MyTherapist for insight and change

Terms of Service

Informed Consent

Last Revised 1/13/2018

Thank you for requesting your appointment with us. In an effort to streamline as much of the administrative details as we can and to get the most out of our sessions together, we just need you to go over some final information. This document contains important information about how we structure our work together so that you are able to give your informed consent. This packet constitutes an agreement between us, and you are able to revoke your consent for this voluntary working relationship at any time. Likewise, if we feel that you aren’t able to work within our evidence-based guidelines, we will not continue our sessions and refer you to an outside clinician. 
 
How we work...
We view psychotherapy and coaching as a way to teach the client how to identify thinking that may lead to unhealthy or self-defeating feelings and behaviors.  This requires an active effort on your part.  This work includes you and your therapist having what are sometimes difficult conversations that may bring up feelings or memories of feelings of anger, guilt, shame, sadness, helplessness, etc.  However psychotherapy has been shown to have benefits for people who choose to undertake it.  Therapy often leads to significant reductions in feelings of distress, better relationships, and resolutions of specific problems.  However, there are no guarantees about what will happen.  Your therapist will teach you how to assess what is happening in your life as well as how to assess what is happening in each session in order to monitor your progress. If we aren’t making progress together, it is our job to refer you to a therapist or modality that may be a better fit.
 
Your first few sessions involve making an evaluation of your specific situation and needs. Your therapist uses this information to begin to get a picture of the ways your thinking leads you to potentially unhealthy negative emotions and the behaviors that often accompany them.  The second stage of therapy is to begin to identify and label these thinking patterns and to challenge them in order to replace them with a new, more rational and balanced way of thinking.
 
The next stage involves you coming up with some experiments for yourself to prove that your new, balanced way of thinking can lead you to more healthy emotions and behaviors. This is not a quick and easy process, however, you will not work with the same therapist for longer than one year. We find that working with a different therapist after a time can help you increase your independence and help you work towards becoming your own therapist.  
 
If you are working on relationship counseling or family therapy, your therapist will meet with you as a unit as well as individually, and alternate sessions from week to week. We begin our work together with an individual intake with each member of the relationship before we meet together as a group.
 
This style of therapy is an evidence-based style of cognitive behavioral therapy called REBT or rational emotive behavior therapy.  We also include Imago couples therapy in our work. These styles of therapy are very active, and are meant to teach you some tangible tools to implement in your life to prepare yourself for the future conflicts and stressors that we are all bound to have.  That means we assign some exercises to do between sessions to help keep you making progress.  
 
We begin our work once a week for 45 minutes with the goal of coming in less as we make progress.  Your therapist will discuss progress and frequency of sessions with you as we make our way through the different stages of therapy.  This might feel like we aren’t getting a chance to talk about your issues, but the first goal is to teach you the basic language of therapy so that the conversations you have with your therapist and in your relationships are healthy and therapeutic. As we go on, you’ll find the sessions become less didactic (teaching). Like learning a language, the more you implement the skills and practice them, the more fluent you'll become.


If you have questions about office procedures, feel free to discuss them with your therapist whenever they arise.  If you decide to discontinue your work with your therapist, they can help you secure a consultation with another clinician within or outside of this office.
 
Billing Information
 
Individual Rate: up to $175
Couples Rate: up to $300
Group Therapy: $50 per 60 minute group
 
A sliding scale is available for qualified applicants. Your sliding scale slot is secured for weekly sessions and is reviewed every three months.  Your sliding scale is subject to increase as we progress in our work and you are coming in less often.  We do this to allow for more people to be offered a fair sliding scale rate.  If you find yourself coming in less often, we will need to discuss your rate.
 
Our sliding scale rate currently starts at $75 per person per session.
 
 
 
Insurance
While insurance does not cover relationship therapy, we do accept out of network insurance with our licensed providers for individual therapy- Dana in New York, Jesse and Dymphna in New Orleans. Dr. DeMarco does not currently accept insurance. You will be charged our full rate of $175 per session, and we will submit your claim to your insurance panel for you to be reimbursed by them for the treatment of the mental health diagnosis for which your clinician has assessed you. Note: MOST people do NOT have a diagnosis that is covered by insurance, as insurance covers the treatment of chronic and persistent mental illness, not the everyday struggles of life that most people in therapy are dealing with. It is sometimes better to negotiate a sliding scale rate and avoid being diagnosed with what will now be a "pre-existing condition".


In addition to sessions, we must charge these amounts on a prorated basis for other professional services you may require, such as home visits,  report writing or consultations with other professionals (primary care physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.). We will alert you to any billable time before charging your account and will require your written permission before consulting additional providers outside of our practice.
 
If you become involved in litigation that requires your therapist’s participation, you will be expected to pay for the professional time required, even if your clinician is compelled to testify by another party.
 
Payment is due when your provider confirms your appointment. If you are unable to keep your
scheduled appointment, we require no less than 24 hours notice. If you do not come in for your scheduled appointment and have not given 24 hours notice, your charge will be applied to the missed session.  (It's important for us to have notice so we can make sure everyone gets seen who needs to be seen on any given day.) You receive a confirmation email one day before your session with a button that says View/Change - please use that to reschedule or cancel if you need to. 
 
Sessions start on the hour. While we do have a 15 minute window to still be able to get our work done, if you are beyond 15 minutes late, we will need to schedule you for a follow up, and your session will be charged as a no show as outlined above.  Likewise, if your therapist runs long in the session before yours, and is not able to start by 15 minutes after the hour, we will be happy to see you for the remaining time as well as offer you a follow up session free of charge.  
 
If you feel that you have been charged in error, please contact us at staff@mytherapist.info. If you are unable to schedule or keep your appointments as outlined in our treatment goals, we may find it is better to terminate our work together and refer you to an outside clinician.
 
Professional Records
Both law and the standards of our profession require that we keep appropriate treatment
records. We keep electronic health records, and are able to provide you with an electronic copy of your records should you request them.
 
About Our Staff
Our offices provide training for graduate level and post-graduate clinicians who are under supervision and working towards their full independent licenses. We are a team of clinicians all working together to increase access to mental wellness. We consider each clinician to be working as part of this team. You may be asked in advance to have your therapist be filmed or audio recorded during part of your work with our offices. You may also be asked to have a supervising clinician or another member of our clinical team observe a session. This is voluntary, and you may always decline. This is, however, how psychotherapists are trained and how we learn and improve. The therapist who is assigned to your intake may or may not be the final therapist for your case, and we discuss cases in our weekly team meeting and/or in consultation with the clinical supervisor to insure the best services for our clients.  Should you end up being assigned to a new therapist, we try to give as much notice as possible, however our staff works as a team to provide evidence-based therapy, and your new therapist will continue your case without having to “start all over”, and you’ll continue monitoring your progress with your new therapist. 


Contact
We are often not available by phone, due to the nature of our work with clients.  We invite you to contact us through our website at www.mytherapist.info using the Contact Us form and to schedule/change any appointments you have or feel free to leave a voicemail at 800-413-7959 and we will get back to you as soon as we can.  You can also email staff@mytherapist.info .
 
In case of a mental health emergency, you should contact 911, your medical provider, or visit the nearest emergency room. We are not able to provide services via email or phone, and encourage you to schedule an appointment with your therapist and keep your regularly scheduled weekly appointments in order to do our best work together.  Should your case require an escalated level of care, we will refer you to your primary care provider, emergency room or other mental health provider to take over your case.