Legal Issues & Consent
As a health care provider and licensed psychologist in the State of California, I am required to follow the procedures of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and California State Law. During consultation, clients will be provided with a Service Agreement, which addresses issues of confidentiality, consent to evaluation/treatment, fees, and other important information. It will be important for clients to review this information and ask questions about any concerns.
Payment for consultation and for individual psychotherapy sessions is required at the beginning of your scheduled appointment. Methods of payment include cash, check, or money order. I do not contract with, nor do I directly bill insurance companies. You may submit a claim to your insurance if you wish.
Some services, such as initial consultations, involve charges only for the time spent in face-to-face contact. Other services, such as assessment, require time outside of face-to-face contact, such as scoring and interpretation of administered tests, report writing, consultation with other parties, etc. Specific policies (e.g. regarding payment of assessment fees) will be provided to you should you become my client.
My office procedures are different if you are requesting that my services be paid by a third party (e.g. school districts, attorneys, etc.). Please see my “Guide for Parents and 3rd-Party Payors.”
Consultation is an interactive process, as only you are the “expert” when it comes to your child. Initial office consultation is the beginning of the assessment. Consultation allows you a chance to voice your concerns and ask questions. It allows me to interview you and to begin forming hypotheses about your child’s problems, and begin to identify what kind of assessment or other service you may need. Sometimes parents have already had testing performed by another source and need a psychologist to review and explain previous evaluations. I would like to review records you may have, so please bring any pertinent information with you.
After the initial visit, consultation is then on a case-by-case basis, and may include phone calls to you, to your child’s school, to your child’s physician, etc. depending on your individual needs.
Assessment & Diagnosis
Cost for assessment varies greatly according to your questions and/or presenting problems. For example, IQ testing or giftedness assessment (see “What’s Your IQ?”) are relatively short, whereas a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment (see “Neuropsychology Questions”) is much more time consuming. Assessment cost estimates will include face-to-face evaluation time, scoring and interpretation of results, report-writing, and follow-up feedback consultation. In most cases, I will give you an estimate during your initial consultation.
“Testing” is not assessment. Proper assessment is the backbone of diagnosis and subsequent recommendations for remediation. Without it, you and your child can spin your wheels for years and not understand why. This is easily understood if you think about it in the following way: If your auto mechanic improperly assesses the funny noise or other difficulty you are having with your car, your problem will remain despite considerable output of time and money.
I provide varying levels of assessment, according to your child’s presenting problems and your financial restrictions. I believe that when assessment is indicated, some assessment, performed by a doctor who was specifically trained with children and adolescents, is better than none at all.
Individual psychotherapy sessions for children and adolescents are 45 minutes, and are billed at one hour. The other 15 minutes are used for my notes and for giving you brief progress updates. Because I do not bill insurance, and psychotherapy is often a benefit provided by insurance, I usually encourage parents to use their insurance benefit if psychotherapy is indicated. If you wish to use your insurance, you should contact your insurance company for a list of providers.
I routinely provide parental training in behavioral intervention so that they may become “therapists” in their own home. Behavioral intervention usually entails parent training and ongoing consultation.
Disclaimer & Privacy Statement
The information provided on this website does not constitute legal or psychological advice. I am not an attorney. Although I am a psychologist, I cannot act as your doctor unless we have established a professional relationship.
I cannot promise to answer e-mails, and e-mails or phone contacts do not constitute a professional relationship. If you have an emergency, dial 911 and request mental health help.
I am not responsible for advertising about my services or listings about my services that have not been authorized by me (i.e. local parent handbooks, etc.).
If you are having a legal or psychological problem, contact a professional. While several useful self help books and groups exist, it is recommended you seek the help of a professional before taking any actions or choosing inaction.
By using this website or in contacting me, your email address or any other personal information will not be shared with or sold to anyone.