Can you sign up or go to sessions on your own without being 18 years old?

Good question. In a nutshell, if you are under the age of 12 you must have parental consent to receive counseling services. If you are between the ages of 12-17 years old you can receive up to 5 counseling sessions before parental consent is legally required. The minor’s parents shall not be informed without the consent of the minor unless the facility director believes such disclosure is necessary.  See below for the Illinois Consent and Confidentiality Law regarding minors.

(405 ILCS 5/3-501) (from Ch. 91 1/2, par. 3-501)
Sec. 3-501. (a) Any minor 12 years of age or older may request and receive counseling services or
psychotherapy on an outpatient basis. The consent of his parent, guardian or person in loco parentis shall
not be necessary to authorize outpatient counseling or psychotherapy. The minor’s parent, guardian or
person in loco parentis shall not be informed of such counseling or psychotherapy without the consent of
the minor unless the facility director believes such disclosure is necessary. If the facility director intends to
disclose the fact of counseling or psychotherapy, the minor shall be so informed. However, until the
consent of the minor’s parent, guardian or person in loco parentis has been obtained, outpatient counseling
or psychotherapy provided to a minor under the age of 17 shall be limited to not more than 5 sessions, a
session lasting not more than 45 minutes.
(b) The minor’s parent, guardian or person in loco parentis shall not be liable for the costs of outpatient
counseling or psychotherapy which is received by the minor without the consent of the minor’s parent,
guardian or person in loco parentis.
(Source: P.A. 86-922.)

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