Welcome to Affordable Mental Health Counseling Services of Sarasota, P.L. offered to you by Clark West, NCC, LMHC, Licensed Mental Health Counselor. The following information answers some questions clients often ask about any therapy practice. It is important to me for you to know how we will work together. I believe our work will be most helpful to you when you have a clear idea of what we are trying to do.
Private Pay Only ( Cash / Checks) – Credit Cards are not accepted - Individual sessions are $60. Couples Counseling Sessions are $80 per session. This is usually less than the Co-Pays of most Insurance Companies. Everyone has the right to good mental health counseling and to not have the cost be an additional burden.
What to Expect from Our Relationship
As a professional, I will use my best knowledge and skills to help you. Let me explain these limits, so you will not think they are personal responses to you.
You can trust me not to tell anyone else what you tell me, except in certain limited situations. I will explain what those are in the “About Confidentiality” section of this information. During our professional relationship, even though you might invite me, I will not attend your family gatherings, such as parties or weddings. As your therapist, I will not give you gifts, and while gifts you give me are appreciated, I will be careful in accepting any gifts from clients if I feel they might change our professional relationship. This would be considered a dual relationship and I need to ensure that our relationship remains therapeutic in nature.
I will treat with great care all the information you share with me. It is your legal right that our sessions and my records about you are kept private. That is why I ask you to sign a “release-of-information” form before I can talk about you or send my records about you to anyone else. I will make every reasonable attempt to not reveal that you are receiving treatment from me. In all but a few rare situations, your confidentiality is mandated by state law and by the rules of my profession.
Here are the most common cases in which confidentiality is not protected and no authorization is required:
1. If you were referred to me by a court or an employer for treatment or some type of evaluation, the court or employer may expect a report from me.
2. I may receive a subpoena or court order to release your treatment notes.
3. If you make a serious threat to harm yourself or another person, the law requires me to report you and/or that other person. This usually means telling others about the threat. I will not promise to not tell others about threats you make.
4. If there is substantiated evidence of a child being abused or will be abused or neglected, I am legally required to report this to the authorities. If an elderly person is being abused in any way or taken advantage of financially, I am legally required to report this.
5. If we are doing couples or family therapy I cannot guarantee that information you disclose will be kept confidential by other members in therapy. The same is true if we are doing group therapy.
About Our Appointments
Like most therapists, I schedule 50-minute sessions and we will agree how often we will meet. Hopefully, we will be able to lock in a time for your session each week. I will attempt to tell you at least a week in advance of my vacations or any other times we cannot meet. If you cancel an appointment for a particular week, please note that it is often difficult to reschedule for that week. All efforts will be made to do so.
An appointment is a commitment to our work. We agree to meet at my office and to be on time. If I am ever unable to start on time, I ask your understanding since occasionally emergencies arise with other clients in the course of a day. I also assure you that you will receive the full time agreed to. If you are late, we will most likely be unable to meet for the full time, because it is likely that I will have another appointment after yours.
A cancelled appointment delays our work. I will consider our meetings very important and ask you to do the same. Please try not to miss sessions if you can possibly help it. If you must cancel, you must give me a minimum of a 24 hour notice.
I request that you do not bring children with you if they are young and need babysitting or supervision, which I cannot provide. If you cancel or miss four sessions in a row, I will take this action as an “action of termination” by you and assume that our counseling relationship has been terminated. As a reality therapist I believe we choose our behavior and we are responsible for our growth. When you miss or cancel sessions, to me you are demonstrating a lack of commitment to your treatment.