Welcome to Capstone Behavioral Health. This document (Patient Information and Policies) contains important information about our professional services and business policies. Although this document is long and sometimes complex, it is very important that you read it carefully before you begin therapy. Your therapist will discuss any questions you have about the procedures prior at your first appointment.
Nature of Treatment
Psychotherapy is not easily described in general statements. It varies depending on the personalities of the psychologist/therapist and client, and the particular problems you are experiencing. There are many different methods a therapist may use to manage the problems that you hope to address. Psychotherapy 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 you talk about with your therapist both during sessions and at home.
Psychotherapy can have benefits and risks. Since 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, psychotherapy also has been shown to have many benefits. Therapy often leads to better relationships, solutions to specific problems, and significant reductions in feelings of distress. But there are no guarantees of what you will experience.
It is important that you and your therapist agree on mutual goals for your sessions. Then you will work together on a treatment plan to examine and question the ways you are coping with your situation in hopes of finding more effective strategies. If your caseworker, judge, or spouse has insisted that you attend therapy, you may be angry or defensive and focus on trying to end the process rather than using it to make your life better. Remember the therapist's focus is you and what changes could make a difference in your life. With that as the focus, therapy may be one of the most significant experiences of your life.
If you are receiving any psychotherapeutic services from another clinician at the present time, please inform your therapist. In most instances it is important for us to coordinate your treatment with the other clinician; in some cases it is inappropriate for us to begin until you have concluded your treatment with the other practitioner.
It is difficult to specify up front how many sessions you will need. That is why we must periodically review your goals to see if they've been met or to see if they must be revised. The decision to continue or stop treatment is, ideally, one that you will make together with your therapist. Please discuss
any concerns you have about your therapist with him/her. If at any point you wish to seek treatment with another clinician within or outside of our agency, you will be provided with referral information.
You may participate in concurrent services if you feel this would be beneficial.
You have the right to know the entirety of your treatment team.
If you would like assistance with access to legal entities for appropriate representation or self-help services Capstone can assist.
Capstone’s therapist adhere to the ethical codes of conduct outlined by the American Psychological Association and the American Counseling Association.
Capstone adheres to a policy of no seclusion or restraints.
If you are prescribed medications, you should be aware of the poison control center. Its phone # Is 1-800-222-1222.
Nature of Assessments
Psychological evaluations will be performed by licensed psychologists are the scientifically-based means used to diagnose behavioral, cognitive, and emotional disorders. They also are used to assess parenting skills, family dynamics, intelligence, personality, or to estimate levels of functioning in various areas. Although assessment is usually intellectual, emotional, or behavioral in focus, it often includes a combination of these areas. Standardized tests and procedures are used as well as interviews.
Psychological assessment usually includes a clinical interview and a battery of psychological, neuropsychological, cognitive, and educational tests.
Appointment/ Cancellation Policy
Therapy sessions typically are held once per week, although the frequency may vary depending upon your needs. Your sessions are held by appointment, and they are one “therapy hour.” Our “therapy hour" is about 45 to 50 minutes in length. That period is reserved for you, so please provide at least 24 hours advance notice if you must cancel. If such notice is not given you may be charged for the session. Your insurance does not cover charges for missed appointments. If you miss multiple sessions your treatment may be discontinued. We have a “3 consecutive no-show” policy which states that if you miss three consecutive appointments without calling 24 hours in advance to cancel, treatment will be discontinued. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late for your scheduled appointment, your therapist has the right to cancel your appointment and you may have to reschedule. If your therapist agrees to see you if you arrive late, your appointment still will end on time and you will be charged for the entire session. If your attendance is mandated and you consent to release of information, your information will be shared with mandating officials regardless of discharge outcome.
As mental health care providers, we are required to follow the procedures of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Nebraska state law, as well as the ethical standards of our professions. We maintain psychotherapy notes regarding your sessions in a secure location. In general, the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychologist or therapist is protected by law, and we can only release information with your written permission. However, there are some exceptions in which we are legally obligated to share client information without a patient release. These exceptions are as follows:
If we believe that a child, elderly person, or disabled person is being abused, we must file a report with the appropriate state agency. If we believe that an abuser has continued interactions with children, we must file a report, even if that abuse occurred in the past.
If a client threatens serious bodily harm to him- or herself, we may be required to seek hospitalization for the client.
If we feel that you are at potential risk, we will notify you of this.
If a client threatens serious bodily harm to another, we must take protective actions, which may include notifying the potential victim, notifying police, or seeking appropriate hospitalization.
In some legal proceedings, upon a court order, testimony and/or records may be rendered.
If legal actions are brought against the psychologist/therapist by the client and/or family, information may be disclosed if necessary and relevant to the case.
Limited client information may be disclosed to a billing or collection service for the purpose of collecting any long-owed payments.
These situations rarely arise. However, should such a situation occur, we would make every effort to discuss it fully with you before taking any action. Please note that if testing and evaluations are paid for by a school district, state, or attorney, they must receive a copy of the completed report.