POLICIES

 

Commitment

 

You will not be asked to make a commitment to working with me until we have had an opportunity to meet for an initial session, discuss your concerns, and evaluate your best options for treatment. During that session you will describe your areas needing attention and will share with me your goals for your counseling. We will discuss what the best outcome, from our work together, would look like so that we will have an idea what successful treatment means to you. Most of my clients are interested in making changes as quickly as possible…and as affordably as possible. This discussion helps with that goal. At the end of the session, I will tell you how I would plan to work with your concerns and goals; you will decide what comes next. Sound fair?

Some clients are unclear of their goals but have a vague sense that they need to look at their lives, their feelings, or their impulses. This is fine too. Our first encounter is to help me understand how I can best serve you, and to help you have a clear expectation for what we can accomplish together, and to see if we are a fit.

Practice Limitations

 

I frequently treat clients with dual diagnosis; however, I generally do not treat those who have a Personality Disorder diagnosis, such as Borderline, Bipolar, Schizoaffective, Schizophrenia and Narcissistic Personality Disorders. I do, however, work with their family members.

Despair and Suicidal Feelings

 

If you are feeling despair and/or suicidal impulses, please contact 911 immediately, stating that there is an emergency. Also, please call The National Suicidal Hotline: 1-800-784-2433.

If you are my client, your next call/text and email are to me. Leave a detailed message via the Psychology Today website phone link number, or on my cell phone STATING THAT YOU ARE IN CRISIS, and I will call you back immediately after I receive the message.

DO NOT WAIT FOR MY RETURNED CALL! Your third call is to a friend or family member who you will ask to come be with you until you are safe.

FEES

 

Private Pay Clients and the Use of Insurance

My standard fee rate is $235 per 50-minute session, determined by my experience and tenure as a therapist. Upon occasion, I might adjust this fee according to income and circumstance. My lowest sliding scale fee $200. When I see two or more people at the same time, such as for couples and family counseling, I strongly recommend you book an 80-minute session; I find that 50 minutes is just not enough time together if we want everyone to be able to have a chance to participate. My fee for this is $350.

I am an “out-of-network” therapist, meaning that you will pay my fee, prior to your session, and each month I will provide you with a “superbill”, which you will then submit to your insurance carrier, if you have insurance that covers my services. They will reimburse you directly for whatever amount your policy allows.

I do not provide billing services for insurance reimbursement. Please keep in mind that insurance payment to you kicks in only after your deductibles have been satisfied.

When you use insurance, I will provide you with a monthly superbill at the start of each calendar month. This document will outline the dates seen the prior month, along with a DSM Diagnosis and necessary CPT Billing Codes.

Please be aware that you are forfeiting some of your confidential rights and freedoms, as outlined under the HIPPA handout that will be provided to you during your intake session, should you elect to use insurance. If you are NOT using insurance, a superbill will NOT be provided: your checks or payment records will act as your receipt.

I do not conduct bi-weekly appointments. I will treat former clients as needed, once they have completed a series of 8-12 consecutive sessions, however I do ask that every new client commits to a minimum of 8-12 weekly sessions as we begin our work together. (Making a commitment to work with me only occurs after we have conducted our first session together.) Of course, if we prove to not be a match, there is no obligation to continue our work. Setting this intention allows you to form a realistic idea for cost of treatment and allows me to know how much time we will have together so that I can establish the relationship necessary for effective care. I work very strategically—if I don’t have time with you, I cannot be effective in creating the building blocks necessary for change. Sometimes issues can be resolved within fewer sessions, and if this is the case with you, I will not hold you to the commitment.

Availability

 

I have a limited practice and do NOT work evenings or weekends. Most of my available slots are in the mornings, M-W. I occasionally will see pre-existing clients on weekends or evenings, principally for emergency situations or interventions only. My fees escalate for these services. My intervention/weekend/evening price sheet is available upon request.

Fees are due at the time of service, preferably delivered the before your session. I prefer payments Zelle or Venmo; I do not accept credit card payments directly, or PayPal. Exceptions regarding delayed payment or a payment plan may be made in advance and only by mutual agreement. Please feel free to discuss your financial situation or special payment arrangements with me ahead of our scheduled appointment.

Cancellation Agreement

  • I have a 48-hour cancellation policy. If you cancel less than 48 hours prior to your appointment time you will be charged the full price for the session time booked for the missed appointment.
  • Your scheduled appointment is repeating and is considered confirmed unless you or I cancel it with each other. Therefore, you are liable for the cost of your repeating appointments.
  • There are only two exceptions to avoiding the cancellation fee if you have given short notice or been a No Show to your session:
    • extreme emergency
    • STAY-AT-HOME in illness, when you notify me before 8:30am on or before the day of your session by email or by phone message
    • There are no penalty fees charged for these types of cancellations, with early morning notice the first time or two when this occurs. If you fail to inform me of your illness prior to 8:30am, the morning of your appointment, the cancellation fee will apply.
    • After the first two cancellations, you will pay for your missed sessions regardless of cause.
  • There will be a $50 service charge on all returned checks (NSF), without exception.

No Shows and Late Arrivals

 

Your appointment is automatically considered cancelled if you do not arrive within the first 10 minutes of the session and have not called or texted to say you are running late and I am to wait for you. You will be charged a full fee for all missed appointments.

Please notify me by email, for all late arrivals and cancellations by text, phone call or by email at Robin.stuart@comcast.net.

When you elect to use texts for client communications, please be informed that this is not a secure, HIPPA Compliant network and you are waiving your rights to legal securities built into HIPPA compliant systems. The same is true when you call my cell phone. The most secure method of communicating with me is via email. I am likely to answer my phone sooner.