CLIENT HANDBOOK

Table of Contents:

IntroductionThe Counseling Process

About Our Counselors

Professional Associates

Cofidentiality

Release of Information

Marriage and Family Counseling

Child and Adolescent Counseling

Group Counseling

Scheduling Policies

Financial Policies

Administrative Office

Contacting Your Counselor

Client's Rights

After Hours Emergency

Phone Directory


Introduction
Thank you for choosing C.J. Hendry & Associates to address your counseling needs. We aim to provide quality services customized to your particular situation.

Please carefully read through the client information in this handbook. It is intended to clarify your understanding of the counseling process and provide information which is important for you to know.

This handbook contains much of the information that is presented at the beginning of counseling and is designed as a handy reference for future questions. Please feel free to ask your counselor for further explanation of any of our policies and procedures that are unclear to you.

Our staff are open to your feedback and appreciate you sharing with us any ways in which our policies and procedures the contents of the handbook can be improved to better serve our clients.


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THE COUNSELING PROCESS

OUR APPROACH TO COUNSELING

Our team of licensed professional counselors believes in a collaborative approach to treatment. We ask you to define why you are here and what you hope to achieve through counseling. After an assessment, we will suggest a plan for your approval. Throughout our work together we will evaluate your progress periodically and jointly make modifications to the plan.

You and your counselor will determine together the number and frequency of sessions to address your initial concerns. Our experience has demonstrated that meeting weekly at the beginning of counseling is the most effective approach. Some counselees need only a few sessions to make the changes they desire while others may require ongoing therapy over several months or even years.

THE COUNSELING EXPERIENCE

While counseling has been shown to have many benefits, uncomfortable feelings (e.g. sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness and helplessness) may surface during the course of treatment. Your counselor is trained to help you work through this discomfort, improve your relationships, and resolve problems. While it is not possible to guarantee specific results regarding your counseling goals, we will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome.

ASSESSMENT

To ensure quality service, a thorough assessment of your concerns is necessary. Your initial appointment, scheduled for 90 minutes, allows time for you to read and complete the forms regarding our counseling and business practices and to provide the background data needed by your counselor. We hope you will note any questions or concerns and discuss these with your counselor during this initial session.

A VARIETY OF ASSESSMENT TOOLS

In additions to the background information which you will provide, the counselor will determine whether other interventions including a family genogram, psychological or personality testing, and other inventories or questionnaires are needed. The rationale for gathering such data will be explained to you. While this process may take from two to four sessions, successful treatment can hinge on a thorough assessment.

THE BENEFITS OF A TEAM OF COUNSELORS

During the assessment phase, the counselor you have been assigned may determine that he or she is not the best fit for your particular need. If so, you will be offered the option to meet with another counselor in the practice with the appropriate training and skills, or referred to a professional with relevant expertise outside the practice. Additional services also may be recommended for your spouse or other family members. You and the counselor will explore jointly the various combinations of services our team of professionals can provide.

A PLANNED ENDING

While you have the right to end your counseling at any time, we believe it is in your best interest for you and your counselor to decide together how your treatment will end and plan the timing to avoid an abrupt ending. An effective approach is to schedule sessions further apart to evaluate how well you maintain the gains achieved. Some clients like to schedule a three-month “check-up” session at termination. If counseling is successful, you will be better able to face life’s challenges.

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ABOUT OUR COUNSELORS

THE COUNSELING RELATIONSHIP

We hope that relationships with counselors at C. J. Hendry & Associates will involve mutual respect and trust. These relationships will be professional and not personal. Counseling sessions will focus exclusively on your concerns. Although much will be learned about us as we work together, we will be experienced in our professional roles. Our services will be rendered in a professional manner consistent with accepted ethical standards. Therefore, we will not socialize with you outside the office, develop a personal friendship, or accept gifts.

Please note that our counselors do not have phone or e-mail contact with clients outside their session time except for purposes of scheduling. If a concern arises prior to your next scheduled session you are free to call your counselor for an additional appointment.

COUNSELOR CREDENTIALS

All of our counselors and interns are credentialed by the Ohio Counselor and Social Worker Marriage and Family Therapist Board Board (OCSWMFTB) and abide by the OCSWMFTB professional Code of Ethics.

Our counselors also have extensive expertise in related fields. If you would like to know more about the additional professional experience, please ask your counselor or request a copy of their Professional Disclosure Statement, which is displayed in the office hallway alongside their degree certificates and State License(s). You may also consult our website for more information.

