All communication becomes part of a clinical record, which is accessible to you upon request. All records are kept confidential. Everything shared between you and me is kept confidential, except in following situations:
- You sign a release of information authorizing me to tell someone else
- I determine that you are a danger to yourself or others
- I am ordered by a judge to disclose information
- I suspect child neglect, sexual, physical abuse or that a vulnerable adult has been subject to abuse or neglect, then I must report this to the appropriate authorities. *
It is in your best interest to inform me of any litigation, dispute with employer, or separation or divorce issue(s) you may have, including those involving custody issues. If any of these issues arise, I will carefully evaluate on a case-by-case basis what and to whom information will be disclosed in order to uphold the ethical and legal requirements to which I am bound. Please remember that medical and mental health records are frequently subpoenaed when litigation is involved.
Use of technologies including email, Skype, FaceTime, and other popular social communication and video platforms always bear a level of risk for confidentiality breaches should these accounts ever be accessed without appropriate permissions. These breaches would be beyond my control and responsibility. For the purposes of my sessions, I require all clients to register in the client portal for access to an integrated online space that offers two-way encrypted video counseling sessions and email communication directly with me. Additionally, in the past, I have provided video counseling sessions using VSEE and Doxy.me for individual, group, and couples therapy. Both of these platforms allow for an encrypted two-way experience for safe, confidential virtual counseling sessions. The username and link to my waiting room for both VSEE and Doxy.me are provided to clients who decide to participate in group, family, or couples counseling using a video format prior to the first session. All individual counseling telemental health sessions will take place using the link and video platform located in the client portal. I do not conduct phone, email, or text message counseling sessions. I will have a disclosure message that you are required to sign upon acceptance of my services informing you that the personal email and text messages are not encrypted, therefore, it is your choice to disclose personal information via email or text message or not; however, your client portal will provide you with secure, encrypted access to communicate with me privately as well as a journal to share your experiences, if you choose to do so. The integrated access in the client portal should not be used to substitute a counseling session.
The nature of my practice is strictly outpatient counseling. I am not equipped to provide 24-hour crisis counseling support. It is your responsibility to discuss expectations for care beyond a typical outpatient (once per week or bi-weekly) frequency with me so that appropriate referrals may be made if needed. For example, in Roanoke, Virginia two available sources for 24-hour crisis support are LewisGale's RESPOND (800)541-9992 or Carilion's CONNECT (540)981-8181. If you fear harm to yourself or another, you should contact your nearest crisis response agency or dial 911 for information about the closest center located near you. You may also call the hospital’s ER to seek urgent care. You may and should certainly contact me for support, however I cannot guarantee I will be available at the time you may be in need. Therefore, please call 911 or your local crisis response center for urgent support.