CONFIDENTIALITY: All information disclosed within sessions and the written records pertaining to those sessions are confidential and may not be revealed to anyone without your written permission except where disclosure is required by law.
WHEN DISCLOSURE IS REQUIRED OR MAY BE REQUIRED BY LAW: Some of the circumstances where disclosure is required or may be required by law are: where there is a reasonable suspicion of child, dependent, or elder abuse or neglect; where a client presents a danger to self, to others, to property, or is gravely disabled; or when a client's family members communicate to Eye of The Storm Therapist that the client presents a danger to others. Disclosure may also be required pursuant to a legal proceeding by or against you. If you place your mental status at issue in litigation initiated by you, the defendant may have the right to obtain the psychotherapy records and/or testimony by Eye of The Storm Therapist. In couple and family therapy, or when different family members are seen individually, even over a period of time, confidentiality and privilege do not apply between the couple or among family members, unless otherwise agreed upon. Eye of The Storm Therapist will use his/her clinical judgment when revealing such information. Eye of The Storm Therapist will not release records to any outside party unless s/he is authorized to do so by all adult parties who were part of the family therapy, couple therapy or other treatment that involved more than one adult client.
EMERGENCY: If there is an emergency during therapy, or in the future after termination, where Eye of The Storm Therapist becomes concerned about your personal safety, the possibility of you injuring someone else, or about you receiving proper psychiatric care, s/he will do whatever s/he can within the limits of the law, to prevent you from injuring yourself or others and to ensure that you receive the proper medical care. For this purpose, s/he may also contact the person whose name you have provided on the biographical sheet.
HEALTH INSURANCE & CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS: Disclosure of confidential information may be required by your health insurance carrier or HMO/PPO/MCO/EAP in order to process the claims. If you so instruct Eye of The Storm Therapist, only the minimum necessary information will be communicated to the carrier. Eye of The Storm Therapist has no control over, or knowledge of, what insurance companies do with the information s/he submits or who has access to this information. You must be aware that submitting a mental health invoice for reimbursement carries a certain amount of risk to confidentiality, privacy or to future capacity to obtain health or life insurance or even a job. The risk stems from the fact that mental health information is likely to be entered into big insurance companies' computers and is likely to be reported to the National Medical Data Bank. Accessibility to companies' computers or to the National Medical Data Bank database is always in question as computers are inherently vulnerable to hacking and unauthorized access. Medical data has also been reported to have been legally accessed by law enforcement and other agencies, which also puts you in a vulnerable position.
CONSULTATION: Eye of The Storm Therapist consults regularly with other professionals regarding his/hers clients; however, each client's identity remains completely anonymous and confidentiality is fully maintained.
E–MAILS, CELL PHONES AND COMPUTERS: While data on Eye of The Storm Therapist’s laptop is protected, emails and texts (which are part of the clinical records) can be relatively easily accessed by unauthorized people and hence can compromise the privacy and confidentiality of such communication, due to the fact that servers or communication companies may have unlimited and direct access to all emails and text that go through them. It is always a possibility that texts, and email can be sent erroneously to the wrong address and computers. Eye of The Storm Therapist’s laptop is equipped with a firewall, a virus protection and a password, and s/he backs up all confidential information regularly onto a hard-drive. Please notify Eye of The Storm Therapist if you decide to avoid or limit, in any way, the use of email, texts, cell phones calls or phone messages. If you communicate confidential or private information via email or texts we will assume that you have made an informed decision, will view it as your agreement to take the risk that such communication may be intercepted, and he will honor your desire to communicate on such matters. Please do not use texts, email, voice mail, or faxes for emergencies.
RECORDS AND YOUR RIGHT TO REVIEW THEM: Both the law and the standards of Eye of The Storm Therapist profession require that s/he keep treatment records for at least 7 years. Please note that clinically relevant information from emails, texts, and faxes are part of the clinical records. Unless otherwise agreed to be necessary, Eye of The Storm Therapist retains clinical records only as long as is mandated by California state law. If you have concerns regarding the treatment records, please discuss them with Eye of The Storm Therapist. As a client, you have the right to review or receive a summary of your records at any time, except in limited legal or emergency circumstances or when Eye of The Storm Therapist assesses that releasing such information might be harmful in any way. In such a case, Eye of The Storm Therapist will provide the records to an appropriate and legitimate mental health professional of your choice. Considering all of the above exclusions, if it is still appropriate, and upon your request, Eye of The Storm Therapist will release information to any agency/person you specify unless Eye of The Storm Therapist assesses that releasing such information might be harmful in any way. When more than one client is involved in treatment, such as in cases of couple and family therapy, Eye of The Storm Therapist will release records only with signed authorizations from all the adults (or all those who legally can authorize such a release) involved in the treatment.