If your counselor is under the clinical supervision of an independently Licensed Clinical Counselor, or if your insurance provider requires Mental Health Work Supervision by a Clinical Psychologist, you will be informed of the supervisor’s name and may request to speak with the supervisor regarding your treatment.

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PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATES

CONSULTING CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

Our Clinical Psychologist, James E. Kaplar, Ph.D., is an American Psychological Association (A.P.A.) Licensed Psychologist with over 30 years clinical experience. Your counselor may decide to seek his expertise to aid in providing you with quality treatment. Dr. Kaplar may also provide Mental Health Worker Supervision.

CONSULTING PSYCHIATRIST

During the course of counseling, specialized medications to treat depression, anxiety, or other disorders may be recommended. In this case we will discuss a variety of referral options with you.

Our Consulting Psychiatrist is Said Haidar, M.D.. His office is located in Avon Lake. He may be contacted at 440-930-2002. If you choose to see him for psychiatric evaluation, he will send a written report of his assessment to your counselor to provide a continuum of care.

OTHER CLINICAL ASSOCIATES

We have developed a network of professional relationships to better serve our clients. Should we wish to confer with one of these specialists regarding your treatment, we will discuss our recommendation with you.

HANNA PERKINS – WEST
We are privileged to share Suite 6 with Hanna Perkins-West The Hanna Perkins therapists are skilled in providing very specialized treatment for children and adolescents. Please contact us if you would like to know more about the range of services the Hanna Perkins professionals offer.

THE HULL INSTITUTE, LLC
We are equally privileged to share Suite 5 with the professionals of The Hull Institute. For more information about their Lifestyle Management programs please call Ann F. Hull, MSSW, LISW at 216.407.6278 or check www.HullInstitute.com

CONFIDENTIALITY

GENERAL PRINCIPLE

We are ethically and legally bound to maintain the confidentiality of our counseling relationships and the content of our counseling sessions. We will not release any information to another person without your specific written authorization.

LEGAL LIMITS TO CONFIDENTIALITY

If you are an adult, anything you say or do in the context of counseling is confidentially privileged with the following exceptions:

1. If we are concerned that you might harm yourself physically, we are bound by Law to take appropriate action. This may mean contacting family members or other professionals, or taking steps for you to be hospitalized in order to protect you from harm.

2. If you behave in a manner that we believe poses a threat of a physical nature to another person we are bound by Law to contact that person to warn of possible danger.

3. If we believe a child or elderly or disabled person is being physically or sexually abused we are required by Law to contact the appropriate State agency even though this information is disclosed in the context of the confidential counseling relationship.

4. If you use confidentiality as a means of avoiding legal punishment privilege is waived. Counselors may not aid or abet the perpetration of crimes.

JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS

In most judicial proceedings you have the right to prevent us from providing any information about your treatment. However, should a judge subpoena your counseling records we would discuss this with you, seek legal advice, and explore the options open to us in the specific situation.

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RELEASE OF INFORMATION

PROFESSIONAL RECORDS

We are required by Law to keep accurate treatment records. Please consult our Notice of Privacy Practices for more information about your rights regarding access to your records.

Counseling records are kept in locked filing cabinets at our offices. The OCSWMFTB requires files to be maintained for seven years for adults, and for seven years after a minor becomes 18 years old. We dispose of our files by shredding the contents in order to protect your privacy.

REQUEST TO RELEASE RECORDS

You may request the release of your records to another professional by signing our appropriate Release of Information form. We will agree to release only that information we believe the professional is qualified to interpret. When faxing information to another office, we use a cover sheet specifically identifying the name of the professional to whom the record is to be sent, asking that the material released be returned to us if it has reached the wrong place. Once the records leave our offices we cannot guarantee their confidentiality. A fee will be charged to cover our costs when we are asked to release records of length.

We will also ask you to sign a Release of Information for us to talk with other professionals, including counselors, physicians, lawyers, clergy, referral sources, and family members.

SUPERVISION AND CONFIDENTIALITY

The supervision consultations of Licensed Professional Counselors, and Interns, as required by OCSWMFTB are subject to the normal rules of confidentiality, as are other professional consultations on your behalf.


MARRIAGE AND FAMILY COUNSELING

CONFIDENTIALITY

In marital and family therapy your counselor may sometimes meet with one of you for an individual session. In this circumstance the normal rules of confidentiality apply. If issues come up in the individual sessions, which importantly concern the marriage or family, the counselor will not communicate these issues to the spouse or other family members. However, the counselor will assist the individual to share their concerns directly with other members of the family.

