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Statement of Understanding
I look forward to beginning therapy with you. I appreciate your commitment to this process and the energy you bring to the changes you desire to make. In order to further clarify expectations, please read the entirety of this document in preparation for counseling.
Getting the most out of therapy.
Good therapy will be life changing! I will bring my best to support you in all your goals and changes. I come prepared to work with you. As you come prepared for therapy it will help you maximize your experience during the session. Reviewing your objectives and goals ahead of time, making notes about the sessions, and doing the assigned recommendations will reinforce your success. Studies have demonstrated that proactive clients benefit more from therapy, reach their goals sooner and finish their counseling more satisfied with their progress. Coming to a session unprepared may cause you to become frustrated with the process or feel you’re spinning your wheels.
If you have scheduled a typical 50 minute session I will let you know 5 minutes before our time is ending so we can wrap up without a rush. It is important for you to pace yourself during the session in order for you to maximize your time. Bringing up a crucial issue at the end of a session may mean it has to become the focus of the next session. Prioritizing what you want to discuss will help us both manage the time well.
What is accomplished “in sessions” should be substantial, but what happens “between sessions” is also significant. Working on your changes is a daily discipline. Making and sustaining the changes in your life will insure you keep your traction and get positive results. Developing an accountable plan (I will introduce a Growth Plan template) and following through on your goals will support an empowering process of change in the key areas of your life that you seek to improve.
Email and texting can be efficient ways of communication when it comes to scheduling or administrative issues. It is important to understand email is not a completely protected (hacking can occur with anyone’s account) form of communication. If it is acceptable to both parties email attachments related to therapy homework, follow up or billing matters may be used by consent. By this consent we are agreeing that all email communication will in no way be copied or forwarded to another party without permission. I will typically respond to emails within 24 hours weekdays. Emails or texting should never be used in emergencies. Email and texting are not considered formal therapy and I do not typically engage therapeutic issues in this context. I am unable to respond to lengthy emails or texts with equal substance. If there is a substantial or urgent issue you want to engage outside the clinical session it is best to schedule a 15-30 minute consult or a typical 50 minute session by phone. Calls under 10 minutes are not charged.
Skype or V See (Hippa approved) sessions may be scheduled for ongoing counseling or coaching. I do not engage in Social Media (Facebook, Twitter or Linked In) while you are a client.
Communication in Couples Therapy
Communication in the ongoing context of couple’s therapy or conflict coaching must be transparent to all parties at all times. To avoid being caught in the middle of a communication loop or being perceived as a conduit or advocate to either party I can only respond to your individual concerns if all parties are copied in all correspondence. “Reply all” should be used so both husband, wife and therapist are fully in the loop on details related to the ongoing therapy. This method fosters trust, prevents triangulation or the breaching of this agreement. If I see an email or text that is NOT copied to all parties it will not be opened.
If an individual session is scheduled (recommended by me or requested by you) in the context of ongoing marriage counseling the same principle of transparency will apply to all disclosures. While I respect confidentiality I cannot become a secret bearer or been seen as a conduit or advocate. These sessions must be approved by your spouse as they seek to support your individual growth. I will expect you to accurately summarize the content and tone of the therapy sessions for your partner so they will understand what areas of growth you are addressing in your own life. The goal within short term individual work is to support the marriage (which is still the client), not misrepresent or malign your partner
Payments and Billing
Payments can be made using cash, check or credit card at the beginning of each session. It may save time if you are using a check to have that made out prior to the session. Sessions are 50 minutes (insurance related sessions are 45), double sessions 100 minutes and so on. Because I collect payments each session I do not invoice. If you request a record of your sessions I can provide a document indicating dates of service and payments you have made, otherwise your checks or credit card receipts are your primary record.
While I am an in Network Provider with several insurance companies I am only able to serve a limited number of insurance related clients. A separate agreement will be made available for clients using their insurance.
Cancellations and Changing Appointment Times
If I schedule a session with you the entire time is reserved for you alone. When you cancel or change your appointment I need adequate time to schedule in another client or I will lose that opportunity as well as business revenue. The Cancellation Policy described in the Intake form is an industry standard expectation and will be applied if the cancellation is not made within the 24 hours (double sessions 48 hours). While no one likes being charged for missed sessions I will enforce this policy unless you have an adequate justification.
Inventories and Assessments
Inventories and personality assessments are important tools in self-understanding, relating to others more respectfully and effectively while moving the therapy along at a more efficient pace. While I provide many assessments at no charge, sometimes the testing used in therapy may involve an addition expense. I will let you know the rationale for any recommended inventories and if there are any costs involved.
The Parker office (10165 Quarry Hill Place) has parking limitations because this location is at my residence. Since the neighborhood covenants are strict, please park directly at the curb in front of my house (not ever across the street) or park to the North or South of our driveway. Feel free to park in the driveway itself if there is no room at curbside.
Whether it is taking a break or meeting for a final session, the postponement or termination of your counseling sessions should be the realization of your goals and a positive outcome. Good closure is beneficial and graduations should be celebrated! Termination can be initiated by either the client or the counselor and should be announced in advance of the final session in order that both parties may be prepared. Premature endings may thwart your goals and worsen your condition so I advise against endings that could have a less than positive outcome. To foster clarity, I appreciate knowing who is still an active client, if therapy is being postponed or if a client wants to end our working relationship.
If you have any questions related to this Statement you may contact me by phone (303) 324-6261 or email at David@changedlifecounseling.com for further clarification.