In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a psychotherapist and client. No information is disclosed without prior written consent from the client. This is done by signing a HIPPA form. However, there are some exceptions required by law to this rule. I am required by law to report to the authorities the following circumstances:
1) If I suspect that an individual may be involved in child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse.
2) If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person.
3) If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to work with the individual to insure their safety. However, if an individual does not cooperate, additional measures may need to be taken.
Most people are responsible and considerate regarding attendance to sessions. If you are one of those conscientious people, I thank you and realize that for you such a detailed policy may be unnecessary. I hope that even if you are not likely to cancel sessions, you will find it helpful to have a policy in writing.
This is a very personal service. When I make an appointment with you it is a firm commitment that I will be there for you at our agreed time. I begin and end all sessions on time and that time is reserved specifically for you. There may even be times when I come into the office just to see you.
1) Holding the time is using the time. Most people reserve time a week in advance. Sessions cancelled, even within the 48 hour cancellations period, are often essentially used by the person who initially reserved them.
2) In most cases there is no charge for sessions cancelled in advance of 48 hours before the session time.
3) If you cancel less than 48 hours before the session time you will be charged a full fee.
4) There is no charge for missed sessions in the case of severe illness such as flu or accidental injury, or life-and-death events such as funerals. I understand that there may be days when you are too ill to attend sessions. However, I do require that you call and let me know that you will be absent unless it is physically impossible for you to make the call.
5) If you have a chronic illness or health problems that cause you to frequently cancel sessions there will be a charge for those missed sessions. If your health is unpredictable it is up to you to decide whether you can make the commitment for an appointment. I am always available to have the session over the telephone or skype if you are not able to come to the office.
6) There is always a charge for forgotten sessions or sessions related to work, business, and travel. If your job requires you to work at the last minute you are responsible to pay for the missed session. If your job is unpredictable it is up to you to decide whether you can make the commitment for an appointment. Airlines, the subway and weather also make life unpredictable. I understand that you cannot control many problems related to travel, so please consider your travel schedule when making the appointment.
The therapist is not obligated to make up time due to a client’s lateness. More than 1/2 hour lateness constitutes a late cancellation and the therapist is not obligated to conduct the session. In some cases a therapist will wait and work with you for the remaining time. But this is solely up to the discretion of the therapist. In either case, you will be charged for the full fee for the session.
1) If I am severely ill, or have a life or death event, I will inform you that I will be absent.
2) I inform patients of my vacation or conference schedule at least a week in advance.
3) If I am unable to give a week’s notice of events which will keep me out of the office I will give 48 hours.