COUNSELING TEAM OPTIONS

During the course of marriage or family counseling, individual issues may arise that one of the members decides they would like to explore in depth. In such a case your counselor will help you determine whether individual sessions with another counselor in the practice would be beneficial.

RELEASE OF INFORMATION

In marital and family counseling each individual is required to sign a Release of Information for the content of the joint sessions to be disclosed to a third party, including another counselor within the practice.

PSYCHO-EDUCATIONAL CLASSES

Periodically, we offer psycho-educational classes for couples or families on topics such as improving communication skills, setting boundaries, handling anger, confronting with care, enhanced parenting or forgiveness. These classes are taught by our counselors and draw on their professional backgrounds. The fee for the classes is based on the number and length of the sessions.

If you are interested in a particular topic, please let your counselor know.

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CHILD AND ADOLESCENT COUNSELING

AGREEMENT FOR COUNSELING

Parents and guardians of minors are entitled to information regarding their child’s or adolescent’s counseling. However, ethics requires us to communicate such information only in ways that we believe are helpful. Before counseling begins, the counselor will review our “Child/Adolescent Agreement for Counseling” form with parents or guardians and the minor client and ask each person to sign it to ensure that there is no confusion about this process.

When meeting with a minor we also need to determine that both parents are in agreement with the decision for counseling. In divorce, separation, or custody situations we may require both parents to sign the counseling consent forms.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The legal limits of confidentiality, as previously discussed, apply to the counseling of children and adolescents.

DIVORCE AND CUSTODY DISPUTES

Our counselors do not provide evaluations or expert testimony in court for divorce or custody disputes. Should you require such evaluations or testimony, please engage the services of a professional outside this practice. This is our policy for the following reasons: any statements made by your counselor are likely to be construed as biased in your favor, and testimony by your counselor may harm your relationship with him or her. As previously indicated, we regard the counseling relationship of primary importance.

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GROUP COUNSELING

THE THERAPY GROUP

Group counseling may complement individual counseling. After you have been in individual therapy your counselor may recommend group therapy as a next step. The members of a group provide support and challenges for one another. Counseling groups are different from community support groups as they have therapeutic goals. The group may be general or focused on a topic, such as eating disorders, anxieties, addictions, spiritual issues, etc..

MEMBERSHIP AND LEADERSHIP

Professional counselors lead our groups. Sometimes two counselors act as co-therapists. Groups may be composed solely of women or of men or may be mixed. As the need arises we also offer specialized groups for adolescents, couples, or families.

MEMBER COMMITMENT

Members of counseling groups contract to attend a determined number of sessions on a weekly basis. They are responsible to pay for the block sessions whether or not they are present. Regular attendance and participation by all the group members is necessary for the group process to be effective.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Group members also agree to maintain confidentiality about what is shared in the group and to abide by the ground rules that the group sets at the beginning of its time together.

OPEN OR CLOSED GROUP

If the group decides to continue after the initial contracted sessions it may choose to be open, accepting new members, or closed, not accepting new members, throughout the life of the group.

Please discuss your interest in a group with your counselor.

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SCHEDULING POLICIES

SESSIONS

When your counselor schedules a session with you, that time is reserved in their schedule to meet with you. You are therefore expected to pay for that time unless your counselor receives notice at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled time. For a Monday session we request notification of cancellation by Friday evening.

Regular attendance at sessions enhances treatment outcomes. If your times of availability change please inform your counselor so a mutually convenient time can be arranged.

MISSED APPOINTMENTS

When unexpected circumstances occur that make it difficult for you to come to our offices, including inclement weather, a telephone session will be offered to maintain continuity of treatment. If long distance phone charges are incurred, please call the office so that we do not have to bill you at our business phone rate. Note that as your insurance company is unlikely to pay for missed or broken appointments they will be billed directly to you.

Missed sessions are understandable from time to time, and your counselor will make every effort to respond to difficult circumstances. However, we will discontinue the counseling relationship if three appointments in a row are missed or broken and not fully discussed with your counselor.

EXTENDED SESSIONS

In certain circumstances you may wish to continue a counseling session rather than postpone work on a particular issue. Please discuss your need with your counselor as an extended session may be possible. A pro-rated fee will be charged for the amount of time the session is extended. You may also wish to check with your insurance company to determine whether or not they will pay for longer sessions.

