You are here: Home -> Getting Started with Sessions
1. Schedule an Appointment!
If you would like an initial (free) consult appointment, please go to my client web portal and pick an available time that is good for you. When I receive your appointment request, I will get back to you and confirm the appointment. I will then call you at the time you picked.
You can also call me at 888-933-3539 to request an appointment, but that runs the risk of phone tag.
2. Our Initial Conversation
The purpose of the initial conversation is to make sure I am qualified to help you with the issues you want help with. If I am not qualified to help you, I will let you know and we can talk about how to find someone who is. We need to discuss my availability and how to handle telephone and video sessions. We also need to discuss how you will pay for sessions.
3. Working on the Intake Packet
If you think I can help you, and I think I can help you, I will setup an account on my patient portal for you and you can complete the intake packet. This is a set of forms (three of which are listed below under the heading of Informed Consent). The forms include the Notice of Privacy Practices (aka the HIPAA Privacy Notice, which is the first one that needs to be completed), my Practice Brochure, Telepsychology Brochure, as well as demographic data, emergency contact information, and goals you would like us to work on. The intake packet includes information about me, who I am and who I am not. It also includes information about what you can expect from sessions with me as well as benefits and risks of sessions. This is all part of what is called "Informed Consent" -- making sure you know what you are getting into. The forms can be read and "e-signed" on the client portal.
4. Beginning Regular Sessions
Once I have received your signed consent forms, we can schedule a regular appointment and get started.
Our early work together will involve:
- Assessment: We will go through a set of questions together to hone in on what ails you.
- Setting Goals: We will discuss and specify what you would like to accomplish and when you hope to accomplish the goals.
- Setting up a Treatment Plan: We will set up a program that is tailored to your needs. This includes frequency of sessions, specific items we will work on and how we will measure your progress. We can also set up practice assignments to do outside of our sessions and ways for you to report on progress. The Treatment Plan is not set in stone, if your needs change, we will change to meet them.
Things we need to set-up for sessions
There are some things we need to have in place in order to work together.
We can have sessions by phone or video. If we use phone calls, you give me a phone number and when our appointment time comes, I call you. Simple.
For video sessions you will need a PC, laptop, tablet or cell phone with a camera. You will need to use a web browser on a PC, laptop or cell phone and login to my client portal. If problems arise, I'll be happy help.
"Informed Consent" refers to you understanding what being in therapy is about. Below are some of the forms in the intake packet. Reading them will give you a good idea of who I am as a psychologist, what I can and cannot do. I also need to know some things about you and you need to give me permission to handle your information in various ways. You need to know the limits of confidentiality and what our agreement to work together looks like.
Notice of Privacy Practices:
Telepsychology Brochure and Informed Consent Form:
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a law designed, among other things, to protect and ensure confidential handling of your protected health information (PHI). The information about HIPAA is contained in The Notice of Privacy Practices. You can read it here as a standard HTML webpage (viewable on a cellphone, tablet, laptop or destop PC). I will answer any questions you may have about privacy and confidentiality before or during our first session. The consent form has to be completed before our first session after the initial free consult.
The Notice of Privacy Practices is available here.
My Practice Brochure helps you know who I am, what I am qualified to do and not do and how things work in therapy. Informing you about who I am and what to expect during our work together is part of a process called "Informed Consent". Informed consent helps you understand what seeing a psychologist is about. I will review it with you and answer any questions you may have.
My Practice Brochure should be readable in any browser on any device size from a smart phone to a desktop PC (but probably not a smart watch).
My Practice Brochure can be read here.
The form discusses the potential benefits and potential risks of using video conferencing and telephone calls to have therapy sessions. Since my sessions will ALL be via video conferencing or telephone calls, we need to review the do's and don'ts of conducting sessions "remotely", that is, not in an office.
The Telepsychology Brochure and Informed Consent Form can be found here.
How to contact me
There are two ways to contact me:
- To schedule a first free consult appointment please click here.
- You may also call me directly, although this risks becoming phone tag. To call me directly please call: 888-933-3539.
I would be happy to speak with you.