2876 Johnson Ferry Rd., Suite 150 Marietta, GA 30062
770-361-7864 [email protected]
My name is Sylvia Lynch, LCSW and I am very pleased that you have selected me to be your therapist, and I am sincerely looking forward to assisting you. This document is designed to inform you about what you can expect from me regarding confidentiality, emergencies, and several other details regarding your treatment. Although providing this document is part of an ethical obligation to my profession, more importantly, it is part of my commitment to you to keep you fully informed of every part of your therapeutic experience. Please know that your relationship with me is a collaborative one, and I welcome any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding your course of therapy at any time.
The following information regarding my educational background and experience as a therapist is
an ethical requirement of my profession. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of Georgia. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
It is my belief that as people become more aware and accepting of themselves, they are more capable of finding a sense of peace and contentment in their lives. However, self-awareness and self-acceptance are goals that may take a long time to achieve. Some clients need only a few sessions to achieve these goals, whereas others may require months or even years of therapy. As a client, you are in complete control, and you may end your relationship with me at any point.
In order for therapy to be most successful, it is important for you to take an active role. This means working on the things you and I talk about both during and between sessions. This also means avoiding any mind-altering substances like alcohol or non-prescription drugs for at least eight hours prior to your therapy sessions. Generally, the more of yourself you are willing to invest, the greater the return.
Furthermore, it is my policy to only see clients who I believe have the capacity to resolve their own problems with my assistance. It is my intention to empower you in your growth process to the degree that you are capable of facing life’s challenges in the future without me. I also don’t believe in creating dependency or prolonging therapy if the therapeutic intervention does not seem to be helping. If this is the case, I will direct you to other resources that will be of assistance to you.Your personal development is my number one priority. I encourage you to let me know if you feel that transferring to another therapist is necessary at any time. My goal is to facilitate healing and growth, and I am very committed to helping you in whatever way seems to produce maximum benefit.
Your communications with me will become part of a clinical record of treatment, and it is referred to as Protected Health Information (PHI). Your PHI will be kept in a file stored in a locked cabinet in my office. Additionally, I will always keep everything you say to me completely confidential, with the following exceptions:
(1) you direct me to tell someone else and you sign a “Release of Information” form;
(2) I determine that you are a danger to yourself or to others;
(3) You report information about the abuse of a child, an elderly person, or a disabled individual who may require protection; or
(4) I am ordered by a judge to disclose information. In the latter case, my license does provide me with the ability to uphold what is legally termed “privileged communication.” Privileged communication is your right as a client to have a confidential relationship with a therapist. The state of Georgia has a very good track record in respecting this legal right. If for some unusual reason a judge were to order the disclosure of your private information, this order can be appealed. I cannot guarantee that the appeal will be sustained, but I will do everything in my power to keep what you say confidential.
Please note that in couple’s counseling, I do not agree to keep secrets. Information revealed in
any context may be discussed with either partner.
I agree to provide therapy for the fee of $110 per 45 minute session, $155 per 75 minute session, and/or $50 per 90 minute group therapy session, unless otherwise agreed to. Doing therapy by telephone is not ideal, and needing to talk to me between sessions may indicate that you need extra support. If this is the case, you and I will need to explore adding sessions or other resources to help you. Telephone calls that exceed 5 minutes in duration will be billed at $5 per minute. The fee for each session will be due at the conclusion of the session. Cash and personal checks only are acceptable for payment, and I will provide you with a receipt of payment. The receipt of payment may also be used as a statement for insurance if applicable to you. Please note that there is a $25 fee for any returned checks.
Insurance companies have many rules and requirements specific to certain plans. Unless otherwise negotiated, it is your responsibility to find out your insurance company’s policies and to file for insurance reimbursement. I will be glad to provide you with a statement for your insurance company and to assist you with any questions you may have in this area.
In the event that you are unable to keep an appointment, you must notify me at least 24 business hours in advance. If such advance notice is not received, you will be financially responsible for the session you missed. Please note that insurance companies do not reimburse for missed sessions and you will be charged my regular session rate of $110.
My practice is considered to be an outpatient facility, and I am set up to accommodate individuals who are reasonably safe and resourceful. I do not carry a beeper nor am I available at all times. If at any time this does not feel like sufficient support, please inform me, and we can discuss additional resources or transfer your case to a therapist or clinic with 24-hour availability. Generally, I will return phone calls within 24-48 hours. If you have a mental health emergency, I encourage you not to wait for a call back, but to do one or more of the following:
Therapy is a professional service I will provide to you. Because of the nature of therapy,
your relationship with me has to be different from most relationships. It may differ in how long it
lasts, the objectives, or the topics discussed. It must also be limited to only the relationship of therapist and client. If you and I were to interact in any other ways, you would then have a "dual relationship," which could prove to be harmful to you in the long run and is, therefore, unethical in the mental health profession. Dual relationships can set up conflicts between the therapist's interests and the client’s interests, and then the client’s (your) interests might not be put first. In order to offer all of my clients the best care, my judgment needs to be unselfish and purely focused on your needs. This is why your relationship with me must remain professional in nature.
Additionally, there are important differences between therapy and friendship. Friends may see your position only from their personal viewpoints and experiences. Friends may want to find quick and easy solutions to your problems so that they can feel helpful. These short-term solutions may not be in your long-term best interest. Friends do not usually follow up on their advice to see whether it was useful. They may need to have you do what they advise. A therapist offers you choices and helps you choose what is best for you. A therapist helps you learn how to solve problems better and make better decisions. A therapist's responses to your situation are based on tested theories and methods of change.
You should also know that therapists are required to keep the identity of their clients secret. As much as I would like to, for your confidentiality I will not address you in public unless you speak to me first. I also must decline any invitation to attend gatherings with your family or friends. Lastly, when your therapy is completed, I will not be able to be a friend to you like your other friends. In sum, it is my duty to always maintain a professional role. Please note that these guidelines are not meant to be discourteous in any way, they are strictly for your long-term protection.
I assure you that my services will be rendered in a professional manner consistent with the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association. If at any time you feel that I am not performing in an ethical or professional manner, I ask that you please let me know immediately. If we are unable to resolve your concern, I will provide you with information to contact the Georgia professional licensing board that governs my profession.
Due to the very nature of psychotherapy, as much as I would like to guarantee specific results regarding your therapeutic goals, I am unable to do so. However, with your participation, we will work to achieve the best possible results for you. Please also be aware that changes made in therapy may affect other people in your life. For example, an increase in your assertiveness may not always be welcomed by others. It is my intention to help you manage changes in your interpersonal relationships as they arise, but it is important for you to be aware of this possibility nonetheless.
Additionally, at times people find that they feel somewhat worse when they first start therapy before they begin to feel better. This may occur as you begin discussing certain sensitive areas of your life. However, a topic usually isn’t sensitive unless it needs attention. Therefore, discovering the discomfort is actually a success. Once you and I are able to target your specific treatment needs and the particular modalities that work the best for you, help is generally on the way.
I am sincerely looking forward to facilitating you on your journey toward healing and growth.
If you have any questions about any part of this document, please ask.
Please print, date, and sign your name below indicating that you have read and understand the contents of this form, you agree to the policies of your relationship with me as your therapist, and you are authorizing me to begin treatment with you.
My signature below indicates that I have discussed this form with you and have answered any questions you have regarding this information.