Appointments and Cancellations
Appointments will be set based on client needs and availability. It is generally good policy for sessions to be more frequent at the beginning of therapy, and to reduce in frequency as goals are being met. You are expected to keep your scheduled appointments. If something interferes with your ability to keep your appointment, you agree to contact me at least 24 hours in advance. There is often a waiting list, and adequate time is needed to fill your spot.
Please remember to cancel or reschedule 24 hours in advance. You will be responsible for the entire fee if cancellation is less than 24 hours.
Cancellations and re-scheduled session will be subject to a full charge if NOT RECEIVED AT LEAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE. Late fees are the client’s responsibility, not the insurance company. Late fees are 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.
Your insurance is billed on your behalf and is a service to you. Any outstanding fees not paid for by your insurance company are the responsibility of the client. Therapist may charge your card on file for the amount not covered by your insurance provider.
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 needs to be discussed with the therapist in order for time to be scheduled in advance.
If you need to contact me between sessions, please leave a message on my voice mail. 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 need additional support, phone sessions are available. If a true emergency situation arises, please call 911 or any 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 from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). I believe that adding clients as friends or contacts 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.
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 by the State of California. Under the California Telemedicine Act of 1996, telemedicine is broadly defined as the use of information technology to deliver medical services and information from one location to another. If you and your therapist chose to use information technology for some or all of your treatment, you need to understand that:
- 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.
- All existing confidentiality protections are equally applicable.
- Your access to all medical information transmitted during a telemedicine consultation is guaranteed, and copies of this information are available for a reasonable fee.
- Dissemination of any of your identifiable images or information from the telemedicine interaction to researchers or other entities shall not occur without your consent.
- 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 about the client. Therapists may make clinical assessments, diagnoses, and interventions based not only on direct verbal or auditory communications, written reports, and third-person consultations, but also on 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), sex, 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 he
or she would consider important information, that you may not recognize as significant to present verbally to the therapist.
If you are involved in multi-party counseling, such as family therapy, our staff will treat all information acquired in that process in accordance with this confidentiality policy. In addition, Genesis Counseling will stress the importance of maintaining confidentiality with all members of the family therapy process, but we cannot be held responsible for breaches of confidentiality by other participants. Finally, only the identified client can have records released. In some circumstances individuals participating in family counseling will also be involved in individual sessions with members of our professional staff. At times an individual may share information in therapy sessions, which is of central importance to the family therapy process. By signing this policy, you give the therapist permission to disclose information when it is our clinical judgment that such disclosure is in the best interest of the family.
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.
Availability of Services
Genesis Counseling does not have the capacity to respond immediately to counseling emergencies. These community providers are available for your utilization should you have an emergency:9-1-1, Empact (480-784-1500), Banner Help Line (602-254-4357), Maricopa Crisis Line (602-222-9444).
Staff Rights and Responsibilities
All counseling staff and office staff have the right to be treated with respect and the responsibility to treat all clients with respect. Staff have a right to safety, to not be physically or verbally threatened by a client. If such threatening behavior occurs in the therapy setting, therapists have a right to terminate the session and to refer the client for other services.
Therapists also have a right to refer clients who refuse to sign a treatment plan or fail to follow through on agreed-upon treatment plan objectives and intervention strategies or fail to keep regularly scheduled appointments.
Therapists have a right to privacy that includes clients not recording or transmitting sessions without the permission of the therapist.
Therapists have a responsibility to provide effective treatment and to refer clients when client treatment needs go beyond the therapist’s areas of competence and training.
Allergies & Sensitivities: Our staff works with clients of various medical conditions and sensitivities. As a way to respectfully service all clients and staff who have allergies or sensitivities to fragrances, scents, and aromas we ask that all persons who attend therapy sessions at the clinic please minimize the use of perfumes/colognes, scented lotions & essential oils.
Also, please note the clinic, building, and grounds is a smoke-free campus. We appreciate all staff, clients, and visitors choosing not to smoke immediately prior to appointments at the clinic.
Ending relationships can be difficult. Therefore, it is important to have a termination 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 or if you are in default on payment. I will not terminate the therapeutic relationship without first discussing and exploring the reasons and purpose of terminating. If therapy is terminated for any reason or you request another therapist, I will provide you with a list of qualified psychotherapists to treat you. You may also choose someone on your own or from another referral source.
If you have questions regarding these policies, they should be addressed within the first few sessions with your therapist or directed to the Clinical Director.