Please be aware that any record copies, preparation, travel time and testimony fees are not billable to insurance and are payable upfront prior to going to court.
New Client Information Policy Statement and Informed Consent for Treatment
Please read the following information and sign below. If you have any questions, I would be happy to review the information with you.
The counselors at Outside of the Box Therapy are all Licensed by the professional boards for their profession and have several years experience working with clients in a variety of settings. We are serious about following the rules of our licensing board and abiding by our Code of Ethics, both of which are in place to protect you. Some of us have additional trainings in certain area and certifications in specialized areas. We consider your unique situation and set of needs when we work with you to assign a counselor to you. Since we are all different and may not be effective for everyone, if you are unsatisfied with one counselor you can make the request to switch to another counselor in the practice.
We truly value the therapeutic relationship between the client and counselor and believe it is the key ingredient to sparking change and healing in the lives of our clients. Our areas of training are the systemic treatment of individuals, couples and families. This approach takes into consideration all immediate family members in a family therapy session. We believe in a wellness model as opposed to a medical model. While a medical diagnosis may be required for insurance purposes, it is not our intention to determine what is “wrong” with clients but rather to focus on what is right and already working for them in their life. We believe in empowering clients and using a wide variety of techniques and interventions to make meaning of their experiences and be able to move forward on their journey. Together, we will decide which family members (if any) need to be included in therapy. Various goals will be established together with you at the outset of therapy. Please note, we cannot ensure confidentiality of any participants you choose to bring into sessions.
Therapy naturally involves activities such as identifying emotions and revealing secrets. There may be risks associated with your disclosures to other family members, or other family member’s disclosures during the course of therapy, as well as exploration of issues. Decisions to disclose will be made by you except where mandated by law. It is expected that some uneasiness or painful emotions may occur as you are involved in therapy. Discussing painful issues will naturally create discomfort. While this may happen, keeping consistent appointments and a commitment to yourself and your healing is best. It is our promise to always see you as a valuable, worthwhile human being and always our desire is to offer guidance and tools necessary for you to reach your counseling goals. Your participation in therapy is essential toward helping you address your concerns. The Board of Examiners for the Licensure of Professional Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists and Psychoeducational Specialists requires that all clients be informed that all forms of dual relationships, such as business ventures and sexual intimacy, are prohibited.
Please be aware that there is a higher incidence of divorce if only one partner in a relationship is involved in therapy. It is also important that you understand that there is no guarantee all of your concerns/ issues/problems, etc. will be successfully resolved. I cannot guarantee outcomes. The outcomes may vary from your expectations. You may discontinue participation in therapy at any time. However, before you do, we encourage you to share your concerns if you are dissatisfied with the course of therapy.
Outside of the Box is a teaching center and, as such, students may be present in sessions. You have the right to refuse their participation in your treatment and will be asked your consent prior to their inclusion.
The Counseling Relationship:
The nature of the counselor-client relationship is professional. Our contact will be limited to our scheduled sessions and brief calls/texts to schedule future appointments. It is always best to share information in session where you can have our full attention and it can be documented as needed. Long texts, voicemails and other forms of communication that are not face-to-face or in session are discouraged and not in your best interest for quality treatment. Social invitations and offers of that nature will be politely turned down in honor of our Code of Ethics associated with our licensing board. However, if you see us and would like to greet us, we are happy to say hello. Anything you share in session is held in confidence and will not knowingly be shared with another person without your written consent. Our center is also collaborative so we often case consult among ourselves. If you have a connection with a current therapist of the practice outside of counseling, please advise your therapist so that he/she does not bring your information to those case consultations.
I understand the following services may be available:
* Behavioral assistance for common adolescent concerns *Diagnostic Assessment (DA) Services which identifies the client’s needs, concerns, strengths and deficits and allows the beneficiary and his or her family to make informed decisions about the treatment. * Service Plan/Plan of Care Development which is a face-to-face interaction between the client and his approved family members and a qualified clinical professional, or a team of professionals, to develop a plan of care based on the assessed needs. * Therapy Services (individual, family, and group) which are planned face-to-face interventions intended to help the beneficiary achieve and maintain stability
* Medication Management which is to educate the client about his or her medication, to determine any physiological and/or psychological effects of medication(s) on the client and to monitor the compliance with his or her medication regime * Crisis Management is face-to-face or telephonic short-term service is to assist a client who is experiencing a marked deterioration of functioning related to a specific precipitant, in restoring his or her level of functioning.
Confidentiality is the foundation for effective counseling and therapy. Developing trust and confidence in those who listen and help is paramount to successful therapeutic experience. Shared personal information is strictly confidential and will not be revealed unless you, or a parent, in the case of a minor (less than 18 years old), give specific written authorization to release information. The office will be discreet if they must contact you at your home or office. If you do not wish to be contacted at home or the office, please let me or my office staff know so it can be recorded in your records. Please let the office know how you wish to be contacted.
