When starting a therapeutic or medical relationship it is important that know your provider's qualifications, and understand the potential benefits and risks, privacy, financial terms, and office policies. These clarifications are provided within this page, and by setting an appointment, you indicate your agreement with these.
You are free to ask questions at any time about your therapist’s background, experience and professional orientation.
I m a: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. In addition to practicing as a therapist, I have trained and taught therapists, contributed to bio-psycho-social research, led programs at the executive level, and developed organizations. You can view additional certifications and credentials at Https://www.alexmackenziemft.com
Benefits of Psychotherapy:
Emotional Well-being: Psychotherapy can help individuals understand and manage their emotions more effectively. It provides a safe space to explore and express feelings, leading to improved emotional well-being.
Improved Coping Skills: Therapists teach practical coping strategies to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges. Clients can learn healthier ways to manage difficulties in their lives.
Enhanced Relationships: Psychotherapy often focuses on improving communication and interpersonal skills, which can lead to healthier and more satisfying relationships with others.
Increased Self-awareness: Through self-reflection and exploration, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their motivations, and their patterns of behavior. This self-awareness can be empowering and facilitate personal growth.
Symptom Reduction: Psychotherapy is effective in treating a range of mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall functioning.
Supportive Environment: Therapy provides a non-judgmental and confidential space where individuals can openly discuss their thoughts and feelings. This support can be particularly valuable during challenging times.
Behavioral Change: Therapists help clients identify and modify negative behaviors or thought patterns. This can lead to positive changes in various aspects of life.
Risks and Challenges of Psychotherapy:
Emotional Discomfort: Exploring deep-seated emotions and unresolved issues may initially cause discomfort or distress. It's essential for clients to be prepared for this and work collaboratively with the therapist to manage such emotions. (That said, self discovery should be a joyful pursuit, and not consistently painful or difficult)
Not Suitable for Everyone: Some individuals may not benefit from or be ready for psychotherapy. Factors such as readiness for change, motivation, and the therapeutic relationship's quality play a role in its effectiveness.
Potential for Misunderstanding: Communication can sometimes be challenging, leading to misunderstandings between the therapist and the client. Clear and open communication is crucial to address and resolve such issues.
Financial and Time Commitment: Psychotherapy can be time-consuming and may require a financial investment. Some individuals may find it challenging to commit to regular sessions due to time constraints or financial considerations.
Lack of Immediate Results: Psychotherapy is often a gradual process, and positive changes may take time. Some individuals may feel discouraged if they do not see immediate results.
Reliance on Therapist: There is a risk of developing dependency on the therapist. A good therapist will work towards empowering the client and fostering independence rather than creating dependency.
The benefits of psychotherapy often outweigh the risks, especially when it is delivered by a qualified and experienced therapist. Individuals considering psychotherapy should discuss any concerns with their potential therapist and collaboratively address them throughout the therapeutic process.
Fees, Insurance, and Office Policies
Fees and Insurance
Scheduling and Cancelation
Fees and Insurance The fee for service is $200 per therapy hour (50 minute session).
Individual Sessions and conjoint (marital /family) sessions are approximately 50, or 90 minutes if you choose. Fees are payable at the time that services are rendered.
By this agreement, you acknowledge that the therapist is not on any insurance preferred provider panels and has no relationship with insurance companies, nor Medicare, and aside from providing you with a receipt which you may elect to use to get reimbursement commensurate with your coverage, the therapist does not engage in insurance billing. Any amount of reimbursement and the amount of any co-payments or deductible depends on the requirements of your specific insurance plan. You should be aware that insurance plans generally limit coverage to certain diagnosable mental conditions. You should also be aware that you are responsible for verifying and understanding the limits of your insurance coverage. As such, we are unable to guarantee whether your insurance will provide payment for the services provided to you.
If for some reason you find that you are unable to continue paying for your therapy, you should inform your therapist. Your therapist will help you to consider any options that may be available to you at that time.
Confidentiality: As with all HIPAA-protected records, All communications between you and your therapist will be held in strict confidence unless you provide written permission to release information about your treatment. If you participate in marital or family therapy, your therapist has a "no secrets" policy, which means that he will not keep secrets between participants in a conjoint (relationship) therapy. When you participate in family, and/or marital/couples therapy, your therapist is permitted to use information obtained in an individual session or other communication that you may have had with him or her, when working jointly or individually with other members of your family. Please feel free to ask your therapist about his or her “no secrets” policy and how it may apply to you. (For example, if you disclose infidelity, I may not keep that secret.)
