ABC’d Therapy & Consulting, LLC
6842 University Avenue, Ste B
Windsor Heights, IA 50324

Standards for Communication

In the event of an emergency, if you unable to reach your counselor, you may call the Life Crisis Hotline (314-647-4357), call 911, or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Basic Principles

Counseling is one of the most private endeavors in which anyone can engage. We will be looking at your personal thoughts and feelings in a way that is different from social, even intimate relationships outside of counseling. The success of this work, supported by National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics, depends in part on the privacy of what we discuss and the awareness that our relationship is not part of our social or professional lives outside of our work together.

To protect the private nature of our work and keep it separate from our lives outside of our work, I encourage clients to not discuss or post any information about our work with anyone else. I will do the same, unless required by law or requested by you, though I do not automatically share information unless we agree that it is necessary. I will discuss any information I share with others about our work with you before doing so, and have you sign a written release of information.

Communication

Any non-emergency communication, requiring more than 10 minutes of time outside of a scheduled session, will be billed at the client’s established rate of pay.

Telephone

Ideally, any communication between us occurs at our sessions. When it is necessary to communicate between sessions, due to an emergency or time sensitive issue, I ask that you call or email me, rather than text. Messages left on my voice mail are secure, accessible only by me with a password. You can generally expect a response within 24 hours. If there are occasions when I may be out of the office and checking my voice mail less frequently, I will leave special notice and instructions in the voice mail message. If you give me a phone number, as a general contact number, or a callback number in a voice mail message, I will assume it is acceptable to leave a message at that number with basic information, such as an answer to a question or scheduling information, unless you advise me otherwise.

Text Messaging

Text messages may be used to communicate simple information such as scheduling. For emotional or cognitive issues, or in case of emergency, a voice message or email is required.

Paper

Generally, I do not communicate by mail. However, from time to time a need for mail may arise, and I will send mail to addresses provided. It is your responsibility to keep address information updated.

Please indicate if you would prefer not to receive this kind of communication from me.

Email

Email is received by me and access is password protected and viewed only by me. My email communication is not always encrypted and, in some instances, may pose a privacy risk. If you choose to contact me by email you assume this risk. You should expect I will respond within 24-72 hours. I will assume that your email communication is safe and secure. Email is not a good choice for addressing a crisis.

Social Media

As a matter of policy, I do not join a client’s social media network, or include a client in personal social media networks I may participate in. This helps maintain the privacy and personal boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. If you do come across personal or professional information about me online or through others, I encourage you to bring it up in our discussions so that we may understand any meaning it has in our work.

In Person

There may be occasions when we unexpectedly “run into each other” outside of the office, such as at a store, church, recovery group, event, etc. I will not initiate contact or interaction at any time, due to the fact that acknowledging knowing a client may impact your privacy. This may seem awkward, but it also avoids the awkwardness of deciding how to explain to someone how we know each other. If you choose to approach me, or initiate conversation with me, I will be happy to interact with you. I will not at any time identify myself as your therapist.

Thank you for respecting these policies. I welcome your thoughts and feelings about them. Please sign to indicate you have read and understand the Standards of Communication.

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