Psychotherapy can be a powerful life changing experience. Your commitment to your growth and progress will be the greatest determinant of how much you will benefit from your treatment. As with many forms of therapy, there are no guarantees as to the outcome, and it is important that you understand your rights and obligations as they relate to your therapeutic experience with me.
South OC Psychotherapist - GENERAL GUIDELINES
- Psychotherapy can be a very healing experience yet it must proceed according to a set structure for the benefit of all parties - for you and me. To maintain continuity of contact, at least once-a-week sessions are recommended. Sometimes more frequent contact is desired by the patient and can be beneficial.
- FEE: Currently my standard fee for a 50-minute session is $160. The payment is due at the time of treatment unless otherwise arranged. I accept credit card, check or cash.
- INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENT: My services are often covered by mental health insurance policies but I do not personally submit the paperwork to the company. I can provide you with a "super bill" at the end of the month that documents the charges, payment and diagnosis when necessary for insurance reimbursement. Patients are responsible for full payment at the time of treatment. It is your responsibility to know the type of coverage you carry and the limits of that coverage. Often companies offer a higher percentage of fee coverage for those therapists enrolled on their panel. They pay a lesser amount or percentage to therapists not enrolled on their panel. I have intentionally chosen not to become a part of insurance panels because I do not want these companies to dictate the kind of therapy I provide or to set limits on the amount of time I can work with a given patient.
- CANCELLATION POLICY: In order to be effective, therapy needs to take place on a regular basis. The best results occur when appointments are consistently scheduled and attended regularly. Each client "owns" his/her time slot and are responsible for the fee whether they attend the session or not. However, if notified ahead of time, I will make every effort to re-schedule an appointment in a given week.
- TERMINATION: Your therapeutic relationship with me continues as long as I am providing professional services and until you inform me, in person or in writing, that you wish to terminate therapy, or I notify you that therapy is being terminated. It is customary that the patient agrees to meet with the therapist at least once before ending therapy in order to process thoughts and feelings about termination.
- CONFIDENTIALITY: All information disclosed within your therapy sessions, including case notes and records, will be treated as confidential and, under some circumstances, as privileged. No information will be revealed to anyone not present in therapy without the permission of the patient or a legally authorized representative unless an applicable legal or ethical exception exists. However, I am required by law to report any suspected child, spousal, elder or dependent adult abuse and any situation where the patient threatens violence to an identifiable victim. All actual or suspected acts of such abuse will need to be reported to the appropriate agency. The law also permits me to break confidentiality when you present a danger of violence to others or are likely to harm yourself unless protective measures are taken. In addition, disclosures may be required in certain legal proceedings and actions.
Some courts have held that if an individual intends to take harmful, dangerous, or criminal action against another human being, or against him or herself, it is the therapist's duty to warn appropriate individuals of such intentions. Those warned may include a variety of persons such as: the person or family of the person who is likely to suffer the results of harmful behavior, the family of the patient who intends to harm him or herself or someone else, associates or friends of those threatened or making threats, and Law enforcement officials. Before informing anyone who should be warned, I will take all possible steps to share that intention with you, the patient. Every effort will be made to resolve the issue with you so as to prevent such breach of confidentiality.
- TREATMENT OF MINORS AS INDIVIDUAL PATIENTS: When a patient who is a minor is in individual therapy, the parent or guardian has the right to ask for information about the minor's therapy, and the therapist, acting in the best interest of the minor patient, has the right to limit the amount of information disclosed. If the minor patient is a participant in any legal proceedings raising the protection of all patient/therapist communications as "privilege," then no disclosure will be made of any of the content of the therapy except by written waive of privilege, given in writing by the parent, guardian or other lawful representative acting on behalf of the minor patient.
- CONTACTING THE THERAPIST: Between therapy appointments, the patient can leave a message or contact the therapist by calling Laura Adams PsyD MFT - Mission Viejo, (949) 244-1992. Days and hours of availability for sessions are Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. These appointment times vary according to my patient load. Occasionally, I will schedule sessions during off-hours if necessary.