Deborah Cooper, MFT
License #MFT22131
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General Information about My Practice

Psychotherapy and couples counseling can result in a number of benefits.  These benefits include a better understanding of who you are, what your true personal goals and values consist of, improved interpersonal relationships, and resolution of the specific concerns that led you to seek therapy. The therapeutic relationship is unique in that it is a highly personal and at the same time, a contractual agreement.

I cannot promise that your behavior or circumstance will change. I can promise to do my best to engage with you in exploring the changes you want to make, help clarify what it is that you want for yourself in life and relationships, as well as explore how to achieve these goals. I am committed to continued evaluation as to whether my approach and style is appropriate and beneficial to you.

APPOINTMENTS AND CANCELLATIONS

The standard meeting time for psychotherapy is 50 minutes. Some people I see every week, some every other. The length of time in therapy is up to you.
I have a 24 hour cancellation policy. I am happy to try to reschedule appointments, but please try and do that 24 hours in advance. If you cancel or need to reschedule in less than 24 hours you will be charged for that session. Feel free to discuss this policy with me at any time.

PAYMENT

I have a sliding scale from $140 - $180. I ask clients to put themselves at a rate that feels fair and sustainable given their resources. I do not take insurance but will provide bills for those who have insurance that may cover treatment. The majority of my clients pay me at each session, but I also can bill you monthly. I take checks, cash, and most credit cards.

TELEPHONE AND OTHER ACCESSIBILITY

If you need to contact me between sessions, please leave a message on my voice mail - 415-285-6812 or email me at debcoopermft@gmail.com. Unless we have made a special arrangement, I return calls and emails during my work week, which is Tuesday thru Friday. I strive to return your call or email within 24 hours in the span of my work week. If you have not heard back from me, please feel free to call or email me again.

Face- to-face sessions are highly preferable to phone sessions. However, in the event that you are out of town, sick or need additional support, phone sessions are available. I also can do Facetime or Skype. If a true emergency situation arises, please call 911 or any local emergency room.
I do my best to give clients ample notice as to when I will be out of the office and always provide numbers of therapists who cover my practice when I am gone. If for some reason I can't make a session I will strive to contact you.. In case of emergency, I also have a system in place where you will be contacted by a colleague has access to first names and contact numbers for those in my practice. This will only occur if for some reason I can't do this myself.

TERMINATION

Ending relationships can be difficult. It is one reason many come to therapy! You have a right to stop therapy with me at any time. The length of the termination process depends on you. For some, leaving the therapeutic relationship is a long process and final. Others come and go and see me as someone they regularly (even if it's once a year) check in with. There is no right way to stop therapy.  I strive to support clients in figuring out what is best for them. It is a priority to make space in my practice for those I have worked with who need a "tune-up" or more. If for any reason you request another therapist, I will provide you with a list of qualified psychotherapists to treat you.

If you cancel, don't make it to a session and don't reschedule or return my call(s) within 3 weeks, I will assume you no longer require me to hold space in my practice for you. I will strive to make space for you if you call after that time, but can't promise it will be immediate.


HEALTH INSURANCE AND CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS

While I do not currently accept insurance directly, I can provide you with a copy of your receipt on a monthly basis, which you can then submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Be aware that insurance plans generally limit coverage to certain diagnosable mental conditions. You should also be aware that you are responsible for verifying and understanding the limits of your insurance coverage. Although I am happy to assist your efforts to seek insurance reimbursement, I am unable to guarantee whether your insurance will provide payment for the services provided to you.

Disclosure of confidential information may be required by your health insurance carrier or HMO/PPO/MCO/EAP in order to process claims. If you instruct me, only the minimum necessary information will be communicated to the carrier. I have no control or knowledge over what insurance companies do with the information submitted or who has access to this information.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The session content and all relevant materials to the your treatment will be held confidential unless you request in writing to have all or portions of such content released to a specifically named person/persons. Limitations of such client held privilege of confidentiality exist and are itemized below:

  1. If a client threatens or attempts to commit suicide or otherwise conducts him/her self in a manner in which there is a substantial risk of incurring serious bodily harm.
  2. If a client threatens grave bodily harm or death to another person.
  3. If the therapist has a reasonable suspicion that a client or other named victim is the perpetrator, observer of, or actual victim of physical, emotional or sexual abuse of children under the age of 18 years.
  4. Suspicions as stated above in the case of an elderly person who may be subjected to these abuses.
  5. Suspected neglect of the parties named in items #3 and # 4.
  6. If a court of law issues a legitimate subpoena for information stated on the subpoena.
  7. If a client is in therapy or being treated by order of a court of law, or if information is obtained for the purpose of rendering an expert’s report to an attorney.

Occasionally I may need to consult with other professionals in order to provide the best treatment for you. Information about you may be shared in this context without using your name.