315.288.3900

The Counseling Collective at Breathing Space*

Policies and Procedures

At The Counseling Collective (TCC), we strive to give you our very best in order to enhance your experience with us. We adhere to certain policies to benefit you, and create a harmonious environment where our therapists and teachers can focus on your needs. We know you will have a pleasant experience with us as we strive to exceed your expectations!

Licenses/Limited Permit Licenses
TCC has clinicians in varying stages of professional development. We have Intern therapists, Limited Permit therapists, and fully licensed therapists. Interns are in their final phase of graduate work in completing their Master's Degree.  Limited Permit clinicians have graduated and are pursuing final requirements for NY State licensure and are working as Mental Health Counselors as defined by NY State under a Limited Permit License issued by NY State. All clinicians are supervised by a NY State Licensed clinician. You have the right to inquire as to the degrees and credentials your therapist holds.

Withdrawal
Withdrawal from treatment is your prerogative. Due to the nature of therapy, relationships are established over time. It is often beneficial if we have a final meeting to provide closure. If you choose to leave our services and request it, we will be happy to provide names of other clinicians that you might prefer.

Ask
You have the right to ask questions about any procedures used during therapy; if you wish, your therapist will explain the approach and methods used. You have the right to ask for an another opinion from another therapist.

Records
We are required to maintain complete treatment records. Patients are entitled to receive a copy of these records, unless we believe the information would be emotionally damaging. Patients are not entitled to Psychotherapy Notes. Patients will be charged an appropriate fee for preparation. If you use third party reimbursement, we are required to provide the insurer with clinical information at their request.

Limitation of the Therapy Contract
Your therapist is not a physician and cannot prescribe medication or give recommendations about physical problems. Nevertheless, depending on the nature of the presenting problems, your therapist might require you to consult with a physician before proceeding with therapy. Your therapist cannot guarantee that each person’s goals in therapy will be met completely. Seeking to resolve issues between family members and
other persons can lead to discomfort, as well as relationship changes that may not be originally intended.

Late Policy
Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your visit to allow ample time to prepare for your treatment. Arriving late will simply limit the time for your treatment, reducing its effectiveness. Your treatment will end on time, so that the next appointment is not delayed.
If arrival is delayed, we will make every effort to accommodate your full appointment, but this is not always possible. Service time may be abbreviated to avoid delays for other appointments, and are charged at full value.

Cancellation and No Show Policy
Appointments that cannot be kept must give at least a 24-hour notice by calling or texting 315. 288.3900 – NOT email. Email will not be considered if less than 24-hours notice is given. If you fail to attend the session, you will be charged for a full session.

Fees and Session Length
Sessions are usually 53 minutes in length.
The initial visit is billed as follows: Licensed Clinician ~ $140 Limited Permit or Intern Clinician ~ $100
For subsequent visits: Licensed Clinician ~ $125 Limited Permit Clinician or Intern ~ $85
We have a sliding fee scale for clients seeing interns for their therapy.
In addition to scheduled appointments, there may be times that we charge for other professional services you may need. Other services may include report writing, telephone conversations lasting longer than 15 minutes, consulting with other professionals with your permission, preparation of records or treatment summaries, and the time spent performing any other service you may request of us.

Telephone Accessibility
If you need to contact your therapist between sessions, please leave a message on their voice mail. They may not be immediately available; however, will attempt to return your call within 24 hours. Please note that  face-to-face sessions are highly preferable to phone sessions. However, in the event that you are out of town, sick or need additional support, phone sessions are available.

If a true emergency situation arises, please call 911 or any local emergency room.

Payments
TCC therapists are not on any insurance panels and TCC will not submit any claims to insurance companies for payment. Some insurance policies will reimburse therapy services if client has “out-of-network” mental health benefits. The exact amount of reimbursement, if any, depends on individual policies and it is your responsibility to learn your policy. To our knowledge, Limited Permit and intern therapists are not reimbursable under any insurance plans. Please check with yours to know for sure.Payment is expected at the time of service and TCC is not responsible for insurance company decisions.
TCC accepts cash, checks, and credit cards as payment.

Statements
You will be supplied with a paid statement (Superbill) via and protected email link on a monthly basis. If you require a printed copy, please let us know. Statements will include all information necessary for your insurance company to determine possible reimbursement. The responsibility to submit to your insurance company lies with you, the client.

