Client Agreement

My office policies

Welcome to my practice. This page contains important information about my professional services and business policies. Please read it carefully and jot down any questions you might have so that we can discuss them at our next meeting. When you give your consent in writing it will represent an agreement between us.

Counseling

Counseling and therapy are not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities of the therapist and client and the particular problems you bring. There are many different methods I may use to deal with the problems that you hope to address. Therapy is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will have to work on things we talk about both during our sessions and at home.

Although every client’s goals are individualized there are certain basic things you can expect from therapy. Essentially, therapy will help you to better manage the challenges of daily life. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. But there are no guarantees of what you will experience. Ongoing discussion of your specific goals and progress will be a central part of the therapy process.

Be aware that therapy often requires the sharing of difficult thoughts and feelings and that you may feel uncomfortable at times. At other times you may feel that you are not making enough progress. It is especially important that during these difficult times you continue to communicate with me. I will want to work with you to consider all options available to help you meet your therapeutic goals.

Insurance Reimbursement

I do not file insurance and am usually considered an out-of-network provider. I will provide you with itemized fee bills on a regular basis that you can submit to your insurance company for reimbursement; however, you and not your insurance company are responsible for full payment of my fees.

Cancellations and Missed Appointments

If you are unable to attend a session due to illness or an emergency, please notify me as far in advance as is possible. If you do not show up for an appointment or fail to cancel at least 24 hours prior to your appointment you will be responsible for paying 100% of your fee for the missed session. If you are late for your appointment you will be charged the full fee and the appointment will end at the scheduled time. Fees for no-shows and cancellations without 24 hours notice must be paid by the end of your next therapy session.

Confidentiality

Professional ethics and state and federal law require confidentiality of information shared as a result of mental health services rendered. In general I make every effort to keep anything you tell me confidential as this is central to successful counseling. When I am working with a couple I treat the relationship as my client. Because many relationship problems have their basis in individual issues I will see you individually as well as together. When I am seeing you individually you are encouraged to bring up issues with your partner. However, the focus will be on you and I will do my best to keep specifics of what your partner might have told me confidential. However, if there is an important secret, such as an affair, that is disclosed during an individual session we will work together so you can tell your partner when you are ready. Please see the “Notice of Privacy Practices” for more information and a detailed listing of the exceptions to confidentiality.

Contacting Me

I am often not immediately available by telephone. While I am usually in my office during regular business hours I will not answer the phone when I am with a client. When I am unavailable my telephone is answered by voice mail that I monitor frequently. I will make every effort to return your call on the same day you make it with the exception of weekends and holidays. If you are difficult to reach, please inform me of some times when you will be available. If you are unable to reach me and feel that you can’t wait for me to return your call, contact your family physician, the 24/7 Crisis Hotline at 472-HELP, 9-1-1, or the nearest emergency room. If I will be unavailable for an extended time I will provide you with the name of a colleague to contact if necessary.

I would prefer you communicate with me outside of our sessions via phone. However, you are also able to communicate with me via email or text if you choose. I may respond via telephone if I believe it would be more helpful for us to talk directly.

My Office

I share my office suite with other mental health professionals. I am a sole independent practitioner with no affiliation to any other practitioner in the office suite. Please contact me directly if you have any concerns with this arrangement at any time during the course of our work together.

Complaints

It is my hope to resolve any misunderstandings that may arise by discussing them with you. Working through such difficulties is one of the most effective ways to grow psychologically and emotionally. Nevertheless, should you have a complaint that you cannot resolve by talking with me or that you do not care to discuss with me, you have the right to call the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists at (800) 942-5540.

Minors

If you are under eighteen years of age, please be aware that the law may provide your parents the right to examine your treatment records. It is my policy to request an agreement from parents that they agree to give up access to your records. If they agree, I will provide them only with general information about our work together unless I feel there is a high risk that you will seriously harm yourself or someone else. In this case I will notify them of my concern. Before giving them any information I will discuss the matter with you, if possible, and do my best to handle any objections you may have with what I am prepared to discuss.

This agreement was last updated on April 1, 2015.