OverView of POLICIES
please see each page for complete detailed information
CANCELLATIONS OR MISSED APPOINTMENTS
We require 72 hours (three business days) notice for cancelled appointments in advance of your appointment. If you do not provide the required notice, you are responsible for payment for the missed session. For therapy to be effective, weekly continuity is essential. When you make this commitment, we reserve you a regular, ongoing appointment time that is not available as an open slot that could be offered to new patients or for rescheduling appointments.
Please note that San Francisco Intimacy & Sex Therapy Center does not work with insurance panels, but does provide therapy invoices to the client to submit to their insurance for out-of-network reimbursement after full payments. Services may be covered by your health insurance or employee benefit plan if they offer out of network services. Please keep in mind that all insurance companies require a diagnosis to approve your claim. If you do have out of network coverage, we are happy to give you an invoice (called a superbill) to submit to your provider. .
Payment for therapy is made at the time of your visit. Your clinician will provide you with an invoice of services on a monthly basis. You must submit this invoice to your insurance company to receive reimbursement. We are considered an "out of network" provider. If you are considering using health insurance to cover the costs of therapy, it is important to know that insurance companies and plans vary according to their coverage of mental health benefits. It is important, therefore, to research your coverage prior to commencing therapy. You would pay us and then get reimbursed if that is the arrangement you have with your insurance provider. We cannot guarantee reimbursement but are happy to walk you through a list of questions to ask your insurance provider.
INSURANCE QUESTIONS CHECK LIST
Please check your coverage carefully by asking the following questions:
- Do I have “Out-of-Network” insurance benefits for “Outpatient Mental Health Services”?
- Is Couples, sex or family therapy covered?
- What is my deductible and has it been met?
- How many sessions per year does my health insurance cover?
- What is the coverage amount per therapy session (percentage and monetary amount)?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician?
RISKS & BENEFITS:
Because therapy often includes discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings such as anger, sadness, guilt, or frustration as a result. On the other hand, psychotherapy has also been shown to have benefits for people who go through it. Therapy may lead to better relationships, more intimate sex, solutions to specific problems, and reductions in feelings of distress. The length of treatment will vary and will depend on your own goals and the complexity of the issues addressed. Your couples counselor welcomes your questions or comments about your work together, including if you have any negative reactions or questions.
Legal and ethical responsibilities require that your therapy sessions remain confidential. Therefore the information discussed during your therapy sessions is confidential with some exceptions. Furthermore, no information will be released to another professional or agency without your written consent. Exceptions will be made only if you endanger, or may endanger, yourself or others, and/or in the case of child abuse or elder abuse. In these cases California law requires your therapist to share certain information with specific outside parties,
san Francisco Intimacy & Sex THERAPY CENTER IS A FRAGRANCE-FREE ENVIRONMENT.
We believe in a collaborative approach to helping people in our community to have happier and healthier lives. When a person wears chemical fragrances that impact the health and wellbeing of their therapist, many other clients are affected because the remaining sessions that day and perhaps even the following day must be canceled. We also must create a safe and inclusive environment for our chemically sensitive clients. We strive to honor the individual and community needs in making a safe place, emotionally and physically, to all who enter North Berkeley Couples Therapy Center.
Please do not enter SFISTC's building, offices or waiting room if you or anyone with you is wearing any perfume/cologne or any other scented products to an appointment.
At least one of our therapists suffers a potentially life threatening asthmatic response to the chemicals in many scented products. Also many of our clients also live with chemical sensitives. Therefore our policy is that you will be asked to immediately leave if you come to your therapy appointment wearing perfume, cologne or other fragrances. You will be responsible for your full session fee.
Thank you for not wearing any of the following during your visit:
• Cologne & Perfume,
• After-shave lotion,
• Perfumed hand lotions,
• Fragranced hair products, and/or similar products.
Our chemically sensitive therapists and clients thank you for your understanding and cooperation,
EMAIL & ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION
The transmission of client information by email and/or texting has a number of risks that clients should consider prior to the use of email and/or texting. These include, but are not limited to, the following risks:
a. Email and texts can be circulated, forwarded, stored electronically and on paper, and broadcast to unintended recipients.
b. Email and text senders can easily misaddress an email or text and send the information to an undesired recipient.
c. Backup copies of emails and texts may exist even after the sender and/or the recipient has deleted his or her copy.
d. Employers and on-line services have a right to inspect emails sent through their company systems.
e. Emails and texts can be intercepted, altered, forwarded or used without authorization or detection.
f. Email and texts can be used as evidence in court.
g. Emails and texts may not be secure and therefore it is possible that the confidentiality of such communications may be breached by a third party.
Therapist cannot guarantee but will use reasonable means to maintain security and confidentiality of email and text information sent and received. Therapist is not liable for improper disclosure of confidential information that is not caused by Therapist’s intentional misconduct. Clients/Parent’s/Legal Guardians acknowledge and consent to the following conditions:
a. Email and texting is not appropriate for urgent or emergency situations. Provider cannot guarantee that any particular email and/or text will be read and responded to within any particular period of time.
b. Email and texts should be concise. The client/parent/legal guardian should call and/or schedule an appointment to discuss complex and/or sensitive situations.
c. All email will usually be printed and filed into the client’s medical record. Texts may be printed and filed as well.
d. Provider will not forward client’s/parent’s/legal guardian’s identifiable emails and/or texts without the client’s/parent’s/legal guardian’s written consent, except as authorized by law.
e. Clients/parents/legal guardians should not use email or texts for communication of sensitive medical information.
f. Provider is not liable for breaches of confidentiality caused by the client or any third party. g. It is the client’s/parent’s/legal guardian’s responsibility to follow up and/or schedule an appointment if warranted.