Scheduling & Cancellations: Email is appropriate for scheduling purposes. A full session fee is charged for noshows and late cancellations (less than 12-24 hour notice). For rescheduling needs with less than 24 hour notice, as I am able, I’m happy to reschedule for the same week period with no charge. If I have to cancel with less than 24 hour notice, I will offer to reschedule within the same week. This policy is important as it signals an investment in your own personal growth and commitment to our clinical relationship.
Confidentiality: All information you share with me will be held in confidence. If a situation arises that I feel it might be appropriate to consult with someone regarding your treatment, I’ll ask you to sign a permission form. You have access to your treatment records and I can provide these with advance notice upon request and may charge an administrative fee. I am able to break confidentiality in the case of suspected child abuse, elder abuse or if a client is at risk to themselves or others. There may also be situations in which another therapist “covers” my phone or group in my absence, however, you would have advance notice and I will share only basic pertinent information (with your permission). I will not testify in court or provide legal recommendations or provide clinical information in custody or divorce proceedings. With couples, I do not hold secrets and will not provide individual counseling to one partner while also providing couples therapy unless unique clinical circumstances arise.
Crisis Moments: If you feel you are in a crisis, please let me know and I can recommend referrals and support your crisis management plan. My office phone is also my after hour contact number. In acute crisis, you can call the nearest emergency room for behavioral health emergencies.
Electronic Communication/HIPPA: Email isn’t inherently confidential, so I only use email with client approval, to communicate the following:
- With prospective or established clients interested in scheduling an appointment.
- With established clients to send receipt or invoice of payment for sessions. This form has information about date of service, diagnosis, fee. Signing the form attached signals that you understand your private health information is being sent to you electronically.
- I don’t use email to communicate or discuss therapy.
- If I receive email from one partner of a couple in couple’s therapy, I will reply to both partners and attach the original message. Please copy your partner when addressing me via email.
- Please don’t send text. It isn’t confidential and I won’t respond via text.
- Cell phone. Please limit confidential messages via cell phone. I will attempt to return calls within 24 hours, but please re-call if you don’t hear back from me promptly as sometimes messages get lost or delayed.
Skype/Distance Counseling and Consulting: The ability to utilize existing technology to go global has been remarkable! Skype is not appropriate for every clinical situation and therapist and client will discuss this upfront. If in the course of therapy, the Skype modality is creating clinical interference, the therapist will discuss this with the client and make referrals if necessary. Clients will not be responsible for any extra fees associated with Skype. I will also work with clients to make up any time lost with internet connection problems. Clients will be responsible for ensuring their meeting place is private. Therapist will Skype from a private home office and has safeguards to ensure confidentiality.
Mind/Body Connection/Referrals: There may be a situation in which I am not skilled and I would recommend a referral. I am affiliated with many skilled practitioners, as well as other specialty therapists. It is my experience that psychotherapy is much more effective if integrated with some type of somatic (body) approach, e.g., exercise, massage, energy work, physical therapy, acupuncture, spiritual practices, meditation and/or good medical healthcare.
Groups: Groups also adheres to the same principles regarding confidentiality. Members are asked not to repeat material discussed in group with anyone else. Members are asked to refrain from meeting outside of the group context or disclose the identity of group members. Members are also asked to commit to participating in the group for 6+ months to ensure high interaction and commitment. Even with these safeguards, group members should still understand the limits of confidentiality in a group context.
Treatment Plan Overview:
- Self Assessment
- Adjust to therapeutic process
- Set intention/objectives
- Develop/strengthen self-soothing practices
- Understand current life stressors
- Understand prior losses and personal accommodations to those losses.
- Make connections between past and present functioning
- Strengthen future vision of self-identity, make plans to achieve desires for self
- Internalize support and cement self-nurturing voice (become a good parent internally)
Fees & Payment: It is the client’s responsibility to cover payment at time of appointment. If special arrangements need to be made with therapist, client is responsible for covering fees discussed and method for payment. Therapist will provide paperwork so client can file out of network provider benefits. Counsel on receiving benefits will be available. Payment that is not paid in full by agreed upon time may be subject to be turned over to a collections agency.
I will not testify or provide documentation for any legal proceedings as a safety measure for you and for my practice. You will be able to provide dates of service, which I will sign, but otherwise, our therapy records will not be of assistance to any legal proceedings for you, your children or your partner. If counseling will help you legally, I would suggest you work with a therapist who already works with the court system. Your signature on the form affirms that you understand this legal stipulation.