When utilizing faxes, electronic communication devises and web-based management systems, there is always a level of vulnerability that may not be preventable despite all safeguards that have been put into place.
Exceptions to Confidentiality:
Although shared personal information is confidential there are exceptions to these confidences such as: (1) Suicidal threats or attempts. (2) To prevent a clear and immediate danger to another person. (3) Suspected child abuse or neglect. (4) Suspected abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult. (5) If it is determined that you are in need of hospitalization. (6) Or otherwise mandated or allowed by law or ethical codes for which we am responsible. We are subject to subpoena. Please note that, in the cases of minor children, both parents will be informed of treatment goals and receive summaries of services.
Notice of Privacy Practices:
Our practice is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of your personal health information as part of providing professional care. We are required by law to keep your information private. Your therapist will give you a copy of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) which will explain your rights as a therapy client. If you have any questions about this notice or our privacy policies, please contact our office at 864-597-9493.
In order to stay in compliance with state law, we require a copy of custodial agreements in the event that both biological parents do not reside together in the home or the signature of both parents on the intake form within two visits or we will be unable to provide services for minor children. The other parent will be notified that the child has been signed up for services. Depending on your court documentation, this may hinder services. We realize that there are situations where an external agency or outside party may have custodial rights. In those situations, we will need approval of that agency or party to provide services.
Appointments are usually scheduled with the therapist, or the main office (864-597-9493). Appointments are approximately 50 minutes each, unless otherwise arranged with your therapist. In an effort to provide high quality service, we will try to provide the option of set appointment times. These recurring appointment times would remain consistent throughout service. However, due to the impact to the therapist’s schedule, failure to consistently attend those appointments will result in being removed from a rotating schedule after the second missed appointment without prior notice and seen as the therapist schedule allows.
** Recurring appointment times, once set, will have another form for signature
Due to insurance guidelines, as well as ensuring that our therapists can provide services to all, late arrival to appointments (15 minutes or more) may result in your therapist being unable to see you during that time period. We will attempt to schedule you in as quickly as possible. If you fear that you may be late, please attempt to notify the office.
Cancellation of Appointments:
Therapy centers differ in many respects from medical centers. Unlike physicians, dentists and other professionals who operate on more flexible and inexact schedules, therapists commit a specific time period for each person. Thus, it is important that you appreciate the fact that a block of time has been set aside just for you. We understand that conflicts can occur after an appointment has been scheduled and, should that happen, please notify the office 24 hours in advice if you must cancel or reschedule. Although you can also notify this via the text reminder call, we ask that you do not call or text that number back as it will not reach our office. Although we give grace the first time you fail to show up or notify the office, after that a charge of $60 will be applied to your account and must be paid by the next session unless a payment arrangement has been established with your therapist.
**Three no shows, no contacts may result in your therapist releasing you from service with them.
The private pay fee for initial intake appointments or for sessions ranges depending on the fees of the therapist. The diversity of training and background account for this difference. We also have low cost options via telehealth with students in the MACC program at Erskine Theological Seminary, as they are supervised by our practice.
We do accept most insurances for payment of counseling services. It is your responsibility to obtain authorization from your insurance company for services. Your co-pay is due at the time of the appointment. Please be sure that you have met your deductible. If you have not met your deductible you will be responsible for the fee for the session until the deductible is met. For people who do not have insurance, appointments are based on a sliding scale fee based on income and therapist availability. If there is a hardship, please consider how much you can afford and discuss this with your therapist. You may pay by cash, or credit card. If you are unable to pay for a session, please notify the therapist before the session. At times, this becomes a therapeutic issue and appointments need to be rescheduled until you are able to take responsibility for your fee. All billing, insurance and fees are handled through our Office Manager who will send you a bill for services. If you do not receive a bill, or dispute a bill, please contact our Office Manager, as she will help you with any billing issues and develop a payment plan with you. Please know that services may be suspended after two unpaid services. Thank you.
Outside of the Box Therapy does not maintain an electronic health record, though they do compile notes and schedules on Theranest. For clients with existing records or records from other providers, those will be kept for outside communications. Since paper files are maintained, therapists will be happy to provide you with a copy of the treatment plan and a summary of services free of charge. Any additional information requested will be reviewed for appropriateness of release and may incur a charge.
Your signature on the informed consent confirms that you understand and agree with the tools, instruments, questionnaire, psychological batteries or other related materials used for the evaluations are copyrighted by the corresponding publishing agency and are used for the purposes of this evaluation. In addition, you understand and agree that you will not request these copyrighted materials and will defer to the mental health evaluations report or summary.