TELEPHONE & EMERGENCY PROCEDURES: If you need to contact Eye of The Storm Therapist between sessions, please leave a message at (626) 510-2652 or (626)321-8141 and your call will be returned as soon as possible. Eye of The Storm Therapist checks his/her messages a few times during the daytime only, unless s/he is out of town. If an emergency situation arises, indicate it clearly in your message and if you need to talk to someone right away call Psychiatric Emergency Service. (800) 854-7771, crisis line (877) 727-4747 or the Police: 911. Please do not use email or text for emergencies. Eye of The Storm Therapist does not always check his/her email or faxes daily.
PAYMENTS & INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENT: Clients are expected to pay the standard agreed upon fee of per 50 minute at the end of each session unless other arrangements have been made. An additional $5 will be charged for credit card payment. Telephone conversations, site visits, writing and reading of reports, consultation with other professionals, release of information, reading records, longer sessions, travel time, etc. will be charged at the same rate, unless indicated and agreed upon otherwise. Please be advised that legal paperwork and appearances will be charged at a higher rate due to related expenses and legal consultations. Please notify Eye of The Storm Therapist if any problems arise during the course of therapy regarding your ability to make timely payments. Clients who carry insurance should remember that professional services are rendered and charged to the clients and not to the insurance companies. Unless agreed upon differently, Eye of The Storm Therapist will provide you with a copy of
your receipt on a monthly basis, which you can then submit to your insurance company for reimbursement, if you so choose. As was indicated in the section, Health Insurance & Confidentiality of Records, you must be aware that submitting a mental health invoice for reimbursement carries a certain amount of risk. Not all issues/conditions/problems, which are dealt with in psychotherapy, are reimbursed by insurance companies. It is your responsibility to verify the specifics of your coverage. If your account is overdue (unpaid) and there is no written agreement on a payment plan, Eye of The Storm Therapist can use legal or other means (courts, collection agencies, etc.) to obtain payment.
MEDIATION & ARBITRATION: All disputes arising out of, or in relation to, this agreement to provide psychotherapy services shall first be referred to mediation, before, and as a pre-condition of, the initiation of arbitration. The mediator shall be a neutral third party chosen by agreement of Eye of The Storm Therapist and the client(s). The cost of such mediation, if any, shall be split equally, unless otherwise agreed upon. In the event that mediation is unsuccessful, any unresolved controversy related to this agreement should be submitted to and settled by binding arbitration in Monrovia, California in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association which are in effect at the time the demand for arbitration is filed. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that your account is overdue (unpaid) and there is no agreement on a payment plan, Eye of The Storm Therapist can use legal means (court, collection agency, etc.) to obtain payment. The prevailing party in arbitration or collection proceedings shall be entitled to recover a reasonable sum as and for attorney's fees. In the case of arbitration, the arbitrator will determine that sum.
THE PROCESS OF THERAPY/EVALUATION AND SCOPE OF PRACTICE: Participation in therapy can result in a number of benefits to you, including improving interpersonal relationships and resolution of the specific concerns that led you to seek therapy. Working toward these benefits, however, requires effort on your part. Psychotherapy requires your very active involvement, honesty, and openness in order to change your thoughts, feelings, and/or behavior. Eye of The Storm Therapist will ask for your feedback and views on your therapy, its progress, and other aspects of the therapy and will expect you to respond openly and honestly. Sometimes more than one approach can be helpful in dealing with a certain situation. During evaluation or therapy, remembering or talking about unpleasant events, feelings, or thoughts can result in you experiencing considerable discomfort or strong feelings of anger, sadness, worry, fear, etc., or experiencing anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc. Eye of The Storm Therapist may challenge some of your assumptions or perceptions or propose different ways of looking at, thinking about, or handling situations, which can cause you to feel very upset, angry, depressed, challenged, or disappointed. Attempting to resolve issues that brought you to therapy in the first place, such as personal or interpersonal relationships, may result in changes that were not originally intended. Psychotherapy may result in decisions about changing behaviors, employment, substance use, schooling, housing, or relationships. Sometimes a decision that is positive for one family member is viewed quite negatively by another family member. Change will sometimes be easy and swift, but more often it will be slow and even frustrating. There is no guarantee that psychotherapy will yield positive or intended results. During the course of therapy, Eye of The Storm Therapist is likely to draw on various psychological approaches according, in part, to the problem that is being treated and his/her assessment of what will best benefit you. These approaches include, but are not limited to, Psychodynamic, Existential, Post Jungian, in depth, Humanistic, system/family, developmental (adult, child, family), attachment, cognitive-behavioral, or psycho-educational.
