Consent to treatment
Melissa Robinson, M.S.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
AGREEMENT FOR SERVICE/INFORMED CONSENT
This agreement is intended to provide (name of patient) ______________________________(herein “Patient”) with important information regarding the practices, polices and procedures of Melissa Robinson, M.S. (herein “Therapist”), and to clarify the terms of the professional therapeutic relationship between Therapist and Patient. Any questions or concerns regarding the contents of this Agreement should be discussed with Therapist prior to signing it.
Therapist Background and Qualifications
Therapist is licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), working with individuals, children and families for over fifteen years in both public and private human services agencies. My therapeutic modality is humanistic and developmentally based. This modality focuses on the individuals strengths and abilities. I work within the patients frame of reference of the self and continually assess progress from a whole-person perspective.
Risks and Benefits of Therapy
Psychotherapy is a process in which Therapist and Patient discuss a myriad of issues, events, experiences and memories for the purpose of creating positive change so the Patient can experience his/her life more fully. It provides an opportunity to better, and more deeply understand oneself , as well as, any problems or difficulties Patient may be experiencing. Psychotherapy is a joint effort between Patient and Therapist. Progress and success may vary depending upon the particular problems or issues being addressed, as well as many other factors.
Participating in therapy may result in a number of benefits to Patient, including, but not limited to, reduced stress and anxiety, a decrease in negative thoughts and self-sabotaging behaviors, improved interpersonal relationships, increased comfort in social, work, and family settings, increased capacity for intimacy, and increased self-confidence. Such benefits may also require substantial effort on the part of Patient, including an active participation in the therapeutic process, honesty, and a willingness to change feelings, thoughts and behaviors. There is no guarantee that therapy will yield any or all of the benefits listed above.
Participation in therapy may also involve some discomfort, including remembering and discussing unpleasant events, feelings and experiences. The process may evoke strong feelings of sadness, anger, fear, etc. There may be times in which Therapist will challenge Patient’s perceptions and assumptions, and offer different perspectives. The issues presented by Patient may result in unintended outcomes, including changes in personal relationships. Patient should be aware that any decision on the status of his/her personal relationships is the responsibility of Patient.
During the therapeutic process, many patients find that they feel worse before they feel better. This is generally a normal course of events. Personal growth and change may be easy and swift at times, but may also be slow and frustrating. Patient should address any concerns he/she has regarding his/her progress in therapy with Therapist.
Professional consultation is an important component of a healthy psychotherapy practice. As such, Therapist regularly participates in clinical, ethical, and legal consultation with appropriate professionals. During such consultations, Therapist will not reveal any personally identifying information regarding Patient.
Records and Record Keeping
Therapist may take notes constitute Therapist’s clinical and business records, which by law, Therapist is required to maintain. Such records are the sole property of Therapist. Therapist will not alter her normal record keeping process at the request of any patient. Should Patient request a copy of Therapist’s records, such a request must be made in writing. Therapist reserves the right, under California law, to provide Patient with a treatment summary in lieu of actual records. Therapist also reserves the right to refuse to produce a copy of the records under certain circumstances, but may, as requested, provide a copy of the record to another treating health care provider. Therapist will maintain Patients’ records for ten years following termination of therapy. However, after ten years, Patient’s records will be destroyed in a manner that reserves Patient’s confidentiality.
The information disclosed by Patient is generally confidential and will not be released to any third party without written authorization from Patient, except where required or permitted by law. Exceptions to confidentiality, include, but are not limited to, reporting child, elder and dependent adult abuse, when a patient makes a serious threat of violence towards a reasonably identifiable victim, or when a patient is dangerous to him/herself or the person or property of another.
Therapist will not voluntarily participate in a any litigation, or custody dispute in which Patent and another individual, or entity, are parties. Therapist has a policy of not communicating with Patients’ attorney and will generally not write or sign letters, reports, declarations, or affidavits to be used in Patient’s legal matter. Therapist will generally not provide records or testimony unless compelled to do so. Should Therapist be subpoenaed, or ordered by a court of law, to appear as a witness in an action involving Patient, Patient agrees to reimburse therapist for any time spent for preparation, travel, or other time in which Therapist has made herself available for such an appearance at the rate of $250.00 per hour.
