Informed Consent and Practice Policies for Office and Online Therapy
Counseling Process and Relationship – I believe that counseling is an interactive process between counselor and client and includes active listening, honesty, trust and mutual respect and completing outside assignments when appropriate. It also includes openly discussing concerns about the counseling process. An effective counseling relationship involves developing a healthy relationship with clear boundaries. I believe that my job as counselor is to help the client find his or her way through what may be difficult times or situations. And although ultimately only the client can direct his or her path, I am supportive, understanding and caring through the counseling process and treat each client as an individual with individual needs. Please know that I am a professional that is committed to your well-being.
It is important to understand that we have a professional relationship. If I see you in public, I will protect your confidentiality by not acknowledging or approaching you. I will wait for you to speak to me before I acknowledge you. I will not discuss your case in any public place. Contacts, other than chance meetings will be limited to scheduled appointments.
If you are coming to therapy appointments in my office, the first session we will discuss your presenting concern, your history and will discuss the goals you want to accomplish. If I am meeting with a minor, I will ask to first meet with the parent or guardian to discuss the above-mentioned items and the unique issues of confidentiality with a minor. Initially, counseling often results in the client experiencing uncomfortable feelings or thoughts. Sometimes things get harder before they get better. This experience may affect the client’s relationship with family members, spouse, or other significant relationships. When you bring your child for counseling, it is imperative that you stay in the building during the session. I must be able to find you in case of emergency. If one parent has custody of the minor then documentation identifying the managing conservator will be required before treatment begins. If you qualify for counseling via online therapy, it is preferable that you come into the office for the first session, then the following sessions may be scheduled online.
The number of sessions needed will depend upon the circumstances that are taking place in each person’s life. Each person’s journey and struggles are unique, and each person moves at a different pace. Some clients may require only a few sessions in order to reach their goals while others may take several months or possibly even longer. You, the client, are in complete control. You may choose to end our professional relationship at any time. When you are ready to terminate therapy, please allow at least one session so we can have closure. If you find that my particular style of therapy does not meet your needs, please feel free to come to me first with your thoughts, and you may ask for referrals to other therapists.