Dr. Eric D. Shaw, Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Ltd.

 

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Clinical Practice Policies

Schedule: After we establish a regular meeting time, I will expect to meet with you at that time unless we make some prior arrangement.

Cancellations:  I will not bill you for missed sessions as long as I have sufficient advanced notice to fill the hour.  This includes sessions missed for any reason, including vacations, illness and work emergencies.  I will try to make another appointment available within the next week, if possible, at an additional charge.  Please let me know of any planned vacations or travel as soon as possible and I will do the same. 

Fees & Payment: I will bill at the end of each month for that month’s appointments.  Full payment is appreciated by the next session, unless other arrangements have been made.  I generally increase my fees at the beginning of each year. 

Group Psychotherapy: It is not possible to make-up missed group sessions.   This includes appointments missed for any reason. 

Confidentiality: No information regarding any aspect of your treatment will be released to anyone without your prior consent.  The only exceptions are instances when I believe you may be a danger to yourself or others, in regard to the issue of unpaid bills, lawful subpoenas and other Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provisions, as described below. Please review these HIPAA provisions.  In some cases, they may be preempted by state laws.  Although I will communicate with you regarding appointments over cell phone, fax or email, you should be aware that these systems may not be secure and your use with me of these means constitutes an acknowledgement of this threat to confidentiality and waiver of that protection on my part.  Also, please let me know if there are any restraints you prefer on my communications with you such as leaving messages, return address and identifiers on mail, how you would like to manage chance public meetings, etc.  Although I may engage in collegial consultations regarding your case, any identifying information will be withheld to protect your confidentiality.  If I should wish to seek a more formal consultation regarding your treatment involving your personal information, I will seek your consent and involvement prior to doing so.

My Absences:  I may be out of the office from time-to-time for vacation, educational programs, consultations or other reasons.  In such cases, I will strive to give you advance notice when possible and the name and contact information for a colleague providing coverage in my absence.  In the case of a serious, unpredictable illness or even my death, arrangements have been made for coverage with Dr. Monica Callahan, 301-587-6211.

Consent for Treatment: Psychotherapy can be a stressful experience.  While in the long run, my clients usually experience symptom relief as well as improvements in work and their personal life, thinking and dealing with psychological issues can be painful.  Some clients may feel worse before feeling better.  It is also possible that you may not derive benefits from psychotherapy.  Your consent for treatment acknowledges the potential difficulty of psychotherapy as treatment and the fact that benefits are not guaranteed. 

Termination: You have the right to terminate your treatment at any time.  Although,  I recommend an orderly and planned termination procedure involving a number of sessions to conclude the process, rather than a sudden cessation of treatment.  I reserve the right to terminate treatment when it becomes reasonably clear that you no longer need my services, are not benefiting from treatment or are being harmed by continued service.       

Overdue Bills: While I can provide psychological support, I cannot provide financial support.  The client agrees that failure to pay bills within thirty days after the presentation of the bill may, at my option, be construed as a discharge of my responsibilities as a mental health professional.  The client agrees that in the event legal action is taken to collect any money due under this agreement, the client shall pay an additional thirty percent of the amount due, as attorney’s collection fees, as well as any costs of a suit.  The client further agrees and consents to suit being filed in the District of Columbia and waives any right to claim improper jurisdiction and/or venue or claims regarding confidentiality regarding such a suit.

If you have questions about these issues, feel free to ask at any time.

© Copyright 2009 by Eric D. Shaw, Ph.D.

 

Contact: DrShaw@DrEricShaw.com (E-mail is not secure. Please do not send private information.)  Phone 202-686-9150