When you arrive for your session, take a seat in the waiting area. I will come let you know when I am ready to begin our session. Please remember to bring your filled and signed forms to your first session unless we have arranged for you to fill them out in the waiting area before your session.
The first time we meet we will begin what is called an initial assessment. The initial assessment allows you to share openly what has brought you in, including what fears, anxieties, and hopes you might have about therapy. During this time, I encourage you to explore how you feel in our conversation. At the end of the initial assessment, I will give you my reflection on what I’ce heard from our initial session and advise what I believe to be the most appropriate next steps. If for any reason you do not feel comfortable and at ease, we will talk about that. Likewise, if your presenting issues seem to involve areas that may be outside my own expertise, I will discuss with you possibilities for referral to other qualified therapists in the area.
Privacy & Confidentiality
Your privacy is important to me, and you can trust that anything disclosed in our sessions, as well as any of your personal information, is always held in the strictest of confidence. Mental health services are covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). All of my document storage is HIPAA-compliant. Even your inquiries about counseling are protected by privacy rules.
Confidential information disclosed in counseling sessions is legally protected in the state of Michigan—including marriage counseling. One member of a couple cannot compel the couple’s therapist to testify about conversations that have taken place in his/her office.
However, there are some exceptions to the expectation of confidentiality, including instances of suspected child or elder abuse, a client presenting a serious danger of violence toward himself or herself or another person, or if extenuating circumstances lead to a court order requiring information from our sessions be released. In the case of court order, I would make every effort to resist sharing confidential information. If I am under threat of contempt of court, I will only share information relevant to the legal case in question. If you’d like to learn more about ethical standards and privileged communication exceptions, I am happy to provide additional information.