After an initial consultation to determine if my services are a good match for you, I will send several forms for you to complete in advance of our first session (treatment consent form, new client background form, and, if desired, a release form that allows me to speak with another healthcare provider, teacher, etc. of your choosing).
The first session is an evaluation session that typically lasts 90 minutes. Depending on the issue and the age of a child, I may recommend a "parent only" preliminary session to speak candidly about parental concerns and goals for the therapy. For teens, adults, and couples, the initial session still is 90 minutes so that we can fully discuss relevant background information, make diagnostic decisions, and develop a treatment plan.
Subsequent sessions typically are 45 minutes. If we need to schedule longer meetings, such as to help practice learned skills in real-world scenarios or to properly implement anxiety treatments, we can make arrangements. Over the course of our work, we will routinely evaluate progress towards your goals and make mutual decisions about session frequency and duration.
Psychologist-client communications are confidential and privileged. Federal and state laws, plus ethical standards, mandate that our work together remain private with only a few exceptions. Even in those exceptions, every effort is made to protect your privacy. Those exceptions are detailed in my treatment consent form and include the standard circumstances that would prompt any health care provider to disclose information, such as:
in cases of suspected or actual abuse of a minor, dependent adult, or person with disability I am a mandated reporter and must inform the proper authorities immediately
if a client is a danger to self or others I must take steps to protect the individual(s) involved
court ordered release of information and certain other legal proceedings (e.g., a child custody situation or law suit where the court requests certain documentation)
insurance companies, if paying for sessions, may request some basic information regarding diagnosis, dates and number of sessions, and treatment summaries
you authorize me to speak with a representative, teacher, psychiatrist, former therapist, for the purpose of helping with treatment planning and implementation, understanding your medications, coordinating with your child's teacher, advocating at a 504/IEP meeting, etc.