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1. Required Tools
All my sessions are conducted by video or phone. You will also need a computer, tablet or smartphone to schedule appointments, complete forms and send me secure messages. I have mobile apps (Android and IOS) available for your use. You do need to feel at least moderately comfortable with computers (using a web browser and mouse) and smartphones in order for us to work together.
2. Schedule an Appointment!
Once I start accepting new clients again you will be able to go to my client portal to schedule a free first consult 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.
3. 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.
4. 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 client 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.
5. 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 focus in on your goals.
- 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 goals. This includes frequency of sessions, specific items we will work on and how we will measure your progress. We will 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 goals 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. Voice calls (also called audio calls) through my client portal are encrypted and thus, private. Normal telephone calls are not encrypted. If we use normal telephone calls for sessions, you acknowledge that such calls are not encrypted. If you would like to have sessions by telephone, 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 smartphone with a camera. You will need to use a web browser on a PC, laptop or smartphone and login to my client portal or use the Android or iPhone/iPad mobile apps. If problems arise, I can help to a certain extent; you should be somewhat familiar with using a smartphone app or a computer.
"Informed Consent" refers to you understanding what being "coached" 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:
No surprises Act Explanation and Consent Forms:
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) if you decide to have me release your PHI to another provider. 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 Notice of Privacy Practices consent form has to be completed before our first session after the initial free consult.
My Practice Brochure helps you know who I am, what I am qualified to do and not do and how things work in coaching. 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 before our first session.
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).
The Telepsychology Brochure and Informed Consent Form discusses the potential benefits and potential risks of using video conferencing and telephone calls to have coaching 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. I will review the form with you and answer any questions you may have before our first session.
The No Surprises Act passed in October 2020 and effective January 1, 2022 is designed to prevent you from being surprised at the bills you incur from my services as I am an out-of-network or "non-participating" provider. I AM REQUIRED TO POST THIS. Given that I do not provide emergency hospitalization services and you, as the client, should be well aware of my fees before we even start sessions, this act is hard to justify for a psychologist practice. HOWEVER, every licensed healthcare provider in the United States is now REQUIRED to post and have you read and sign the document before we start sessions. The form has three parts: (1) a cover letter announcing the law and what you have to do, (2) an explanatory form explaining the law and (3) a consent form that has my fees listed. These forms will be available in my client portal for your reading pleasure and signature. If you have any questions, please let me know.
I have posted the three forms on this website. They are listed below. Feel free to read them.
The No Surprises Act Cover Letter.
The No Surprises Act Explanatory Form.
The No Surprises Act Consent Form.