Welcome to our practice. This document contains important information about our professional services and business policies. Please read it carefully and jot down any questions you might have so that we can discuss them at our next meeting. When you sign this document, it will represent an agreement between us.
Psychotherapy/ Emotional Intelligence Therapy/ Counselling is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities of the psychologist/ therapist and client, and the particular problems you hope to address. There are many different methods we may use to deal with those problems. It is not like a medical doctor visit. Instead, it calls for a very active effort on your part. In order for the therapy to be most successful, you will have to work on things we talk about both during our sessions and at home.
Therapy can have benefits and risks. Because therapy often involves discussing unpleasant aspects of your life, you may experience uncomfortable feelings like sadness, guilt, anger, frustration, loneliness, and helplessness. On the other hand, counselling/ therapy has also been shown to have benefits for people who go through it. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. But there are no guarantees as to what you will experience.
Our first few sessions will involve an evaluation of your needs. By the end of the evaluation, we will be able to offer you some first impressions of what our work will include and a treatment plan to follow, if you decide to continue with therapy. You should evaluate this information along with your own opinions about whether you feel comfortable working with us. At the end of the evaluation, we will notify you if we believe that we are not the right therapists for you and, if so, we will give you referrals to other practitioners whom we believe are better suited to help you.
Therapy involves a commitment of time, money, and energy, so you should be very careful about the therapist you select. If you have questions about our procedures, we should discuss them whenever they arise. If your doubts persist, we will be happy to help you set up a meeting with another mental health professional for a second opinion.
We normally conduct an evaluation that will last from 1 to 4 sessions. During this time, we can both decide if we are the best therapists to provide the services you need in order to meet your treatment goals. If we agree to begin therapy, we will usually schedule one [60-minute] session (one appointment hour of  minutes duration) per week, at a time we agree on, although some sessions may be longer or more frequent. Once an appointment hour is scheduled, you will be expected to pay for it unless you provide 24 hours [1 day] advance notice of cancellation [unless we both agree that you were unable to attend due to circumstances beyond your control]. [If it is possible, we will try to find another time to reschedule the appointment.]
We have a rotating hourly fee starting from PKR. 1,500 (online) and PKR. 2,000 (in person). If we meet more than the usual time, we will charge accordingly. In addition to weekly appointments, we charge this same hourly rate for other professional services you may need, though we will prorate the hourly cost if we work for periods of less than one hour.
Other professional services include report writing, telephone conversations lasting longer than 20 minutes, attendance at meetings with other professionals you have authorized, preparation of treatment summaries, and the time spent performing any other service you may request of us. If you become involved in legal proceedings that require our participation, you will be expected to pay for any professional time we spend on your legal matter, even if the request comes from another party. [We charge PKR. 5,000 per hour for professional services we are asked or required to perform in relation to your legal matter. We also charge a copying fee of PKR. 100 per page for records requests.]
BILLING AND PAYMENTS
You will be expected to pay for each session at the time it is held, unless we agree otherwise. Payment schedules for other professional services will be agreed to when such services are requested. [In circumstances of unusual financial hardship, we may be willing to negotiate a fee adjustment or payment installment plan.]
If your account has not been paid for more than 60 days and arrangements for payment have not been agreed upon, we have the option of using legal means to secure the payment. This may involve hiring a collection agency or going through small claims court. [If such legal action is necessary, its costs will be included in the claim.] In most collection situations, the only information we will release regarding a client’s treatment is his/her name, the dates, times, and nature of services provided, and the amount due.
We are often not immediately available by telephone. Though we are usually in our practice between [11 AM and 9 PM], we probably will not answer the phone when we are with a client. When we are unavailable, you are advised to leave a WhatsApp audio or text message. We will make every effort to return your call on the same day you make it, with the exception of weekends and holidays. If you are difficult to reach, please inform us of some times when you will be available. [In emergencies, you can try us at our cell number.] If you are unable to reach us and feel that you cannot wait for us to return your call, contact your family physician or the nearest emergency room and ask for the psychologist [psychotherapist] on call. If we will be unavailable for an extended time, we will provide you with the name of a colleague to contact, if necessary.
CONFIDENTIALITY [for adult clients]
In general, the privacy of all communications between a client and a psychologist/therapist is protected by law, and we can only release information about our work to others with your written permission. But there are a few exceptions.
In most legal proceedings, you have the right to prevent us from providing any information about your treatment. In some legal proceedings, a judge may order our testimony if he/she determines that the issues demand it, and we must comply with that court order. There are some situations in which we are legally obligated to take action to protect others from harm, even if we have to reveal some information about a client’s treatment. For example, if we believe that a child [elderly person or disabled person] is being abused or has been abused, we must [may be required to] make a report to the appropriate law enforcement or state agency.
If we believe that a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another, we must [may be] required to take protective actions. These actions may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, or seeking hospitalization for the client. If the client threatens to harm himself/herself, we may be obligated to seek hospitalization for him/her or to contact family members or others who can help provide protection. If a similar situation occurs in the course of our work together, we will attempt to fully discuss it with you before taking any action. To reduce the risk of harm from firearms, we are required by law to call the police where you live, if we believe there is an imminent risk of harm to you or another.
We may occasionally find it helpful to consult other professionals about a case. During a consultation, we make every effort to avoid revealing the identity of our client. The consultant is also legally bound to keep the information confidential. Ordinarily, we will not tell you about these consultations unless we believe that it is important to our work together.
Although this written summary of exceptions to confidentiality is intended to inform you about potential issues that could arise, it is important that we discuss any questions or concerns that you may have at our next meeting. We will be happy to discuss these issues with you and provide clarification when possible. However, if you need specific clarification or advice that we are unable to provide, formal legal advice may be needed, as the laws governing confidentiality are quite complex and we are not attorneys.