TREATMENT PLANS: Within a reasonable period of time after the initiation of treatment, Eye of The Storm Therapist will discuss with you his/her working understanding of the problem, treatment plan, therapeutic objectives, and his/her view of the possible outcomes of treatment. If you have any unanswered questions about any of the procedures used in the course of your therapy, their possible risks, Eye of The
Storm Therapist 's expertise in employing them, or about the treatment plan, please ask and you will be answered fully. You also have the right to ask about other treatments for your condition and their risks and benefits.
TERMINATION: As set forth above, after the first couple of meetings, Eye of The Storm Therapist will assess if s/he can be of benefit to you. Eye of The Storm Therapist does not work with clients who, in his opinion, he cannot help. In such a case, if appropriate, he will give you referrals that you can contact. If at any point during psychotherapy Eye of The Storm Therapist either assesses that s/he is not effective in helping you reach the therapeutic goals or perceived you as non-compliant or non-responsive, and if you are available and/or it is possible and appropriate to do, s/he will discuss with you the termination of treatment and conduct pre-termination counseling. In such a case, if appropriate and/or necessary, s/he would give you a couple of referrals that may be of help to you. If you request it and authorize it in writing, Eye of The Storm Therapist will talk to the psychotherapist of your choice in order to help with the transition. If at any time you want another professional’s opinion or wish to consult with another therapist, Eye of The Storm Therapist will give you a couple of referrals that you may want to contact, and if s/he has your written consent, s/he will provide her or him with the essential information needed. You have the right to terminate therapy and communication at any time. If you choose to do so, upon your request and if appropriate and possible, Eye of The Storm Therapist will provide you with names of other qualified professionals whose services you might prefer.
DUAL RELATIONSHIPS: Despite a popular perception, not all dual or multiple relationships are unethical or avoidable. Therapy never involves sexual or any other dual relationship that impairs Eye of The Storm Therapist 's objectivity, clinical judgment or can be exploitative in nature. Eye of The Storm Therapist will assess carefully before entering into non-sexual and non-exploitative dual relationships with clients. It is important to realize that in some communities, particularly small towns, small communities, military bases, university campuses, spiritual and rehabilitation communities, etc., multiple relationships are either unavoidable or expected. Eye of The Storm Therapist will never acknowledge working with anyone without his/her written permission. Many clients have chosen Eye of The Storm Therapist as their therapist because they knew him/her before they entered therapy with him/her, and/or are personally aware of his/her professional work and achievements. Nevertheless, Eye of The Storm Therapist will discuss with you the often-existing complexities, potential benefits and difficulties that may be involved in dual or multiple relationships. Dual or multiple relationships can enhance trust and therapeutic effectiveness but can also detract from it and often it is impossible to know which ahead of time. It is your responsibility to advise Eye of The Storm Therapist if the dual or multiple relationship becomes uncomfortable for you in any way. Eye of The Storm Therapist will always listen carefully and respond to your feedback and will discontinue the dual relationship if s/he finds it interfering with the effectiveness of the therapy or your welfare and, of course, you can do the same at any time.
MINORS IN THERAPY If you are under eighteen years of age, please be aware that the law may give your parents or guardians the right to obtain information about your treatment and/or examine your treatment records. It is Eye of The Storm policy to provide them only with general information about the treatment ,however in order to make sure that you and people around you are safe Eye Of The Storm therapist my discuss more details with them if s/he feels it is important for them to know. When appropriate, Eye Of The Storm therapist will involve your parent/guardian if there is a high risk that you will seriously harm yourself or others. Before giving them any verbal or written information, Eye Of The Storm therapist discuss the matter with you, if possible. Eye Of The Strom therapist will do the best s/he can to resolve any differences that you and s/he may have about what will be discussed.
GROUP THERAPY: In group therapy, it is of utmost important that all members maintain confidentiality and neither disclose the content of sessions nor the identity of fellow group members. It is highly recommended that any meaningful exchange outside the group also be discussed in the group. In group therapy, the other members of the group are not therapists. They are not regulated by the same ethics and laws that bind your therapist. The limits of confidentiality and the reporting laws have been outlined earlier in this document. While the expectation is that all group members will maintain confidentiality regarding anything said in the group, you cannot be certain that they will. You are ultimately responsible for what you say and what you think, feel, or do with the feedback you receive in the group.
SOCIAL NETWORKING AND INTERNET SEARCHES: Eye Of The Strom therapist do not accept friend requests from current or former clients on social networking sites, such as Facebook. Eye Of The Strom therapist believe that adding clients as friends on these sites and/or communicating via such sites can compromise their privacy and confidentiality. For this same reason, Eye Of The Strom therapist request that clients not communicate with s/he via any interactive or social networking web sites.