APPOINTMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS
Please make any changes to your appointment at least 24 hours in advance. You will be responsible for the standard fee ($80) if notice of cancellation is given less than 24 hours before the scheduled appointment.
After the first session (90 minutes), the standard meeting time for psychotherapy is 50 minutes. It is up to you, however, to determine the length of time of your sessions. Requests to change the 50-minute session shall be discussed and agreed upon together in order for time to be scheduled in advance.
Cancellations and rescheduled sessions will be subject to a full charge if not received at least 24 hours in advance. This is necessary because a time commitment is made to you and is held exclusively for you. If you are late for a session, you may lose some of that session time. I have the right to refuse to honor an appointment if you arrive more than 15 minutes after the scheduled time.
I request that you commit to meeting once per week for the first six weeks of our work together, in order to foster a therapeutic alliance conducive to effective treatment. After this time, we may re-evaluate the frequency of our appointments based on your therapeutic goals.
SLIDING SCALE AND PRO BONO SERVICES
I reserve a limited number of appointments each week for individuals whose financial circumstances require special consideration with regard to my fees. You are responsible for investing my standard fee ($80) for our first session and for any sessions that are cancelled or rescheduled with less than 24 hours notice. We will agree upon an acceptable fee, determined based on your household income and number of dependents, before our first meeting and will re-evaluate every eight weeks.
If you need to contact me between sessions, please send me an email, text message, or voicemail message. I am often not immediately available; however, I will attempt to return your call within 24 hours. Please note that face-to-face sessions are highly preferable to phone sessions. However, in the event that you are out of town, sick, or in need of additional support, phone sessions are available. If a true emergency situation arises, please call 911 or go to a local emergency room.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATION
Due to the importance of your confidentiality and the importance of minimizing dual relationships, I do not accept friend or contact requests on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) from people I am working with in a counseling relationship or with whom I have worked in the past. I believe that connecting on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.
While I have taken the utmost precautions available to comply with HIPAA’s requirements, I cannot ensure the confidentiality of any form of communication through electronic media, including text messages. If you prefer to communicate via email or text messaging for issues regarding scheduling or cancellations, I will do so. While I may try to return messages in a timely manner, I cannot guarantee immediate response and request that you do not use these methods of communication to discuss therapeutic content and/or request assistance for emergencies.
Services by electronic means, including but not limited to telephone communication, the Internet, facsimile machines, and e-mail is considered telemedicine. If you and I choose to use information technology for some of your treatment, you need to understand that:
(1) You retain the option to withhold or withdraw consent at any time without affecting the right to future care or treatment or risking the loss or withdrawal of any program benefits to which you would otherwise be entitled.
(2) All existing confidentiality protections are equally applicable.
(3) Your access to all medical information transmitted during a telemedicine consultation is guaranteed, and copies of this information are available for a reasonable fee.
(4) Dissemination of any of your identifiable images or information from the telemedicine interaction to researchers or other entities shall not occur without your consent.
(5) There are potential risks, consequences, and benefits of telemedicine. Potential benefits include, but are not limited to improved communication capabilities, providing convenient access to up-to-date information, consultations, support, reduced costs, improved quality, change in the conditions of practice, improved access to therapy, better continuity of care, and reduction of lost work time and travel costs.
Effective therapy is often facilitated when the therapist gathers, within a session or a series of sessions, a multitude of observations, information, and experiences relating to the person receiving counseling services. Therapists may make clinical assessments, diagnosis, and interventions based not only on direct verbal or auditory communications, written reports, and third person consultations, but also from direct visual and olfactory observations, information, and experiences. When using information technology in therapy services, potential risks include but are not limited to the therapist’s inability to make visual and olfactory observations of clinically or therapeutically potentially relevant issues such as: your physical condition including deformities, apparent height and weight, body type, attractiveness relative to social and cultural norms or standards, gait and motor coordination, posture, work speed, any noteworthy mannerism or gestures, physical or medical conditions including bruises or injuries, basic grooming and hygiene including appropriateness of dress, eye contact (including any changes in the previously listed issues), gender expression, chronological and apparent age, ethnicity, facial and body language, and congruence of language and facial or bodily expression. Potential consequences thus include the therapist not being aware of what she would consider important information, that you may not recognize as significant in order to present verbally to the therapist.
If you are a minor, your parents may be legally entitled to some information about your therapy. I will discuss with you and your parents what information is appropriate for them to receive and which issues are more appropriately kept confidential.
TRANSITIONING OUT OF THE COUNSELING RELATIONSHIP
Ending relationships can be difficult. Therefore, it is important to have a transitional process in order to achieve some closure. The appropriate length of the termination depends on the length and intensity of the treatment. I may terminate treatment after appropriate discussion with you and a termination process if I determine that the psychotherapy is not being effectively used, if you are in default on payment, or if a significant conflict of interest arises. I will not terminate the therapeutic relationship without first discussing and exploring the reasons and purpose for termination. If you transition out of therapy for any reason or you request another therapist, I will provide you with a list of qualified psychotherapists. You may also choose someone on your own or from another referral source.
Should you choose not to schedule or honor an appointment for four consecutive weeks, or should you fail to honor three or more appointments without providing 24 hours notice, unless other arrangements have been made in advance, for legal and ethical reasons I must consider the professional relationship discontinued. This does not necessarily make you ineligible to resume a counseling relationship with me, but please expect that I may not have appointments immediately available in my schedule.