There are exceptions to confidentiality. For example, therapists are required to report instances of suspected child, dependent adult or elder abuse.
Therapists may also be required or permitted to break confidentiality when they have determined that a patient presents a serious danger of physical violence to another person or when a patient is dangerous to him or herself.
If you participate in marital or family therapy, your therapist will not disclose confidential information about your treatment unless all person(s) who participated in the treatment with you provide their written authorization to release such information.
Minors and Confidentiality Communications between therapists and patients who are minors (under the age of 18) are confidential. However, parents and other guardians who provide authorization for their child’s treatment are often involved in their treatment. Consequently, your therapist, in the exercise of his or her professional judgment, may discuss the treatment progress of a minor patient with the parent or caretaker. Patients who are minors and their parents are urged to discuss any questions or concerns that they have on this topic with their therapist.
Appointment Scheduling and Cancellation Policies: Sessions are typically scheduled to occur one time per week at the same time and day if possible. Your therapist may suggest a different amount of therapy depending on the nature and severity of your concerns, and you are free to accept or reject that recommendation. Your consistent attendance greatly contributes to a successful outcome.
In order to cancel or reschedule an appointment, notify your therapist at least 24 hours in advance of your appointment. If you do not provide at least 24 hours’ notice in advance, you are responsible for payment for the missed session. Please understand that your insurance company will likely not pay for missed or canceled sessions.
Therapist Availability/Emergencies: You are welcome to phone, text, or email your therapist in between sessions. However, as a general rule, it is our belief that important issues are better addressed within regularly scheduled sessions. You may leave a message for your therapist at any time on his confidential voicemail. If you wish your therapist to return your call, please be sure to leave your name and phone number(s), along with a brief message concerning the nature of your call. Non urgent phone calls are returned during the therapist’s normal workdays within 24 hours. If you have an urgent need to speak with your therapist, please indicate that fact in your message and follow any instructions that are provided by your therapist’s voicemail. In the event of a medical or psychiatric emergency or an emergency involving a threat to your safety or the safety of others, please call 911 to request emergency assistance. Please be sure to leave your name and phone number(s), along with a brief message concerning the nature of your call. In the event of a medical or psychiatric emergency or an emergency involving a threat to your safety or the safety of others, please call 911 to request emergency assistance.
Electronic Communications: Potential risks of using electronic communication may include, but are not limited to; inadvertent sending of an e-mail or text containing confidential information to the wrong recipient, theft or loss of the computer, laptop or mobile device storing confidential information, and interception by an unauthorized third party through an unsecured network. E-mail messages may contain viruses or other defects and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is virus-free. In addition, e mail or text communication may become part of the clinical record.
You further understand and agree that any virtual (zoom sessions) may be electronically summarized by the Zoom AI Meeting Summary technology. You will receive a notification on your screen each time, and can ask the therapist not to use this if you object
We believe that therapists and patients are partners in the therapeutic process. You have the right to agree or disagree with your therapist’s recommendations. Your therapist will also periodically provide feedback to you regarding your progress and will invite your participation in the discussion. Your therapist will work with you to develop an effective treatment plan. Over the course of therapy, your therapist will attempt to evaluate whether the therapy provided is beneficial to you. Your feedback and input is an important part of this process. It is the goal of your therapist to assist you in effectively addressing your problems and concerns.
However, due to the varying nature and severity of problems and the individuality of each patient, your therapist is unable to predict the length of your therapy or to guarantee a specific outcome or result. Termination of Therapy The length of your treatment and the timing of the eventual termination of your treatment depend on the specifics of your treatment plan and the progress you achieve. It is a good idea to plan for your termination, in collaboration with your therapist. Your therapist will discuss a plan for termination with you as you approach the completion of your treatment goals. You may discontinue therapy at any time. If you or your therapist determines that you are not benefiting from treatment, either of you may elect to initiate a discussion of your treatment alternatives. Treatment alternatives may include, among other possibilities, referral, changing your treatment plan, or terminating your therapy. Your signature indicates that you have read this agreement for services carefully and understand its contents.
Please ask your therapist to address any questions or concerns that you have about this information before you sign. (Your electronic signature in the form of electronic message stating you agree is acceptable in lieu of a physical signature)