Past Due Accounts
If an account is 3 sessions past due, no further appointments will be made until the balance is brought up-to-date. Processing past due accounts is expensive. A $25 re-billing charge will be added to all accounts with overdue balances (unpaid charges older than 60 days) unless other arrangements have been made. All overdue accounts (unpaid after 90 days) will be submitted to a collection agency. If such action is necessary, all legal and collection costs will be included in the claim. In most collection situations, the only information released regarding treatment is the client’s name, nature of the services provided, and the amount due.

Prices Subject to Change
We are constantly expanding our offerings to bring you the latest and greatest service. Although we make every effort to keep our website and menu updated, please note that prices and services are subject to change at any time.

Social Media and Telecommunication
Due to the importance of your confidentiality and the importance of minimizing dual relationships, we do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). We believe that adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.

Electronic Communication and E-Counseling
All electronic counseling whether phone or video counseling will be conducted in compliance with New York State law. You understand that these services are being conducted in New York State. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office. E-Counseling may or may not be reimbursed through your insurance company.

We cannot ensure the confidentiality of any form of communication through electronic media, including text messages. If you prefer to communicate via email or text messaging for issues regarding scheduling or cancellations, please speak with your therapist, as each will have their own personal way of handling this. While we may try to return messages in a timely manner, we cannot guarantee immediate response and
request that you do not use these methods of communication to discuss therapeutic content and/or request assistance for emergencies.

Services by electronic means, including but not limited to telephone communication, the Internet, facsimile machines, and e-mail is considered telemedicine by the State of California. Under the California Telemedicine Act of 1996, telemedicine is broadly defined as the use of information technology to deliver medical services and information from one location to another. If you and your therapist chose to use information technology
for some or all of your treatment, you need to understand that:
(1) You retain the option to withhold or withdraw consent at any time without affecting the right to future care or treatment or risking the loss or withdrawal of any program benefits to which you would otherwise be entitled.
(2) All existing confidentiality protections are equally applicable.
(3) Your access to all medical information transmitted during a telemedicine consultation is guaranteed, and copies of this information are available for a reasonable fee.
(4) Dissemination of any of your identifiable images or information from the telemedicine interaction to researchers or other entities shall not occur without your consent.
(5) There are potential risks, consequences, and benefits of telemedicine. Potential benefits include, but are not limited to improved communication capabilities, providing convenient access to up-to-date information, consultations, support, reduced costs, improved quality, change in the conditions of practice, improved access to therapy, better continuity of care, and reduction of lost work time and travel costs. Effective therapy is often facilitated when the therapist gathers within a session or a series of sessions, a multitude of observations, information, and experiences about the client. Therapists may make clinical assessments, diagnosis, and interventions based not only on direct verbal or auditory communications, written reports, and third person consultations, but also from direct visual and olfactory observations, information, and experiences. When using information technology in therapy services, potential risks include, but are not limited to the therapist’s inability to make visual and olfactory observations of clinically or therapeutically potentially relevant issues such as: your physical condition including apparent height and weight, body type, attractiveness relative to social and cultural norms or standards, gait and motor coordination, posture, work speed, any noteworthy mannerism or gestures, physical or medical conditions including bruises or injuries, basic grooming and hygiene including appropriateness of dress, eye contact (including any changes in the previously listed issues), sex, chronological and apparent age, ethnicity, facial and body language, and congruence of language and facial or bodily expression. Potential consequences thus include the therapist not being aware of what he or she would consider important information, that you may not recognize as significant to present verbally the therapist.

Legal Proceedings
If you become involved in legal proceedings that require the participation of any TCC therapist, you will be expected to pay for all professional time, including preparation and transportation costs, even if called to testify by another party. Because of the complexity of legal involvement, deposit of $500 is required before any preparation and attendance at any legal proceeding. This hourly rate for attending all legal involvement is $200.

Restrictions
As a consideration to other clients, please turn off your cell phone or pager while in the studio.
We suggest that you leave your valuable items at home when coming to TCC. TCC will not be responsible for loss or damage of your personal items.
We do not allow smoking inside our offices or anywhere on the property.

Thank you for chosing The Counseling Collective. Please do not hesitate to ask questions if you need more information!

*The Couseling Collective and Breathing Space are each a d/b/a of Meghan M. Tobin, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, PC