Can a Court Order Therapy? 5 Facts You Must Know About Mandated Treatment

Young hispanic woman lying on sofa and sharing her problems with male psychologist sitting by

No one likes being forced to do anything.

However, if the alternative is prison time, then it seems much more palpable. Court ordered therapy is an option given by a judge to facilitate treatment for individuals. It is set up as a way for offenders to have access to mental help services.

Let’s find out more about court ordered therapy.

1. What Is Court Ordered Therapy?

Court ordered therapy is one alternative judges can give to those that qualify in lieu of prison time. It is mandatory for sex offenders to keep up with the progress they have made and to keep track of any potential issues.

Reasons for court ordered therapy can also be an outpatient treatment for mental health, drugs, and parole/probation conditions. Besides, court ordered family therapy can be seen as a viable option when dealing with custody or divorce cases.

2. Is It Confidential?

To a reasonable extent.

Similar to individual counseling, the information you share with your therapist or counselor stays confidential. The information shared within your sessions will not be discussed with family or friends.

Only relevant information to a case can be shared by your therapist. If you confess to violating parole or probation terms, then your therapist will need to divulge the information.

A therapist may also be called upon to give testimony as to whether your treatment has been effective and of course they’ll inform the courts if you fail to show up.

3. Who Is Footing the Bill?

You may be wondering “who pays for court ordered therapy?” 

To put it simply, you will be responsible for your therapy sessions. The good news is that you can usually decide who you will be seeing.

There are services out there that provided low-cost to free therapy sessions. They can be subsidized by private organizations or the public. If you are having difficulty finding or paying for therapy, it is up to you to let the court know.

4. Is It Mandatory?

Court ordered therapy can be a part of parol terms or just a stand-alone order from a judge. Regardless, it is an order from a judge.

You must attend court ordered therapy if ordered to do so. Violating the order can result in fines or even prison time.

Cancelling court ordered therapy can result in a judge finding you in contempt of court. If you fail to show up it can cause a judge to send you to prison, send you for inpatient treatment, or cost you a case if dealing with family courts.

5. Does It Work?

That depends entirely on you. Like with most things in life, we have to put work into it. 

Therapy is a commitment, one that involves active communication and a willingness to want to improve. If you do the bare minimum in your session you will not get much out of it.

If your attendance is already mandatory, why not make it worth your time and money? Studies have suggested that those entering treatment for drug abuse have proven that it has in fact been effective.

Let’s Talk

Court ordered therapy can be an alternative to prison time, ordered for family disputes, and used as outpatient treatment for those with multiple offenses as well as sex offenders.

Interested in learning more about counseling? Check out our other articles on mental health.

A Guide to Understanding Your Paycheck

11 Online Gambling Tips for Beginners