Lighthouse Clinical Social Work
APPOINTMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS
Please remember to cancel or reschedule 24 hours in advance. You will be responsible for a late cancel fee of $50 if cancellation is less than 24 hours before scheduled appointment time. This is 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.
If you miss an appointment without canceling it, you may be charged $100. Subsequent missed appointments may result in being charged the full cost of the session. (Those fees are not covered by health insurance and are solely the responsibility of the client or relevant responsible party.)
My standard meeting time for psychotherapy is 60 minutes.
A $10.00 service charge will be charged for any checks returned for any reason for special handling.
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 business hours.
Please note that Face-to-face sessions are highly preferable to phone sessions. However, in the event that you are out of town (but are in either Alabama or Tennessee), sick, or need additional support, phone sessions might be available. If a true emergency situation arises, please call 988 (Suicide and Crisis Lifeline) 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 or their household members on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). 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, you may do so. While I 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. Also, please be aware that such messages will not receive a response outside business hours.
Services by electronic means, including, but not limited to, telephone communication, the Internet, facsimile machines, and e-mail is considered telemedicine. 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: (1) 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. (2) All existing confidentiality protections are equally applicable. (3) Your access to all medical information transmitted during a telemedicine consultation is guaranteed, and copies of this information are available for a reasonable fee. (4) Dissemination of any of your identifiable images or information from the telemedicine interaction to researchers or other entities shall not occur without your consent. (5) 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, 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, diagnosis, and interventions based not only on direct verbal or auditory communications, written reports, and third person consultations, but also from 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, 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 she would consider important information, that you may not recognize as significant to present verbally to the therapist.
If you are a minor, your parents may be legally entitled to some information about your therapy. I can discuss with you and your parents what information is appropriate for them to receive and which issues are more appropriately kept confidential.
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 can provide you with a list of qualified psychotherapists to treat you. You may also choose someone on your own or from another referral source.