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Client Information

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Terms and Policy

Teletherapy Disclosure Statement

The following information is designed to help you in making thoughtful decision regarding your therapy. Please ask any question or raise any concerns which may occur to you as you read through this, now or at any time in our work together. Provision of the following information and written acknowledgement of its receipt are required by law. 

Education, Training, and Experience 


I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, trained by Antioch University Seattle, where I earned my M.A. in Clinical Psychology.  I have received advanced training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy and work with a consultant through the Gottman Institute to hone my practice.  I have a double BA, in Sociology and Communication, from Western Washington University.

In addition to my teletherapy practice with couples, I am a Master Trainer for The Gottman Institute, teaching the Seven Principles Program to professionals around the world.  I am also a corporate consultant, professional speaker and co-owner of forBetter, an online support for couples in need of deeper connection. 


Theoretical Orientation and Approach to Therapy 


I use Gottman Method Couples Therapy in my work with couples.  Through research-based interventions and exercises, I help couples break through barriers to achieve greater understanding, connection and intimacy in their relationships. Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a structured, goal-oriented, scientifically-based therapy. Intervention strategies are based upon empirical data from Dr. Gottman's four decades of research with more than 3,000 couples. This research shows us what actually works to help couples achieve a long-term healthy relationship. Gottman Method Couples Therapy was developed out of this research to help you and your spouse or partner:

- Increase respect, affection, and closeness
- Break through and resolve conflict when you feel stuck
- Generate greater understanding between you and your partner
- Keep conflict discussions calm
- Maintain improvements in your relationship

The therapy usually consists of two or three sessions of assessment and subsequent treatment sessions, typically on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Gottman Method Therapy helps couples develop and strengthen the qualities of positive, healthy relationships that Dr. Gottman discovered in his 40+ years of research with couples.

While I have taken advanced training in the Gottman Method of couples therapy, I want you to know that I am completely independent in providing you with clinical services and I alone am fully responsible for those services. The Gottman Institute or its agents have no responsibility for the services you receive.

Teletherapy

I practice therapy through video conferencing.  Using this platform allows me to reach couples who otherwise would not seek services.  The modern day convenience of video conferencing allows for couples to maintain continuity of sessions despite the stress of conflicting work schedules, childcare and traffic.  Teletherapy is NOT appropriate for all couples which is why I conduct a thorough assessment on all couples in the first two sessions and will determine if teletherapy is the best fit for you.  

You will need a strong internet connection, a computer with audio/visual capabilities and a private room.  Teletherapy is conducted through a HIPAA compliant platform that specializes in working with therapy clients.  


Your Rights as a Client 

1. Influencing the course of therapy: Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about my work as a therapist, the approach we are taking together, or your progress. It is your responsibility to choose the therapist and therapeutic modality which best suits your needs. You always have the right to request a change in treatment, or to refuse treatment. It is important that we work together to meet your needs. If you believe that you are not being helped, please let me know so that we can work through the difficulty together. If we are unable to do so to your satisfaction, I can assist you in finding another therapist. 

2. Confidentiality: Our sessions are held in the strictest confidence, and information cannot be released about you without your written permission. I reserve the right to terminate sessions when I believe your confidentiality or my safety has been compromised. 

State Law Requires the Following Exceptions to Confidentiality: 
a) when a client poses a clear and present danger to self or others, or is unable to 
provide minimal life-sustaining self-care; 
b) when a client reveals contemplation of a major crime or harmful act; 
c) when the counselor receives a court order to share information with a judge; 
d) if the counselor has a reasonable suspicion that a person under the age of 18, or a dependent adult (aged, or developmentally delayed) is or has been physically abused, sexually abused, or neglected. This report must occur within 48 hours of the counselor receiving such information. I meet regularly with a consultant to maintain ethical integrity of practice and professional development. In these consultations, your identity will be protected, as will unique identifying information. The consultant with whom I meet with is also bound to the same standards of confidentiality as I am.

Your Responsibility as a Client

1. Scheduling: Consistency in keeping appointments is integral to the counseling process. I prefer to schedule each new appointment at the end of each session. If you have made an appointment with me and need to cancel it, you must let me know 24 hours in advance, or you will be charged for that session. (This way, I have the opportunity to try and schedule another client during your hour.) If I cancel an appointment with you with less than 24 hours notice, I will see you for free at the next session.

2. Session length: Therapy sessions are fifty minutes, unless we have negotiated a different length of time in advance. If you arrive late for a session, you will be seen for the remaining time, and will be charged the full fee. If I begin a session late, I will either see you for a full fifty minutes, charge you a pro-rated fee, or schedule a subsequent (and proportionately longer) session.

3. Fees: I charge a standard fee of $125.00/50 min. session. I will keep a card on file and charge for your session following our session. On principle, I do not bill to insurance companies. Because you have agreed to a private arrangement for paying for your therapy, I believe you have acted in a way which will protect your own privacy, which will allow me the needed therapeutic freedom to help you in the best way I can, and which will keep your fee affordable by eliminating third-party payments. Should you decide it is important to use insurance to pay for your therapy, I will assist you in finding a suitable referral. 

4. Termination: I believe that we should plan for your termination together. However, you have the right, at any time in the therapeutic process, to ask for a change of direction, or to discontinue. 

5. Temporary distress: Counseling can be difficult, and even painful. At times, discussing therapeutic material may leave you feeling worse, or may make your symptoms stronger. Even though this is often normal or even to be expected, please do not be alarmed, and please do keep me abreast of how you are feeling. I need to know how you are so that I may treat you effectively. 

6. Contacting me: You may call my voice mail at any time. I will return your call at my earliest convenience. I will primarily communicate using the email function of the HIPAA compliant client portal to protect your client records.  

7. Video Taping: As a primary tool in GMCT, and in order to augment your therapy work, I use videotape feedback as a part of therapy sessions. This means that I may ask to video tape your session. In addition to in-session use, I may wish to use the videotapes to receive consultation from an independently practicing clinician hired by The Gottman Institute as a consultant. The video tapes remain completely confidential and are used for no other purpose other than to enhance your therapeutic experience. A separate permission form will be provided for videotaping.

Secure Client Portal

For your security and convenience, you will be provided with a login and temporary password for access to the secure client portal. Once initially registered, you can access the client portal by visiting my website www.laurahecktherapy.com and clicking on the link at the top right of the page titled "client login". While logged into the portal, you can view scheduled sessions, send secure email, view billing information, journal, view session notes and complete any additional forms that may be needed as a part of our therapy together. You will receive confirmation and reminders of upcoming sessions via email and text. If you wish to not receive these alerts, you have the ability to edit your settings in the portal. 

Acknowledgment of Disclosure

I have read a copy of this disclosure statement and understand the information and agree to the terms set forth in it. I have verified this on the attached consent for treatment form.

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