PRACTICE POLICIES - Joan Edwards, LMFT - 4625 First St, Suite 235, Pleasanton, CA, 94566 - (925) 400-9079

NO SECRETS POLICY In couple’s therapy, openness and honesty are essential clinical goals. Therefore, anything shared by one partner to the therapist will not be considered confidential to our work together and may be disclosed by the therapist to the other partner.

OUTSIDE OF THE OFFICE If we see each other accidentally outside of the therapy office, I will not acknowledge you first. Your right to privacy and confidentiality is of the utmost importance to me, and I do not wish to jeopardize your privacy. However, if you acknowledge me first, I will be more than happy to speak briefly with you, but would not believe it to be appropriate for us to engage in any lengthy discussions in public or outside of the therapy office.

CHILDCARE Our counseling offices do not have child care facilities, so please do not bring children with you unless they are specifically involved in counseling.

TELEPHONE ACCESSIBILITY If you need to contact me between sessions, please leave email, text, or a message on my voice mail. I am often not immediately available; however, I will attempt to get back to you within 24 hours. If a phone call exceeds 10 minutes it is considered therapy, and you will be charged a prorated share of the normal session fee (e.g. 20 minutes = $56.00).

Face- to-face sessions are highly preferable to phone sessions. However, in the event that you are out of town, sick or need additional support, phone sessions are available. If a true emergency situation arises, please call 911 or any local emergency room.

SOCIAL MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATION Due to the importance of your confidentiality and the importance of minimizing dual relationships, I do not accept friend or contact requests from current or former clients on any social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). I believe that adding clients as friends or contacts on these sites can compromise your confidentiality and our respective privacy. It may also blur the boundaries of our therapeutic relationship. If you have questions about this, please bring them up when we meet and we can talk more about it.

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION I cannot ensure the confidentiality of any form of communication through electronic media, including text messages. If you would like to communicate via email or text messaging for issues regarding scheduling or cancellations, I am happy to do so. While I will try to return messages in a timely manner, I cannot guarantee immediate response.

Please do not use these methods of communication to discuss therapeutic content and/or request assistance for emergencies. If you choose to email or text me regarding more personal issues, be aware that your communication may not be confidential.

TERMINATION Ending relationships can be difficult. Therefore, it is important to have a termination process in order to achieve  closure. The appropriate length of the termination depends on the length and intensity of the treatment. I may terminate treatment after appropriate discussion with you and a termination process if I determine that the psychotherapy is not being effectively used or if you are in default on payment. I will not terminate the therapeutic relationship without first discussing and exploring the reasons and purpose of terminating. If therapy is terminated for any reason or you request another therapist, I will provide you with a list of qualified psychotherapists to treat you. You may also choose someone on your own or from another referral source.

Should you fail to schedule an appointment for three consecutive weeks, unless other arrangements have been made in advance, I will consider the professional relationship discontinued.