About The Therapeutic Process & IMPORTANT PROCEDURES
The therapeutic relationship is unique in that it is a highly personal and at the same time, a contractual agreement. Given this, it is important for us to reach a clear understanding about how our relationship will work, and what each of us can expect. This consent will provide a clear framework for our work together. Feel free to discuss any of this with me.
You have taken a very positive step by deciding to seek therapy. The outcome of your treatment depends largely on your willingness to engage in this process, which may, at times, result in considerable discomfort. Remembering unpleasant events and becoming aware of feelings attached to those events can bring on strong feelings of anger, depression, anxiety, etc. There are no miracle cures. I cannot promise that your behavior or circumstance will change. I can promise to support you and do my very best to understand you and repeating patterns, as well as to help you clarify what it is that you want for yourself.
Length of Session
Each session will end promptly at the end of 45 (forty-five minutes.) A double session (two 45 minute sessions in a row= 90 minutes, one hour and thirty minutes of time) as well as two session or more per week can be arraigned at your request when needed. I will come out and invite you in at the time of your appointment. The waiting area in under a green umbrella inside the wooden gate to the LEFT of the house that has 2168 on the gate.
How We Communicate
Phone calls/emails/texts are typically returned each weekdays from 9am to 6pm. However, I try to return calls rather quickly and sometimes after hours when possible. As a general rule phone calls received after 4pm on Friday, can be returned the following Monday before noon.For scheduling matters, phone, text, or email is okay. Please make sure that the email address you use is okay to contain confidential psychotherapy communications. It is preferred to share all therapeutic information in the session or if necessary on my voicemail to protect your privacy. Please do not send or share info that you do not have other people’s permission to share or send.
Cancellation & Rescheduling
Rescheduling? 24 hour notice. If you call-text-email less than 24 hours and request to reschedule for any reason, you will be charged for the missed session unless we can find another day/time that specific week. If I call you less than 24 hours and request to reschedule for any reason, and you are not able to reschedule to another time or day that week, the session in the following week is no charge. To avoid these situations when we can, PLEASE CALL-TEXT-EMAIL as soon as possible to give us time to make changes. I will do the same. This reduces scheduling messages and makes our therapy sessions a priority and focused on the needs you are coming to address.
If You Are Late
Late? 20 minute waiting period.
If you are late PLEASE text me if you can, otherwise I will stay at least twenty minutes and text/call you before assuming you are not coming. If you arrive within twenty minutes, the remainder of the fifty minutes will be your session. If you do not come, there will be a charge for the full scheduled amount. If you have a credit card on file, it will be billed for full amount of session, if you pay by check or cash please add the amount to the next session payment or mail the amount to the office address.
If I Am Late
Sometimes, though rarely, the session before yours may run over a few minutes. I will come out to greet you when that session is completed and your will have your full session time starting at the time we start. If for any reason I DO NOT come out to greet you at your appointment time or after five minutes, please text or call me immediately. I will respond as soon as I can. In the unlikely event that I don't text nor respond to your communication within 20 minutes, assume I am not coming. If this is an error on my part, there will be no charge for your next session and you will receive a sincere apology. This is a very rare occurrence but just in case, we will know what to do to get back on track and you will be compensated in this way for your time due to my error.
Method of Payment
If you pay by check, please write your check before the session and make check payable to Don Elium, MA MFT. Please hand your payment in cash or check to start our session. Or, if payment by credit card, session will be billed once session begins. There are times due to administrative situations, that the credit card may be billed later. A receipt will be emailed to you when the charge is place on your credit card. You can enter your credit card information on the Client Portal where you entered your Intake Information. Or, you can hand me the card in session. Once entered into the credit card program, I no longer have any access to the number nor the credit card details. Client Portal login is here: https://don1.mytherabook.com/account/signup Payment in full is expected. Upon request, you can receive a bill to submit to your insurance company for their payment to you.
Counseling Fee Amount
The amount of your psychotherapy fee will be sent to you by email or text with a copy office policy and or by phone in our pre-session conversation or if you send an email ( to don@don-elium-psychotherapy ) with Fee Schedule Requested in the subject line and the current fee schedule for counseling services will be emailed to you.
Note: when counseling has concluded and if another round of counseling starts after 30 days, the fee will be adjusted to the current rate if there has been a change in the fee schedule.
Emergencies & Urgency
I am not immediately available in an emergency. I will return your call as soon as I can. I am usually very prompt in reponding to all communications, phone, text or email.
Please know your emergency resources in your area as well in your personal network of friends, churches, and organizations. I will call back as soon as I can.
When you call, please tell me clearly that this is an emergency and leave your phone number twice (2 times) If you are in crisis, you can schedule an additional session during the week. If immediate attention is required, Contra Costa Crisis line is available 24 hours a day at 800 833-2900, for medical emergencies or police, dial 911. Note the following point regarding returning phone calls. • Phone Calls Returned Weekdays Phone calls are typically returned each weekdays from 9am to 6pm. However, I try to return calls rather quickly. As a general rule phone calls received after 4pm on Friday, can be returned the following Monday before noon.
The session content and all relevant materials to the client’s treatment will be held confidential unless the client requests in writing to have all or portions of such content released to a specifically named person/persons. Limitations of such client held privilege of confidentiality exist and are itemized below:
2. If a client threatens grave bodily harm or death to another person.
3. If the therapist has a reasonable suspicion that a client or other named victim is the perpetrator, observer of, or actual victim of physical, emotional or sexual abuse of children under the age of 18 years.
4. Suspicions as stated above in the case of an elderly person who may be subjected to these abuses.
5. Suspected neglect of the parties named in items #3 and # 4.
6. If a court of law issues a legitimate subpoena for information stated on the subpoena.
7. If a client is in therapy or being treated by order of a court of law, or if information is obtained for the purpose of rendering an expert’s report to an attorney.
Occasionally I may need to consult with other professionals in their areas of expertise in order to provide the best treatment for you. Information about you may be shared in this context without using your name.
If we see each other accidentally outside of the therapy office, I will not acknowledge you first. Your right to privacy and confidentiality is of the utmost importance to me, and I do not wish to jeopardize your privacy. However, if you acknowledge me first, I will be more than happy to speak briefly with you, but feel it appropriate not to engage in any lengthy discussions in public or outside of the therapy office.