Carol Hekman, Ph.D., Psy.D._ This document contains important information about my professional services and business policies.
PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES I provide individual, couple, and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapy. I also provide psychoanalysis for adults. Psychotherapy (as well as psychoanalysis) treats a variety of emotional and interpersonal problems. It intends to reduce or eliminate certain psychological symptoms, and to improve social and occupational functioning. Unlike medical consultations, it proceeds by having all parties work actively to gain awareness of and alter certain maladaptive emotional states and behaviors. The psychotherapeutic process varies depending on the personalities of the psychologist and patient, and the particular problems brought forward. Psychotherapy calls for an active effort on your part. Psychoanalysis is an intensive form of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since it typically involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, or frustration. Psychotherapy has also been shown to have significant benefits—solutions to specific problems, reductions in distress, and improved relationships. Psychotherapy involves a commitment of time, money, and energy. If you have questions about my procedures, we should discuss them whenever they arise. If at any point during psychotherapy either of us assess that I am not effective in helping you reach therapeutic goals I am obliged to discuss it with you and, if appropriate, to terminate treatment. In such a case, I will refer you to other individuals or clinics that may be of help to you. If at any time you want another professional’s opinion or wish to consult with another therapist, I will assist you in finding someone qualified. You have the right to terminate the psychotherapy at any time. You are financially responsible for any sessions that were provided before your ending. SESSIONS The sessions for both psychotherapy and psychoanalysis last 45 minutes each. Once you agree to a regular hour, you will be responsible to pay for that hour even if you have to cancel the appointment. I do not have a 24 hour cancellation policy and therefore late cancellations will be charged at the regular fee. If possible, I will reschedule the hour for you within the week of a cancelled session if I am given advanced notice. Insurance does not cover for this expense. PROFESSIONAL FEES Psychotherapy sessions are billed at a rate of $195.00 for a 45 minute session unless otherwise negotiated. Other miscellaneous services maybe billed at the same rate.
BILLING AND PAYMENTS I request that you pay me each month. If I am seeing you regularly, I will provide you with a statement personally or by mail at the end of the month. If you carry health insurance, I will provide you with a universal health insurance form which I ask you to submit to your insurance company on your own.
CONTACTING ME I am often not immediately available by telephone. When I am unavailable, my telephone is answered by voice mail that I monitor frequently. I will make every effort to return your call on the same day you make it, with the exception of weekends and holidays. I am not available by pager, so in the case of a true emergency please call 911 and/or proceed to the nearest emergency room. If I will be unavailable for an extended time, I will provide you with the name of a colleague to contact in case you need to consult a psychotherapist urgently.
PROFESSIONAL RECORDS The laws and standards of my profession require that I keep professional records. These are maintained for a minimum of seven years. You are entitled to receive a copy of the records unless I believe that seeing them would be emotionally damaging.
CONFIDENTIALITY In general, the privacy of all communications between patients and psychologists is protected by law. I can usually only release information about our work to others with your written permission. Should this be necessary or desired, I will have you sign a separate authorization form. But there are a few exceptions, such as: whenever you enter your psychological status as an issue in a legal proceeding, you have waived the right to past, present, or future confidentiality of any psychological services provided to you. This results from legal precedent, and is not a choice for either of us. I might therefore be ordered to provide this information to a judge.
Some situations legally require that I take action to protect others from harm even if I have to reveal information about your treatment. For example, if I believe that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused, I must file a report with the appropriate state agency. I also must report any involvement (including online) with child pornography. If I believe that you are threatening serious bodily harm to another, I am required to take protective actions. Or, if you threaten to harm yourself I may be obligated to seek help for you or to contact others who can help provide protection. I am also obligated to report any downloading or streaming from the internet of child pornography. If any of these situations were to occur I would make every effort to fully discuss the possible interventions with you.
I may find it helpful to consult other professionals about a case. At such times I will not reveal a patients’ identity. The consultant is also legally bound to keep all information confidential. If you are a minor, please be aware that the law may provide your parents the right to examine your records. I typically provide them only general information about our work together unless I feel there is a high risk that you will seriously harm yourself or someone else.