You are here: Home -> Getting Started with Sessions
If you have read the earlier pages of my website and you are interested in working with me, there are a few things we need to discuss. I would like to have a (free) telephone conversation with you before we move further. I want to make sure I am qualified to help you with the issues you want help with. If I am not qualified to help you, I will let you know and we can talk about how to find someone who is. I also want you to understand the limits of confidentiality and how I handle information you give me during our work together. Please call me at 888-933-3539 and we can setup a good time for both of us to talk.
If you think I can help you, and I think I can help you, I will mail you an intake packet. This intake packet includes information about me, who I am and who I am not. It also includes what you can expect from sessions with me as well as benefits and risks of sessions. This is part of what is called "Informed Consent". The packet also includes a number of consent forms you need to complete and mail back to me before we can start. I will include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with the packet. (A number of those forms can be found at the bottom of this page.)
If needed, we can have a second (free) telephone conversation to go over any questions you might have about the material in the packet. This way of doing things is different than if we were to meet in my office (which is not possible during the pandemic). So bear with me.
There are some things we need to have in place in order to work together:
In order to send you my intake packet, I will need a mailing address for you. At the end of our initial conversation, I will ask you for a mailing address.
Normal email is not encrypted. It is bascially a postcard anyone can read. Most free email services read your email so they can sell your information to advertisers, etc. In working together online we need to exchange private information, such as the issues/problems you want to work on, depression and anxiety assessments, a medication list and so forth. We may need to do that on a regular basis. This is called Protected Health Information (PHI).
In order to protect your personal health information we need to use email encryption; this encryption makes whatever is in the email message unreadable, except by you and me. There has been an internet standard since the 1990s called "Pretty Good Privacy" (PGP) that makes your email unreadable. If you know about PGP I'd be happy to exchange public keys with you. If the term "public key" is gobbledegook to you, an encrypted email service called Protonmail.com is available to you free of charge. I have a business account with them; they are HIPAA-compliant. When you have the time, please look into getting an account with Protonmail.com
We can have sessions by phone or video. If we use phone calls, you give me a phone number and when our appointment time comes, I call you. Simple.
For video sessions you will need a PC, laptop, tablet or cell phone. You will need to use a web browser (Firefox or Google Chrome) and login to my video session portal. If problems arise, I'll be happy help.
To get to my video session portal, please click here. You might want to try this from your device (PC, laptop, etc.) and see if any problems arise.
Appointments are available Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. My last appointment starts at 7pm during the week and 11am on Saturdays.
Below are some of the forms I will include in the packet I mail you. If you click on the links, you can view, download and print the forms. Reading them will give you a good idea of who I am as a psychologist, what I can and cannot do. I need to know some things about you and you need to give me permission to handle your information in various ways. You need to know the limits of confidentiality and what our agreement to work together looks like. Please read the forms.
The Practice Brochure helps you know who I am and what I am qualified to do and not do. It also presents my office procedures, gives me permission to bill your insurance company (if you are using insurance) and discusses the limits of confidentiality. Informing you about who I am and what to expect during our work together is part of a process called "Informed Consent". Informed consent helps you understand what seeing a psychologist is about. Please read the form. I will review it with you and answer any questions you may have.
Here is the Practice Brochure as a fillable form (PDF). It can be filled-out on your computer or downloaded, printed and filled-out by hand.
The form discusses the potential benefits and potential risks of using vido conferencing and telephone calls to have therapy sessions. Since my sessions will all be via video conferencing or telephone calls, we need to review the do's and don'ts of conducting sessions "remotely", that is not in my office.
Here is the Telepsychology Informed Consent form as a fillable form (PDF). It can be filled-out on your computer or downloaded, printed and filled-out by hand.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a law designed, among other things, to protect and ensure confidential handling of your protected health information (PHI). The information about HIPAA is contained in The Privacy Notice. Please read it and sign the consent form. I will answer any questions you may have about privacy and confidentiality before or during our first session. The consent form has to be completed before our first session.
Here is the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices Consent Form as a fillable form (PDF). Please complete and sign.
Here is the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices - brief version in PDF format. Please download and read.
Here is the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices - long version in PDF format. Please download and read if you would like more detail than the brief version.
This form asks you basic information about who you are, how to contact you, who to contact in the event of an emergency, what your goals are in therapy, and any previous problems or issues you may have experienced. Please read it. We will review it together during our first session.
Here is the New Client Questionnaire as a fillable form (PDF). It can be filled-out on your computer or downloaded, printed and filled-out by hand.
Please read my Privacy page to learn how I protect your privacy and confidentiality.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call: 888-933-3539.
I’d be happy to speak with you.