The information disclosed by Patient, as well as any records created, is subject to the psychotherapist-patient privilege. The psychotherapist-patient privilege results from the special relationship between Therapist and Patient in the eyes of the law. It is akin to the attorney-client privilege or the doctor-patient privilege. Typically, the patient is the holder of the psychotherapist-therapist privilege. If Therapist received a subpoena for records, deposition testimony, or testimony in a court of law, Therapist will assert the psychotherapist-patient privilege on Patient’s behalf until instructed, in writing, to do otherwise by Patient or Patient’s representative. Patient should be aware that he/she might be waiving the psychotherapist-patient privilege with his/her attorney.
Fee and Fee Arrangements
The usual and customary fee for service is $125.00 per 45 minute session. Sessions longer than 45 minutes are charged for the additional time pro rata. Therapist reserves the right to periodically adjust this fee. Patient will be notified of any fee adjustment in advance. In addition, this fee may be adjusted by contract with insurance companies, managed care organizations, or other third-party payors, or by agreement with Therapist.
The agreed upon fee between Therapist and Patient is ________. Therapist reserves the right to periodically adjust fee. Patient will be notified of any fee adjustment in advance.
From time-to-time, Therapist may engage in telephone contact with Patient for purposes other than scheduling sessions. Patient is responsible for payment of the agreed upon fee (on a pro rata basis) for any telephone calls longer than ten minutes. In addition, from time-to-time, Therapist may engage in telephone contact with third parties at Patient’s request and with Patient’s advance written authorization. Patient is responsible for payment of the agreed upon fee (on a pro rata basis) for any telephone calls longer than ten minutes.
Patients are expected to pay for services at the time services are rendered. Therapist accepts cash and checks.
Patient is responsible for any and all fees not reimbursed by his/her insurance company, managed care organization, or any other third-party payor. Patient is responsible for verifying and understanding the limits of his/her coverage, as well as his/her co-payments and deductibles.
When scheduling an appointment, patient has agreed to ‘buy the therapeutic hour’ therefore, Patient is responsible for payment of the agreed upon fee for any session(s) for which Patient failed to give Therapist at least 24 hours notice of cancellation. Cancellation notice should be left on Therapist’s voice mail at (925) 984-1334.
Therapist’s office is equipped with a confidential voice mail system that allows Patient to leave a message at any time. Therapist will make every effort to return calls within 24 hours (or by next business day, but cannot guarantee that call will be returned immediately. Therapist is unable to provide 24-hour crisis service. In the event that Patient is feeling unsafe or requires immediate medical or psychiatric assistance, he/she should call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Termination of Therapy
Therapist reserves the right to terminate therapy at her discretion. Reasons for termination include, but are not limited to, untimely payment of fees, failure to comply with treatment recommendations, conflicts of interest, failure to participate in therapy. Patient has the right to terminate therapy at his/her discretion. Upon either party’s decision to terminate therapy, Therapist will generally recommend that Patient participate in at least one, or possibly more, termination sessions. These sessions are intended to facilitate a positive termination experience and give both parties an opportunity to reflect on the work that has been done. Therapist will also attempt to ensure a smooth transition to another therapist by offering referrals to Patient.
By signing below, Patient acknowledges that he/she has reviewed and fully understands the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Patient has discussed such terms and conditions with Therapist, and has had any questions with regard to its terms and conditions answered to Patient’s satisfaction. Patient agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of this Agreement and consents to participate in psychotherapy with Therapist. Moreover, Patient agrees to hold Therapist free and harmless from any claims, demands, or suits for damages from any injury or complications whatsoever, save negligence, that may result from such treatment.
Patient Name (please print)
Signature of Patient (or authorized representative) Date
I understand that I am financially responsible to Therapist for all charges, including unpaid charges by my insurance company or any other third-party payor.
Name of Responsible Party (please print)