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