Policies 

Therapeutic Intentions

The intention of therapy is personal and relational change. My intention is to work with clients to determine the nature of their concerns, the meaning of the problem, personal and relational strengths, resources available, and possible solutions to the problem. Therapy works best when the client and therapist hold compatible intentions and pursue collaborative goals.

Risks of Participating in Therapy

You might get better. You might stay the same. You might feel worse. You might acquire new energy for living. You might irritate people around you. You might become more sensitive. You might get angry. Past wounds may be opened. Past wounds may be healed. Working through established ineffective patterns will take time and effort. Often, clients report an undulating wave, generally rising toward the goals of therapy. Part of therapy will include exploration of the role feelings, thoughts and action play in our living. You might learn how culture has played a role in how you define you. In good therapy, over time, people generally do get better.

Confidentiality

Everything communicated by you to me in session is confidential, protected health information. It will not be shared except as needed with insurers, the courts and people the therapist believes are in imminent danger and anonymously in the context of professional supervision.  Confidential information will not be released except in emergencies, and only with a signed release of information. A HIPPA policy is provided via our secure portal.

Mandated Reporting

State law requires the therapist to report information to appropriate authorities when they are aware of or become concerned about imminent harm to a child or other party. This may include harm or death to others or self, neglect, and physical or sexual abuse. By law, the therapist has a duty to report on issues of imminent harm, abuse or neglect involving children less than 18 years old, and vulnerable adults. The therapist is obligated also to act on any convincing expressed intents to harm any individual or self.

Crisis Plan

Clients experience life through a vast continuum between overwhelming fear and ultimate safety. Crises are on this continuum, at different points for different people.The client and therapist wish for, and work toward, decreased fear reaction, improved fear response and increased safety and security. As needed, a crisis action plan is collaboratively created and identifies what an emergency is, best responses, and resources to call for assistance. It is a back up for when clear thinking might go off line.

Referrals

Often, you will have been referred to me by another professional or a friend. I will share no information with them, and will not acknowledge the referral in any way. As in any business, referrals matter for your friends and for the therapist. All referrals are welcome, encouraged and appreciated. Thank you in advance for your referral of another potential client.

Quality of Service

I strive to provide effective personal clinical services. Expectations about therapy are discussed in our first session. If you are not satisfied with the service at any time, first talk with me. A discussion will usually result in the most positive outcomes. If there is no resolution, you may discuss the situation with WAMFT, AAMFT, and /or the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Protection, Licensing Division.

Allergens & Sensitivities

Out of respect to other clients and staff, pets will not be allowed in the therapy office. Due to the individual sensitivities of many, the office strives to remain free of added perfumes, fragrance, residual tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. Coffee and tea are welcome.

Dual Relationships

Dual relationships occur when the therapist and client engage in another relationship outside of therapy…which often happens in small towns. Professionally this is not advised and is best avoided, yet sometimes acceptable. This might include when the client and therapist share membership in a local organization. When both parties see each other’s information on social media, when the therapist’s carpenter asks for therapy services. Because the therapeutic relationship is unique among all other relationships, blending them with other relationships may diminish both. If a dual relationship appears, the therapist and client will explore the need, the advantages and disadvantages and choose an appropriate, documented course of action. Critical to the success of such a relationship is relational clarity and compartmentalization. Essential is that each party treats each other fairly and makes only reasonable agreements while maintaining privacy, confidentiality and clarity of the specific roles.

Home Visits & Family Therapy

A common form of therapy is to meet in the home with the client and their family on a regular basis. Explanations of situations pale by comparison to actually experiencing the situation. Work on ‘individual’ concerns is often more effective when the entire family is involved. Sometimes a family comes for service as the client, and we may need to work individually with family members. In family therapy, each member is held in high regard by the therapist. The availability of this service is dependent on insurance coverage, available programs, and other variables. I do provide in-home services through the Recovery and Wellness Consortium of Western Wisconsin.

Secrets Policy

The therapist’s professional bias is against the practice of keeping secrets because secrets are often about coercively effecting a change in the personal power differential between family members. Like lies, it is hard to remember details of a secret. Secrets about current or imminent harm to children and life threatening events cannot be kept and will be reported.