This is a summary of my office policies for your reference and convenience. For additional information, clients may refer to the Consent to Treatment and/or Agreement for Online Therapy signed prior to your first session. You can download my current Notice of Privacy Practices here.
Appointments: I am currently available to see clients Monday through Thursday between 12pm – 8pm in my San Francisco office. Sessions are generally scheduled for 50-minute hours on a weekly basis, unless otherwise agreed upon by both parties. My standard rate is $220 per hour. Payment is due at the time of service.
If you are running late for an appointment, please notify me by calling (415) 859-1616 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If I do not hear from you within 15 minutes of the start time, I will assume you to be a no-show for that appointment and will follow up via phone or email to reschedule. Unfortunately, I am not able to reschedule or cancel appointments with less than 24 hours notice. Please note that you are responsible for the full fee of all no-show or late cancellation appointments.
Fees: My standard fee is $220 per hour, which includes face-to-face time as well as time for documentation of our session. Should we agree mutually to extend a session to address a crisis or urgent concern, additional time will be rounded to the nearest 15 minutes and billed at a pro-rated rate. The same hourly rate will apply to all professional services, including consultation with other professionals on your behalf, coordination with collateral sources, and time related to preparation for and appearance in court.
Contacting Me: If you need to contact me between sessions for a clinical matter, I am available via phone or secure email Monday through Thursday and will respond to you within one working day. Phone calls or emails requiring over 15 minutes of my time per week will be billed at my normal pro-rated rate.
Appointments: As with in-person appointments, you are responsible for arriving on-time and prepared for online appointments. This includes responsibility for providing a functional computer and internet connection. To protect your privacy, I will not be able to begin a session if you appear to have logged on in a public location, or if there are other people in the room who are not participating in the therapy session.
Privacy: Maintaining your privacy online is the joint responsibility of the client and therapist. I take strict precautions to maintain your confidentiality according to legal and ethical guidelines, including the use of HIPAA compliant and encrypted technologies for video chat, email, and electronic medical records. I strongly encourage you to take your privacy just as seriously. I recommend clients avoid communicating with me via unsecured wifi connection, use strong passwords, and always logout after completing a session or email online in our secure portal. I also encourage you to find a quiet, private place where we can speak without being overheard. Locking your door and using a white noise machine can be helpful in reducing the likelihood of being overheard.
Service Disruptions: Should we become disconnected at any time during our session due to a power outage or other technological issue, I will attempt to call you to resolve the problem. If appropriate, we may be able to complete the session via telephone or reschedule for another time. If the disruption is due to failure on my end of the service, you will be refunded for the remaining time in the session on a prorated basis.
My primary concern in creating my social media policy is the protection of my clients’ privacy, and the preservation of therapy as a safe space. With those considerations in mind, I ask that clients review and agree to my social media policy.
Friending: 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.
Google: It is NOT a regular part of my practice to search for clients on Google or Facebook or other search engines. Extremely rare exceptions may be made during times of crisis. If I have a reason to suspect that you are in danger and you have not been in touch with me via our usual means (coming to appointments, phone, or email) there might be an instance in which using a search engine (to find you, find someone close to you, or to check on your recent status updates) becomes necessary as part of ensuring your welfare. These are unusual situations and if I ever resort to such means, I will fully document it and discuss it with you when we next meet.
Business Review Sites: You may find my psychology practice on sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades, Yahoo Local, Bing, or other places which list businesses. Some of these sites include forums in which users rate their providers and add reviews. Many of these sites comb search engines for business listings and automatically add listings regardless of whether the business has added itself to the site. If you should find my listing on any of these sites, please know that my listing is NOT a request for a testimonial, rating, or endorsement from you as my client.
The American Psychological Association’s Ethics Code states under Principle 5.05 that it is unethical for psychologists to solicit testimonials: “Psychologists do not solicit testimonials from current therapy clients/patients or other persons who because of their particular circumstances are vulnerable to undue influence.” Of course, you have a right to express yourself on any site you wish. But due to confidentiality, I cannot respond to any review on any of these sites whether it is positive or negative.
If we are working together, I hope that you will bring your feelings and reactions to our work directly into the therapy process. This can be an important part of therapy, even if you decide we are not a good fit. None of this is meant to keep you from sharing that you are in therapy with me wherever and with whomever you like. Confidentiality means that I cannot tell people that you are my client and my Ethics Code prohibits me from requesting testimonials. But you are more than welcome to tell anyone you wish that I’m your therapist or how you feel about the treatment I provided to you, in any forum of your choosing. If you do choose to write something on a business review site, I hope you will keep in mind that you may be sharing personally revealing information in a public forum. I urge you to create a pseudonym that is not linked to your regular email address or friend networks for your own privacy and protection.
NOTICE TO CONSUMERS: The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Board of Psychology receives and responds to questions and complaints regarding the practice of psychology. If you have questions or complaints you may contact the Board on the Internet at www.psychology.ca.gov, by e-mailing email@example.com, calling 1-866-503-3221 or writing to the following address: Board of Psychology 1625 North Market Blvd, Suite N-215 Sacramento, CA 95834