C.J. Hendry & Associates, Inc.
Caring, Experienced & Trusted Counselors
CLIENT INFORMATION HANDBOOK
to view this handbook online
or you may request a paper copy.
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.
The Counseling Process
About Our Counselors
Release of Information
Couple and Family Counseling
Child and Adolescent Counseling
Contacting Your Counselor
After Hours Emergency
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.
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.
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 addition 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.
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.
All of our counselors and interns are credentialed by the Ohio Counselor and Social Worker Marriage and Family Therapist 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 this additional professional experience, please ask your counselor. 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 have access to the supervisor regarding your treatment.
CONSULTING CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
Dr. Mary Kaplar is a licensed clinical psychologist who sees both children, ages 4-10, and adults for a wide range of issues. Her specialties include child psychology, health psychology and wellness, anxiety disorders, and psychological evaluations for bariatric surgery.
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., who maintains a private practice in Avon Lake. His office number is 440-930-2002 and office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 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.
GENERAL PRINCIPLEWe 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 CONFIDENTIALITYIf 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 PROCEEDINGSIn 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.
RELEASE OF INFORMATION
PROFESSIONAL RECORDSWe 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 five years for adults, and for five 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 RECORD
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
Counselors and Interns under clinical supervision meet regularly with their supervisors to review their cases and discuss Diagnosis and Treatment Planning. The normal rules of confidentiality apply to these sessions. However, the Company and the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board maintains the right to request supervision records at their discretion.
COUPLE AND FAMILY COUNSELING
When insurance is submitted for couple or family counseling one member is required to be the “identified client.” The clinical diagnosis and the treatment plan relate to this individual. Others who participate in the session are required to sign a Third Party Consent Form, acknowledging they have no right to access the identified client’s case record, unless that individual signs a written consent.
In couple and family counseling 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 couple or family, the counselor will not communicate these issues to the spouse, partner 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 couple or family counseling individual issues may arise that one of the members decides they would like to explore in depth. In such cases, your counselor will help you determine whether individual sessions with another counselor in the practice would be beneficial.
CHILD AND ADOLESCENT COUNSELING
COUNSELING FOR MINORS
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 Counseling Minors Form with parents or guardians and the minor client to ensure that there is no confusion about the counseling 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. Prior to the Intake session, a copy of any Custody Agreement must be made available to the counselor.
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 to be of primary importance.
GROUP COUNSELING MEMBER COMMITMENT
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.
Members of counseling groups contract to attend a determined number of sessions on a weekly basis. They are responsible to pay for the block of 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.
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 counselors
When your counselor schedules a session with you, the 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 that a mutually convenient time can be arranged.
When unexpected circumstances occur that make it difficult for you to come to our offices, including inclement weather, a telephone session may be offered at your request. If long distance phone charges will be incurred, please call the office so that we do not have to bill you at our business phone rate. Note that your insurance company is unlikely to pay for missed or broken appointments or phone sessions. These sessions 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
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, because depending on his or her schedule, 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.
The current fee schedule for our services is indicated on the Counseling Agreement you sign at your initial appointment and posted outside the check-in window. The Company reserves the right to change these fees without prior notice.
Payment is expected at the time of service, including insurance deductibles and co-pays. You may pay by cash, check, credit card (Visa, Mastercard, or Discover) or PayPal. Please make checks payable to C.J. Hendry & Associates, Inc. Payment by credit card, requires completion of 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.
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.
THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE
Our office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 12 noon to 6 pm on Fridays. On Saturdays when there is no office coverage, clients are to remain in the waiting room until their counselor greets them. Any co-pays or balances due are given directly to their counselor. Ginger Martin is our Office Manager, Melinda Gray is our Afternoon/Evening Administrative Assistant and Becky Koduru is our Friday Administrative Assistant.
INSURANCE AND BILLING
We process our billing and insurance claims are sent 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.
CONTACTING YOUR COUNSELOR
counselors available weekdays, evenings, and Saturdays. Each counselor sets his or her own
schedule. Counselors regularly check
voice mailboxes and make every effort to return phone calls on the day they are
received with the exception of weekends, holidays and vacations.
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 C. J. Hendry staff member in an extreme emergency
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.
At C. J. Hendry & Associates, Inc. you have the responsibility to:
· Familiarize yourself and comply with the C.J. Hendry policies and procedures as outlined in the Client Information Handbook
· Provide complete mental health status information for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatments.
· Participate in your own treatment planning and evaluation of progress.
· Keep all scheduled appointments and adhere to cancellation policies as outlined in the client / counselor agreement.
· Respect the counselors’ and other clients’ time by being on time for all scheduled visits.
· Make certain your fees are paid as established in the client/ counselor agreements.
· Treat all personnel with courtesy and respect.
AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY
In a genuine emergency situation you may call our Answering Service
and leave a message for your counselor.
The answering service receptionist will attempt to contact our Clinical Director 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.
Answering Service & Emergency Number: 216-861-8457