Therapy is a relationship between people that works in part because of clearly defined rights and responsibilities held by each person. As a client in psychotherapy, you have certain rights and responsibilities that are important for you to understand. There are also legal limitations to those rights that you should be aware of. I, as your therapist, have corresponding responsibilities to you. These rights and responsibilities are described in the following sections.
Psychotherapy has both benefits and risks. Risks may include experiencing uncomfortable feelings, such as sadness, guilt, anxiety, anger, frustration, loneliness and helplessness, because the process of psychotherapy often requires discussing the unpleasant aspects of your life. However, psychotherapy has been shown to have benefits for individuals who undertake it. Therapy often leads to a significant reduction in feelings of distress, increased satisfaction in interpersonal relationships, greater personal awareness and insight, increased skills for managing stress and resolutions to specific problems. But, there are no guarantees about what will happen. Psychotherapy requires a very active effort on your part. In order to be most successful, you will have to work on things we discuss outside of sessions.
With the exception of certain specific exceptions described below, you have the absolute right to the confidentiality of your therapy. I cannot and will not tell anyone else what you have told me, or even that you are in therapy with me without your prior written permission. The following are legal exceptions to your right to confidentiality. I would inform you of any time when I think I will have to put these into effect.
1. If I have good reason to believe that you will harm another person, I must attempt to inform that person and warn them of your intentions. I must also contact the police and ask them to protect your intended victim.
2. If I have good reason to believe that you are abusing or neglecting a child or vulnerable adult, or if you give me information about someone else who is doing this, I must inform Child Protective Services within 48 hours and Adult Protective Services immediately.
3. If I believe that you are in imminent danger of harming yourself, I may legally break confidentiality and call the police or the county crisis team. I am not obligated to do this, and would explore all other options with you before I took this step. If at that point you were unwilling to take steps to guarantee your safety, I would call the crisis team.
If you find that you are experiencing an emergency, it is important that you call 911 or any other emergency services located in your area or you may want to go to your local emergency room. Given that Betterhelp is an asynchronous platform, I may not always be available to respond immediately to a concern that you have, therefore having a plan to deal with emergencies is imperative. In fact, I usually tend to messages once per day, in the mornings, though there may be exceptions when I will respond twice a day.
You have the right to ask questions about anything that happens in therapy. I’m always willing to discuss how and why I’ve decided to do what I’m doing, and to look at alternatives that might work better. You can feel free to ask me to try something that you think will be helpful. You can ask me about my training for working with your concerns, and can request to work with someone else if you decide I’m not the right therapist for you. You are free to leave therapy at any time, although I recommend finding a way to give me advance notice so that I can help you end treatment well and consolidate gains.
For clients seeking Christian counseling, I would like you to know that I believe in a higher power that I call God and that faith and trust in God can help faciliate the journey of life.
- Stress, Anxiety
- Relationship issues
- Family conflicts
I also have experience in Addictions, LGBT, Trauma and abuse, Grief, Intimacy-related issues, Sleeping disorders, Parenting issues, Anger management, Self esteem, Career difficulties
Psychologist #1123 (Expires: 2020-07-31)
LMFT #0162541 (Expires: 2021-09-30)
Dr. Martin has been a wonderful help. She is caring and understanding. I've felt as if I have been speaking to her in person. I've been able to confide things to her that I haven't told anyone, even my best friend. She has helped me to understand a lot of things and feel better about myself.
Dr. Marin listens attentively and shares really good insight. Her suggestions on how to handle things has really been useful and has proven successful. I’m happy with her counseling.