Frequently Asked Questions About Counseling:

 

How Do I Book An Appointment?

Most counseling sessions are 50 minutes in length, although I do offer 20-minute introductory sessions for those who are interested in meeting me before beginning a counseling relationship.

To book an appointment, you can either call my office: (325) 669-9770 or go online to request and appointment: www.therapyappointment.com. Find me by my last name “Bowen.”

How Do I Prepare for My First Appointment?

I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you, and I value our time together. For this reason, I ask that my clients take some time to prepare for their first meeting so that we can ensure that our time together is as productive as possible.

If you requested your first appointment online, you should have been given a user name and password for a www.therapyappointment.com account.

Please use that username and password to go online to complete your new patient paperwork. Find me by my last name, “Bowen, Debbie.” Please note that all information submitted is secure and kept private. If you are using insurance, please have that information available at the time that you register.

Once you have set up an appointment, I will also need to you to complete the Biographical Information Form prior to our first appointment. This form takes about 30 minutes to complete. You have three options for completing this form:

Option 1:

Use the user name and password given to you during the registration period to complete the Biographical Information Form online (www.therapyaapointment.com). Please allow yourself about 30 minutes to complete this form online, as it must be completed all at once.

Option 2:

You can download and print this form, complete it, and bring it to your first appointment.

Biographical Information Form Link

You can also download and print this additional form which explains my office policies as well as your rights under the Federal Privacy Regulations. This form must be signed prior to our first appointment.

Informed Consent and HIPAA Policy

Note: You must be able to read Adobe pdf documents. Free Adobe Reader download: Free Adobe Reader Download

Option 3:

You can arrive 15-20 minutes early to your first appointment to complete these forms at my office.

What Can I Expect from My Counseling Relationship?

Please familiarize yourself with my policies listed below.

Counseling Relationship:

Although some sessions may very intimate psychologically, ours is a professional relationship rather than a social one. Our contact will be limited to counseling sessions you arrange with me. Please do not invite me to social gatherings, ask me to write references for you, or ask me to relate to you in any way other that the professional context of our counseling sessions. You will be best served if out sessions concentrate exclusively on your concerns. Upon occasion, if appropriate, I might request audio or video taping for educational purposes. Please inform me if you would be comfortable with this and your wishes will be respected.

Effects of Counseling:

While benefits of counseling are expected, specific results are not guaranteed. Counseling is a personal exploration and may lead to major changes in your life perspectives and decisions. These changes may affect significant relationships, your job, and/or your understanding of yourself. Some of these changes could be temporarily distressing. The exact nature of these changes cannot be predicted. Together we will work to achieve the best possible results for you.

Client Rights and Responsibilities:

Some clients need only a few counseling sessions to achieve their goals; others may require months or even years of counseling. As a client, you are in complete control and may end our counseling relationship at any time, though I do ask that you participate in a summary session. You also have the right to refuse or discuss modification of any of my counseling techniques or suggestions that you believe are harmful. You agree to come to counseling free from the influence of drugs including alcohol. I assure that my services will be rendered in a professional manner consistent with accepted legal ethical standards. If at any time for any reason you are dissatisfied with my services, please let me know so we can resolve it.

Referrals:

Should you and/or I believe that a referral elsewhere is needed, I will provide some alternatives including programs and/or people who may be available to assist you. You will be responsible for contacting and evaluating those referrals and/or alternatives.

Fees:

In return for a fee of $100 per session, I agree to provide counseling services for you. The fee for each session will be due and must be paid at the conclusion of each session. Cash, checks, or credit cards are acceptable for payment. The fee for group sessions is $25 per person per session. If for any reason I am called testify in your behalf, you must agree to pay the cost whenever the request may occur. If you have insurance and your insurance company pays for mental health services, please present your insurance card so that I may verify benefits for outpatient counseling services. By your signature at the end of this document, you give me permission to provide any necessary information required of your insurance carrier in order for your claim to be filed by my office. I will discuss any questions you have concerning my fee.

Consent to Treatment:

You hereby authorize me to conduct assessments and treatments as may be deemed necessary for the best interest and care of yourself and/or for your child. You understand that treatment plans and goals will be jointly established as a part of the assessment and counseling process.

Records and Confidentiality:

All of our communication becomes part of the clinical record. Records are property of my confidential files. Client files are disposed of five years after the file is closed. Most of our communication is confidential, but the following limitations are exceptions that do exist:
(1) It is determined that you are in danger to yourself or someone else
(2) If you disclose abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a child, elderly, or disabled person
(3) If you disclose sexual contact with another mental health professional
(4) If I am ordered by a court to disclose information
(5) If you direct me to release your records
(6) If I am otherwise required by law to disclose information

If I see you in public, I will protect you confidentiality by acknowledging you only if you approach me first.
In the case of marriage or family counseling, I will keep confidential (within the limits cited above) anything you disclose to me without your family member’s knowledge. However, I encourage open communication between family members and I reserve the right to terminate our counseling relationship if I judge the secret to be detrimental to the therapeutic progress.

Cancellations:

In the event that you will be unable to keep an appointment, please notify me at least 24 hours in advance. If you fail to give me this advance notice you will be billed accordingly. If you are absent for two weeks in a row without notice, your name will be dropped off the appointment roll.