalysis or psychotherapy by reviewing and analyzing audiotape recordings and/or transcripts of audiotape recordings of my therapy sessions. I understand that any qualified researchers given access to such audiotapes or transcripts will first be required to give written recognition of their legal and ethical obligation to preserve confidentiality and will take great care to preserve the confidentiality of the materials provided by taking steps to assure that my identity has been disguised before allowing the audiotapes and/or transcripts to be studied. Any modifications and alterations of the audiotapes or transcripts will be performed by personnel who have been specially trained to protect confidentiality and who have been selected in a manner designed to minimize to the extent practicable the chance that the participants in the therapy session would be recognized. I understand that the audiotapes may be given to the Psychoanalytic Research Consortium, Inc. (the “PRC”), a not-for-profit psychoanalytic research entity. which will make the tapes available to qualified researchers, after alteration to preserve confidentiality.
The benefit of audiotape recording is that it provides a basis for scientific study of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, which should improve the understanding of underlying conditions and the ability of therapists to provide effective care to patients. The recording of sessions in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy has been carried out from time to time over quite a number of years. Exposure so far has not shown any clear deleterious effects. However, treatments can be and usually are affected in one way or another by any and all circumstances surrounding the treatment, including audiotape recording. The effect of audiotaping in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy cannot be known ahead of time.
To assist in this research effort, I have given my consent to have audiotape recordings made of my psychoanalysis or psychotherapy sessions and to have the audiotapes and/or transcripts of the audiotapes released to qualified researchers and the PRC, with the understanding that care will be taken to preserve confidentiality. I have further consented to allow my therapist to provide the researchers with related patient information including, but not limited to, my age when the therapy began; my sex; the beginning and ending months and years of my treatment; the total number of sessions, and the total number of recorded sessions; a case description; and other sources of data, such as any ongoing notes (with appropriate steps taken to disguise identifying details). I understand that my analyst will have sole discretion regarding whether or not to submit the tapes to the PRC and whether or not to destroy the audiotapes. There will be neither costs nor payments to me related to this participation.
I understand that the audiotapes and supporting materials may be used by my analyst as a data source for purposes of making an initial note in my medical record or for research purposes. I understand that the audiotapes will not be considered part of my medical record, nor will I have automatic access to them for any purpose, unless otherwise required by law.
I understand that I am free to refuse to consent to the audiotaping of my therapy sessions and to the release of the audiotapes and related patient information to qualified researchers and the PRC. I understand my participation is optional. If I consent, I may withdraw my consent thereafter at any time during the treatment. I understand that the audiotapes in the possession of my analyst will be destroyed by my analyst at my written request, to the extent permitted by law. Refusing to consent or withdrawing my consent will not jeopardize any services or treatment which I receive. I understand that my decision to participate in this study may be terminated by my analyst at any time if it is in my medical interest.
I certify that I have read the preceding information or it has been read to me and that I understand its contents. The “Explanation of Potential Research Use of Audiotape Recordings of Sessions” has also been read by me or to me and I understand its contents. Any questions I have pertaining to this consent have been and will be answered by my therapist. A copy of this consent form will be given to me. My signature below means that I have freely and voluntarily agreed to give my consent to the audiotaping of my therapy sessions and to the release of the audiotapes to qualified researchers.
_________________________ ___________________________ ______________________
Signature of Patient Patient’s Name (Print) Date
I certify that I have discussed this consent form with the above-named individual, who is competent to give consent, have answered any questions that have been raised, and have witnessed the above signature.
_________________________ ___________________________ ______________________
Signature of Analyst Analyst’s Name (Print) Date
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