INFORMATION FOR NEW CLIENTS
(Berkeley address is the mail address for both offices)
I am licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Science as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT license #LMFT21697). I graduated in 1983 from John F. Kennedy University with a masters degree (MA) in transpersonal counseling psychology and have been licensed since 1986 when I began my psychotherapy practice. Despite the title of my license, I work primarily with adult individuals and couples.
I don't charge for an initial phone consultation. Please contact me for my current fee. I beleive that financial considerations should not limit access to psychotherapy and am glad to talk with you about a reduced fee or help you connect with other therapy options.
About Medical Insurance
I do not regard the kind of psychotherapy I do as medical treatment. I also very strongly believe that decisions about therapy should be made by client and therapist, not third party payers whose financial interests and demands too often conflict with the best interest of the client. In my experience trying to make the kind of psychotherapy I do fit into the demands of health insurance is like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. In additon I have spent far too many frustrating hours on the phone trying to find my way through the insurance claims maze. Due to these and other considerations I am no longer a provider for most health insurance plans. By offering a sliding fee scale I try to balance my need to make a living with my clients' financial needs.
If your insurance pays for out-of-network providers or if you have a health savings plan, I can give you a statement that you may submit for reimbursement. Your insurance may have limits on the frequency and duration of sessions for which they will pay. I will need to provide a clinical diagnosis to establish “medical necessity” along with dates of sessions, and perhaps a prognosis and a treatment plan. While the confidentiality of such information is governed by state and federal law, I cannot be responsible for how an insurance company may use it.
Sessions are usually scheduled on a weekly basis and are fifty minutes long. If you need to cancel a scheduled appointment, I ask that you notify me by at least the night before or I will charge the full fee for the missed appointment. I do make exceptions for emergency situations, but a late cancellation means that I have an empty hour that I cannot fill on short notice.
You may feel free to discuss anything with me. Psychotherapy is a place where feelings are talked about in order to better understand them. The client, not the therapist, is the focus of therapy. For this reason, I do not meet with clients outside of my sessions with them and limit the information that I disclose about myself. However everything that occurs in psychotherapy, including feelings you may have about me or our work together, is important and I will support you in exploring any ideas and feelings about me and your therapy that may come up.
All information you share with me, including the fact that you are seeing me for psychotherapy, is legally confidential and will not be disclosed to anyone without your express permission. There are, however, some exceptional situations in which California law mandates the disclosure of otherwise confidential information. These are when there is:
1. A serious threat of violence
2. A serious threat of suicide
3. A reasonable suspicion of child, dependent adult, or elder abuse. This has recently been expanded with a mandate that therapists report instances in which child pornography has been viewed online.
In such cases my legal and ethical obligation to ensure the safety of clients and others overrides the usual restrictions on disclosure of information. More detailed information about how I safeguard your privacy in accordance with federal (HIPPA) and California law is contained in my Privacy Practices statement (click link) available online. Please let me know if you would like a paper copy.
You may leave a message for me at the above number at any time. If you need to reach me quickly, my cell phone number (510-684-6433) is included in the outgoing voice mail message for my office phone. While I can’t promise that I will be available immediately, I regularly check my voice mail and will get back to you as soon as possible.
Original Material ©2014 James C. Moyers
May be reproduced with source cited
Photo © Jim Moyers