Contact in Between Sessions
It is tremendously helpful for you to work through your feelings and thoughts between sessions. That is an important part of healing. Often, as clients are processing these thoughts, they send emails or texts to me with questions that they want to ask or thoughts that they just want to share. Because of this, I have set the following guidelines for emails, Phone calls, and texts between sessions.
GUIDELINES and FAQs:
PHONE CALLS: If you have an administrative issue please feel free to call and leave a voicemail. If you need to process challenges or relationship struggles then you will need to schedule a phone consultation through the client portal. Please know that I offer only 5 minute consultations in between sessions. If you need more time to process a challenge over the phone then an apt is required and you will be billed separately. Please know that I want to support you but am not always available. That is why it is best to schedule the apt through the client portal.
ADMINISTRATIVE EMAILS: It is fine use email and texts for administrative items such as changing appointments. You can also use the secure messaging in the client portal.
COPY PARTNER: If you do send an email or text and are in couples counseling, please always copy your partner. This helps us maintain trust.
EMERGENCIES: Please do NOT send an email or text for emergency situations. In those cases, you need help that can respond immediately. I am not always available and can't be counted on to support you 24 hours a day. The best approach is to call 911.
CLINICAL MATTERS: Even though I deeply care about you and your situation, I kindly request that you do not send emails with thoughts about what happened in therapy, background on your personal lives, or other matters related to our clinical work together.
This information is better processed by discussing it in session because I can:
fully experience your tone of voice and body language,
ask questions to help clarify what may be unclear,
explore your concern with your partner in real time,
avoid giving you poor counsel based on limited text information, and
avoid getting caught in the middle.
BRING THOUGHTS INTO SESSION: I generally recommend that you journal or write an email to yourself and then, when in session, read it out loud in session. This is a great way to prepare your thoughts and then have a robust discussion. If you need to discuss or resolve an issue before our next scheduled session because it is time sensitive, it is best to schedule an extra appointment.
ONE-PARTNER SESSIONS: If you need to communicate something that you do NOT want your partner to hear, please let me know this and we can schedule a special session. See the FAQ about one-partner sessions.
SPECIAL EMAIL COUNSELING: For some couples, the situation is such that the couple needs or benefits from significantly more between-session support. In such cases, I will read and respond to emails between sessions; however, both partners must consent to this and I must approve this "special email counseling" in advance.
With some couples, one partner (who writes a lot) can flood the other partner (who does not feel comfortable with processing through text). In such cases, email counseling is not advised.
When we agree to special email/phone counseling, I bill the time spent separately.
PRIVACY: Lastly, please know that electronic communications, even ones just sent for administrative purposes, can never be guaranteed to be 100% secure. If you send an email, please do so knowing that you are willing to accept the risk of a breach of confidentiality.
FINAL WORDS: It is difficult for me to turn away from your heartfelt communications because I really do care. Please know that my policy is aimed at healthy boundaries and setting up a safe place where you can both feel fully heard. After serving many couples, my experience has taught me that this approach ultimately leads to better healing for you. Please accept my apologies if my policy hurts your feelings in any way!