Beyond diagnosis, the emphasis of my assessments is in clearly describing your child as a whole person, including their strengths and needs. I will provide specific recommendations to improve your child's situation. Please understand that these recommendations must be based upon my clinical judgment and the result of evaluations, and specific recommendations cannot be presumed. An assessment includes a parent intake meeting, assessment of the child or teen during two testing days, a feedback session with parents, and a final written report. Additional follow-up meetings are billed as a therapy session. I can participate in school meetings as needed.
Therapy Session Norms
A consultation or therapy session is fifty minutes. When I work individually with children or adolescents, I will schedule periodic parent-child sessions so that parents are informed of and involved in the therapeutic process. It is my strong belief that therapy for children and teens is most effective when parents are included in the work. If your child is meeting with me individually, please do not leave the waiting room while we are in session. If siblings are with you, please monitor them so that they play quietly, and remain in the waiting room area. I make it a policy not to have children waiting alone while I meet with parents; I will schedule separate parent-only meetings to address issues that you may wish to discuss with me without your child present. Rather than talking to me before or after sessions (when your child is present), you are welcome to leave a brief (a couple of minutes) voice mail message for me to inform me of anything before I meet with your child. Also, please know that at any time you can request a parent-only meeting.
Consultation With Other Professionals
At times it is helpful to your child and family for me to consult with other care providers (teachers, physicians, speech therapist, behaviorist, etc.) I welcome the opportunity to be helpful in this way (writing letters, speaking on the phone, and attending meetings.) I will ask that you sign “release of information” forms which detail what I may share, and with whom. I will strive to make myself available for these consultations. When 10 minutes or less are required, there is no fee charged. For consultation work that requires 15 minutes or more, the rate will be charged in fifteen minute increments.
Fees and Payment
Therapy payments are due at the time of the session. For assessments, one half the assessment fee is due at the time the assessment commences, and the remainder is due at the final feedback session. Payment is the responsibility of the client; checks made payable to Dr. Nora Shine. Credit cards are also accepted for payment.
In an effort to allow for some level of flexibility in emergency situations, while also protecting the value of my time, I ask that you inform me as soon as is possible of any need to cancel standing appointments. This allows me the time to fill that session time. If you are not able to let me know within forty-eight hours of your appointment (so that I can offer the hour to another client), you are responsible for the late cancellation fee. Late cancellation fees will be billed regardless of the reason for cancellation, and the late cancellation fee is $100. To accommodate the need for flexibility when working with families, I will waive the late fee one times in a calendar year.
It is your legal right that your information, acquired or revealed while receiving the professional services of a licensed psychologist, be kept confidential. Such information may only be revealed 1) with your express, written consent, which may be limited or revoked by you at any time 2) when there exists the need to disclose to protect the rights and safety of the client or of others, such as the emotional and physical safety of a minor, or a reasonably identifiable intended victim of a client 3) to seek financial reimbursement (such as from collection agencies, in the case of failure to pay) 4) when a court of law issues a legitimate subpoena or legally requires me to disclose information.
In accordance with the practice recommendations of the American Psychological Association, I engage in supervision. During supervision, I may discuss information related to your treatment only with other licensed psychologists, in a supervisory role, who are also bound by your legal right to confidentiality. This is done without disclosing identifying information.
Regarding Privacy When Working with Children and Adolescents in Therapy
Massachusetts law specifies that when a child under the age of 18 is provided psychological services, the parent holds the right to confidentiality. This means that parents have the right to access records and to be informed of treatment progress. In other words, parents have a right to confidentiality regarding the treatment of their children; children and teenagers cannot legally be guaranteed that their therapy will be kept private from their parents. That being said, I strongly encourage parents to afford their children privacy regarding their therapy; I ask parents not to question their children about the therapeutic process. Parents can learn about their child’s work in therapy during our joint parent-child meetings. I recognize that working in this way requires a relationship of trust, and I will work closely with you to ensure that you are comfortable with the parameters of privacy that we establish together. Children and adolescents are informed by me of the limits of privacy, that their parents have the legal right to their information, and that concern for well-being may, in specific times, require me to disclose information.
Record keeping: In accordance with the practice recommendations of the American Psychological Association, I keep brief records of each meeting. These records are held in a secure location, and only I have access to them.
HIPAA (Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
This law insures the confidentiality of all electronic transmissions of information about you. Whenever I transmit information about you electronically (such as sending a fax to your pediatrician) it will be done with specific safeguards to insure confidentiality.
Please be aware that I am not able to offer emergency, or on-call, services. In the event of a psychological emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room. Please also call and inform me (via voicemail if I am not in my office) of your situation, so that I may schedule an emergency session as soon as is possible. If we find that your family is in need of more crisis type care than I can provide in this independent practice, I will help you to find a Psychologist whose agency does offer on-call crisis service, and transfer your care.
Regarding electronic communication (including email): Please do not send personal information to me through email. Please understand that if you choose to communicate with me via email, I cannot ensure the confidentiality of this communication.