What can I expect in therapy?
Generally, the first session or first two sessions are devoted to getting a clearer understanding of why you have sought assistance. This is also a good time for you and your therapist to decide if you are a good "match" for each other. Feel free to discuss this with your therapist. We want your time here to be productive and helpful; having a comfortable and open relationship is a key to successful therapy. Despite its depiction in the media, therapy is not necessarily a lengthy process. Research indicates that most therapy will last six to ten sessions. This is considered "short-term" but some problems require a longer treatment or several shorter contacts spread out over time. While there are many current approaches to therapy, all therapy shares in common the following:
~ Therapy is a partnership between and individual with a troubling concern and a professional trained to understand and help people change how they feel and how they may better enhance the quality of their lives.
~ Therapy is a practical tool to build a better quality of life.
~ Therapy provides a way to understand and solve problems in a timely fashion and add quality to one's life.
~ Therapy is an exciting, interactive process that involves collaboration between there therapist and client
~ Therapy provides a supportive environment to talk openly, and confidentially, about concerns and feelings.
~ You and your therapist should jointly decide when therapy should end. This can be accomplished either by specifying early on when sessions will end, or coming to mutual agreement that the problem you sought for is now resolved. Of course, sessions can be resumed at a later date if needed.
We want to emphasize that therapy is a partnership. So please feel free to ask any questions and we appreciate your feedback.
Is my information kept confidential?
As professional therapists we are required to keep any and all information confidential and private. We follow both the requirements of Massachusetts State Law regarding confidentiality as well as the "spirit" and intent of that law. Privacy and trust are key elements in successful therapy.
However, there are some limits of confidentiality that we want you to be aware of:
Under Massachusetts Law we are "mandated" reporters in the event that we believe someone may be dangerous to themselves or others. We are required to report any suspicion of child abuse or elder abuse. If a client is believed to be dangerous to him or herself, or if a client threatens serious harm toward another person, we will make every attempt to secure that person's safety. In such circumstances, the need to maintain safety may result in contacting the appropriate authorities. You should be aware of the remote possibility that your therapist can be subpoenaed to court. If so, the court holds the right to waive confidentiality for the purposes of testimony.
Our associates will sometimes consult with each other in clinical supervision in order to enhance your treatment services. Again we honor confidentiality and any information shared between us is kept confidential. Should we, or you, want to contact another therapist, school, physician, etc., we will only do so with your verbal and written permission. Also, we will not speak to anyone without your written release to do so. Some insurance companies require that we contact them to outline the problem you are seeking help for and how we plan treatments. Periodic brief updates are required as well. All insurances require a diagnosis be given. It is our position that this information not include highly sensitive material and that we provide minimal information needed to entitle you to the use of your insurance benefits. You may wish to discuss this further with your therapist.
What if I need to talk to someone after hours?
Should you need to speak to a therapist regarding an urgent matter, please leave a message on our main number with a brief description of the problem, as well as a phone number where you can be reached. Should you leave an urgent message, one of our associates will return your call as soon as possible. We monitor our answering machine frequently, including weekends and holidays. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, we ask that you call 911 or Emergency Mental Health Services at the Brien Center
What are your fees?
It is standard procedure for therapist to provide 50-minute sessions, although we will using an hourly rate. Our billing rate is generally standard and will be discussed with you at intake, but how much your insurance will cover, how much your co-payment will be, and whether any special payment procedures are necessary will depend on your particular insurance company. Certain insurance companies limit the number of sessions allowed under your policy. We are able to accept direct payments form most insurance companies. If your insurance requires a co-payment, we ask that this be paid at the time of service. We will do our best to work cooperatively with you and your insurance company.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you know you need to cancel a session, let us know as soon as possible; please give us at least 24-hour notice so we can fill your time with another client. If we get less than 24 hours’ notice and we are able to fill that time with another client, we will waive the "late cancel fee". If you cancel without giving at least 24 hours’ notice you will be responsible for the fee. Should you need to cancel a Monday appointment, a message on our answering machine is sufficient.