Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC
Privacy & Security of Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC
Privacy and confidentiality are Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC and to each independent therapist in this group practice. Although no transmission of data can be 100% secure, Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC takes reasonable steps to ensure that your information is kept private and secure. For people seeking mental health counseling, it is important to know that your Protected Health Information (PHI) is kept safe. PHI is any information that can identify you and that describes your health care. We strictly abide by our codes of ethics as well as by the laws governed at the state and federal levels. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) contains privacy and security rules that are designed to be a minimum level of protection for your PHI. The Privacy rule gives you the right to your medical information and sets limits on whom else has access to your PHI. The Security rule is a federal law that ensures that your PHI is in electronic form and secure (https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-individuals/guidance-materials-for-consumers/index.html).
Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC uses several entities to store and transmit your PHI and to provide communication and financial services related to the services we provide to you. Those entities include, for example, our Internet Company and financial merchant. Those entities that are not “covered entities” according to HIPAA do not require a Business Associate Agreement (BAA). Other companies we use such as the video chat provider, texting app and email do provide Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC with a BAA to ensure that your PHI is protected according to HIPAA requirements. For more information about the Business Associate Agreements, see this link: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/covered-entities/sample-business-associate-agreement-provisions/index.html
Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC may use your PHI for treatment, payment, and Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC operations purposes with your consent for the following services:
Initial Contact and Consultation:
It is our policy to safeguard the privacy of your PHI and records to the fullest extent permitted by law. However, in some circumstances, we may be required to disclose your PHI and/or records to other people even if you have not authorized us to do so. Examples of situations in which we may have to make such disclosures include, but are not limited to:
Goal, Purpose, & Procedure of Therapy
In general, the goals of therapy include improving and/or maintaining your capacity for healthy thought, feelings and behavior individually, in groups and/or in relationships with others. The purposes of therapy include providing you with a safe and supportive environment in which to a) identify issues and obstacles that may be interfering with healthy thought, feelings and behavior, and b) learn and implement techniques and strategies for making improvements in those areas. However, therapy is not intended as a substitute for your own capacity for thought, feelings or behavior.
The procedures utilized at Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC include: Face to face sessions at the Syracuse, NY office, prepaid scheduled sessions with a therapist via electronic media (e.g., video conferencing or telephone call) during which you and your therapist will communicate about your mental health status and progress toward the goals established for therapy. Because of legal and ethical requirements, your therapist cannot engage in activities or relationships with you that are not reasonably and necessarily related to therapy.
The specific therapeutic techniques that will be utilized include, but are not necessarily limited to: Experiential, Narrative, Mindfulness, IFS, Motivational Interviewing, Client-Centered, Family Systems, and TFCBT. Please discuss the specific techniques your Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC might use in your initial intake session. It may be necessary or desirable to change the procedures from time to time during the course of therapy. You will be informed if any changes are recommended and will be given an opportunity to decide whether to continue receiving therapy if the provider considers those changes necessary.
Risks/Benefits Associated With Therapy
Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. As with most other forms of treatments, results cannot be guaranteed.
Participation in therapy can result in a number of benefits to you, including increased insight into your patterns of feeling, thinking, behaving and relating to others; improvement in your relationships; solutions to specific problems you bring forward in therapy; and improvement in symptoms of distress.
Benefits to therapy require openness on the part of the therapy client. When information about your feelings, thoughts, behaviors, relationships, or other difficulties are withheld, it is not possible for the therapist to help you with them or to help you understand how they may be related (or not) to the issue for which you are seeking treatment. Benefits also require consistent attendance in therapy and work both in and outside of therapy sessions. Overall, you could experience significant changes and progress in your quality of life as a benefit of the therapy.
Since evaluation and/or therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, helplessness, etc. Some people notice an immediate sense of relief when they share their pain with someone else. Others may notice that their symptoms get worse, before they begin to get better. In either case, it’s important to share your reactions to therapy.
There are a number of potential risks associated with therapy. For example, in some cases, despite the best efforts of clients and their providers, clients make little or no progress toward their goals. It is possible, though unlikely, that the therapy could adversely affect your health temporarily or permanently. For example, the therapy could lead to recollection, awareness or discovery of events, experiences, conditions or situations that are painful, stressful or unsettling in a variety of ways.
When these feelings come up, it is important to talk to your therapist about them. They may be a natural, tolerable, and expected reactions to your work in psychotherapy. Other times it may be necessary or preferable to change the pace of your therapeutic work if the feelings are too uncomfortable. The therapy could be financially challenging for you, particularly if the cost of the therapy is not covered by an insurer or some other third party. Or, if the treatment is not helping, it is important to talk about other treatment options.
Risks Associated With Teletherapy
The TeleTherapy that you will participate in is, in some respects, innovative in nature. In other words, TeleTherapy has not been used within the professional community for as long or as extensively as other in person methods of providing therapy.
There are always potential security risks associated with electronic communications over the Internet or cellphones as the web and cellphones may not be 100% secure. Pathways Marriage and Family Therapy PLLC and each independent Therapist are committed to working with you, the client, to maintain the confidentiality of your PHI. Here are some tips to help you safeguard your information:
Additional Pro-Tips for Online Therapy
If others will be nearby while you are in therapy, ensure that you have adequate privacy prior to session. Psychotherapy is serious work. You do not want to be interrupted.
Turn off notifications on your computer and phone once we are connected.
Emergency and Crisis Support
Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC and its therapists do not provide 24-hour crisis services. If a life-threatening crisis should occur, contact a crisis hotline, call 911, or go to a hospital emergency room.
Strengths and Limitations of Online Psychotherapy
Telephone, chat, and video sessions have some advantages over in-person psychotherapy. Many of my clients share that it is more convenient (no commute) and more comfortable (in their own space). Some clients share that they feel more able to share “deep” things because it is online rather than in person.
Online therapy is not for everyone. If a client has a poor internet connection, a lack of privacy, or otherwise would simply be more comfortable meeting in person, it is better to connect them with a provider who offers that service. It is important to consider if this applies to you and may impact your therapeutic progress and select an in-person provider if so. In some clinical situations, such as crises or suicidal or homicidal thoughts, in-person treatment may be the most appropriate treatment choice.
Location of Services
Online therapy allows Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC to provide services to a broader geographic range of clients than in-person services.
Factors Affecting Duration & Results of Therapy
Many factors can impact the duration and results of therapy. They include, for example, your overall health, as well as your mental and emotional health, your motivation to do the work involved in therapy, and external factors related to finances, employment, family, and other circumstances.
Alternatives To Therapy
Although the Therapy that is being offered is considered to be safe and effective, it is possible that alternative services or measures could be at least as safe and effective for you. Other mental health providers, physicians, and non-traditional health specialists, for example, could be beneficial, as could clergy, self-help programs and support groups. If you elect to utilize alternative services or measures in lieu of or in addition to therapy being offered by Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC your therapist will coordinate care with those other services or measures as much as reasonably possible.
As a client, you have certain rights according to
state and federal law regarding the services you receive from Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC . Some of those rights appear in your state’s Bill of Rights. The state in which your Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC is licensed will be able to offer you that state’s Bill of Rights.
For example, you have the:
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND SIGNATURE
I acknowledge that I have read this form and that I understand it, and that I am agreeing to receive services from Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC according to the policies and procedures described in this form. I understand the risks and benefits of therapy, the nature and limits of confidentiality, my privacy, client rights, and what is expected of me as a client of Mind, Body, & Spirit Marriage Family Therapy LLC services.