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FINANCIAL POLICIES

FEE SCHEDULE

The current fee schedule for our services is indicated on the Counseling Agreement you sign at your initial appointment. We reserve the right to change these fees without prior notice.

PAYMENT POLICY

Payment is expected at the time of service, including insurance deductibles and co-pays.
You may pay by cash, check or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover), or PayPal. Checks are to be made out to C. J. Hendry & Associates, Inc. If paying by credit card, you must complete our Credit Card Authorization form. A new form is to be completed each time your credit card expires.

THIRD PARTY PAYMENT

If your insurance plan requires pre-certification for mental health services, you must obtain an initial referral from your insurance company, prior to the first appointment, to avoid additional fees. Our administrative office will assist in verifying insurance coverage and submitting claims on your behalf. We cannot guarantee that the information given by your insurance provider is accurate. You are responsible for paying any claims that are rejected due to your failure to provide correct information to us in a timely manner. CJH cannot take any financial responsibility or assume any loss due to your unfamiliarity with your insurance coverage and/or policy.


LITIGATION EXPENSES

If you become involved in litigation that requires our participation, you will be responsible to pay for our professional time, even if we are compelled to testify by another party. Due to the complexity and difficulty of legal involvement, we charge our current hourly fee for preparation, attendance, and travel for any legal proceeding, with a minimum of 4 hours.


ADMINISTRATION

ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE

Our office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

INSURANCE AND BILLING 


Practice Management Consultants, LLC is our billing service. PMC sends out Insurance Claims regularly. There is typically a 30-day period before payment is received. Bills for balances due are sent out at the beginning of each month. Your prompt payment of any balance due reduces our costs and prevents you from incurring additional fees. We reserve the right to discontinue professional services until your account is paid in full.

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CONTACTING YOUR COUNSELOR

We have counselors available weekdays, evenings, and Saturdays. Each counselor sets his or her own schedule. Counselors regularly check mailboxes and make every effort to return phone calls on the day they are received with the exception of weekends, holidays and vacations.

Clients who wish to schedule sessions by e-mail are required to sign a waiver of confidentiality, recognizing that C. J. Hendry cannot guarantee the confidentiality of an e-mail confirming an appointment time. Please note that our counselors do not communicate with clients by e-mail for any purpose other than scheduling.

If your counselor will be unavailable for an extended period, you will be given the name and phone extension of the counselor to contact as needed.

CLIENT PRIVACY

When your counselor is in session with a client, the “Do Not Disturb” sign will be on the outside of their office door. The counseling office phone extension will be set to automatically reach the counselor’s confidential voice mail. As a courtesy to our clients a counseling session may only be interrupted by a CJH staff member in an extreme emergency.

TELEPHONE EXTENSION NUMBERS

Please see the Phone Directory on the back cover of this booklet for the administrative staff and counselor’s phone extension numbers.

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CLIENT RIGHTS

At C. J. Hendry & Associates, Inc. you have the right to:

• Receive respectful treatment.

• Ask for and receive information about our counselor’s qualifications, including their licensure, education, training, experience, membership in professional groups and special areas of expertise.

• Have written information, before entering treatment, about fees, method of payment, insurance coverage, number of sessions you and your counselor agree will be needed, other available counselors (in cases of vacation and emergencies), and cancellation policies.

• Refuse to answer any question or give any information you would prefer not to disclose.

• Receive treatment in a safe setting, free from sexual, physical and emotional abuse and free from sexual harassment.

• Report immoral and illegal behavior by a counselor

• Be informed if your counselor will discuss your case with others Including supervisors, consultants, or students.

• Refuse or request audio or video recording of sessions.

• Expect that the counselor will inform you of your progress.

AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY

In a genuine emergency situation you may call Dr. Kaplar’s Answering Service at 440-248-5454
and leave a message for your counselor.

The answering service receptionist will attempt to contact your counselor and ask them to return your call. While we cannot guarantee your counselor will be available, we will make every effort for one of our counselors to reach you.

Alternatively, if you are under the care of a psychiatrist, please call your doctor’s emergency number or go directly to the Emergency Room of the nearest hospital.

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Phone Directory

Answering Service & Emergency Number: 440-248-5454

Westlake Office: 440-892-7034 Fax: 440-250-9013


E-mail: counselors@cjhendry.com

Practice Management Consultants, LLC: 
Insurance & Billing Service
888-898-4594 opt. #3


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25000 Center Ridge Road, Suite 6, Westlake, OH 44145

(phone) 440.892.7034  ext. 218

(fax) 440.250.9013