Policies

Policies


Confidentiality

It is important to me that I protect my clients’ confidentiality as much as possible.  No information is shared without the written permission from the client.

That said, I am legally required to break confidentiality under certain circumstances:

·  In situations where I believe a client may be involved in child abuse, elder abuse, or dependent adult abuse.

·  If I believe the client is making credible threats of bodily harm to another individual.

·  If I believe the client intends to harm themselves.  I will work with the client as best possible to insure their safety, but there are situations where I need to take additional steps.

·  If mandated by a court of law.

Fees and Sliding Scale

I am an out-of-network provider for all insurance, and payment is due at the time of the session.  My fees are competitive with other providers.  I can sometimes offer a sliding scale to help those with less financial means; I do not want financial limitations to be a barrier to care, but I do have my costs as well.  If you need an invoice at the end of each month to submit for insurance reimbursement, please let me know. 

I accept payment by major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, debit cards), check, or cash.  Sorry, but I am not equipped to accept livestock or jars of pennies as payment at this time.

A Note On Insurance

Some insurance or employee benefit plans offer out-of-network benefits.  It is up to you to determine whether this is the case for you, but your carrier will be able to provide this information via a phone call.  Some important questions to ask might be:

·  Do I have out-of-network benefits?

·  Are mental health visits covered under my policy?

·  Do I have a deductible?

·  Is there a limit to the number of visits I can receive?

·  How much is covered for an out-of-network provider?

·  Does my primary care provider need to approve such sessions?

Sessions

Sessions are 45 minutes.

It will take time for us to get comfortable with each other.  I recognize that sharing very private parts of your life with a stranger can be awkward, uncomfortable, and even make you feel vulnerable.  In our first few sessions we will be getting to know each other, determining goals, and forming the beginnings of a working relationship. 

Promptness

Sessions start at the scheduled time.  Tardiness can interfere with our work together and inhibit progress.  I generally have a session scheduled immediately after yours, so lateness only shortens the length of the time I can spend with you.  If I run slightly late for whatever reason, I will do my best to extend your time by the appropriate amount.  Otherwise, extending sessions beyond your forty-five minute slot is at my discretion.

Cancellation

Sometimes missing sessions is unavoidable.  I ask that my clients be considerate regarding attendance and cancellations. 

Scheduling time with me means I am scheduling time with you.  Therapy is a mutual commitment of us coming together to work on your life.  At your session time, I am present and prepared.  If you do not attend, you have still essentially used that time.

In most cases there is no charge for a session canceled with 48 hours notice.

Sessions canceled with less than 48 hours notice will be charged a full fee.

I commonly waive the charge in cases of crisis such as severe illness, accident, funerals, or severe injury.  I still expect to be notified if you are unable to attend, unless it is physically impossible for you to call.  If you have the flu, please stay home and drink chicken soup.

If your job requires last minute work or travel, I will attempt to work with your schedule as best possible but please consider your availability before making the appointment.  If you miss the session without providing adequate notice, there will still be a charge.

If you need to miss an appointment but might be available another day or time, call me and I will do my best to accommodate the rescheduling.

Policy On My Absence

I sometimes get ill or have crises just like my clients.  I will do my best to inform you with as much notice as possible. 

If I am headed on vacation or to a conference, I will provide at least a week notice.

If for whatever reason I am unable to give a week's notice for something that takes me out of the office, I will do my best to provide at least 48 hours notice.

If I'm fleeing to Tijuana to avoid the authorities, I'll send a postcard.

Electronic Communication

Clients can reach me by phone, email, or text message.  In general these are for administrative issues like scheduling or emergencies, and personal discussions about your life are best kept to the therapy session itself.  I may occasionally engage in discussion with clients outside session if I deem necessary or appropriate. 

Contact In Public

I sometimes walk in the same circles as my clients.  Occasionally we may cross paths.  I ask you to understand that I am there for my own reasons and that I have my own private life. 

If we see each other in public, I will generally not approach you.  This is not to be rude, but to respect that clients do not necessarily want to be identified as seeing a therapist, or want to have to explain their relationship to me to their friends. 

You are welcome to approach me.  I will say hello and speak briefly.  Please do not consider it disrespectful if I do not introduce you to the people I am with.

If I see you engaging in any intimate way, or if I see you in such an environment, I will walk away.  Please do the same if the situations are reversed. 

These are to honor your privacy, and mine.