INFORMED CONSENT FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES DURING COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS
During this unique times, physical health and cleanliness are of utmost importance for our clients and our staff. Clients who are attending an in-person session will be asked to e-sign an informed consent document through their portal (see document below) as well as a pre-session COVID-19 assessment. We ask clients who are feeling ill or experiencing any COVID symptoms to call in and either reschedule their appointment or change it to a Telehealth option.
Following is a copy of the Informed Consent for In Person Services:
Decision to Meet Face-to-Face
We have agreed to meet in person for some or all future sessions. If there is a resurgence of the pandemic or if other health concerns arise, however, I may require that we meet via telehealth. If you have concerns about meeting through telehealth, we will talk about it first and try to address any issues. You understand that, if I believe it is necessary, I may determine that we return to telehealth for everyone’s well-being.
If you decide at any time that you would feel safer staying with, or returning to, telehealth services, I will respect that decision, as long as it is feasible and clinically appropriate. Reimbursement for telehealth services, however, is also determined by the insurance companies and applicable law, so that is an issue we may also need to discuss.
Risks of Opting for In-Person Services
You understand that by coming to the office, you are assuming the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (or other public health risk). This risk may increase if you travel by public transportation, cab, or ridesharing service.
Your Responsibility to Minimize Your Exposure
To obtain services in person, you agree to take certain precautions which will help keep everyone (you, me, and our families, [my other staff] and other patients) safer from exposure, sickness and possible death. If you do not adhere to these safeguards, it may result in our starting / returning to a telehealth arrangement. By checking on the box below you are agreeing that you have read and will abide by the following actions:
- You will only keep your in-person appointment if you are symptom free.
- You will take your temperature before coming to each appointment. If it is elevated (100 Fahrenheit or more), or if you have other symptoms of the coronavirus, you agree to cancel the appointment or proceed using telehealth. If you wish to cancel for this reason, I won’t charge you our normal cancellation fee.
- You will wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when you enter our office.
- You will adhere to the safe distancing precautions we have set up in the lobby and therapy office. For example, you won’t move chairs.
- You will wear a mask in all areas of the office (I [and our staff] will too).
- You will keep a distance of 6 feet and there will be no physical contact (e.g. no shaking hands) with me [or staff].
- If your child is the client, only one parent (no other children) will come to the session unless agreed on by the clinician for therapeutic purposes, and you will make sure that your child follows all of these sanitation and distancing protocols and mask requirements. In addition, contingent on the number of people in the lobby, you may be asked to wait in the building lobby vs the office suite lobby.
- You will take steps between appointments to minimize your exposure to COVID.
- If you have a job that exposes you to other people who are infected, you will immediately let me [and my staff] know.
- If your commute or other responsibilities or activities put you in close contact with others (beyond your family), you will let me [and my staff] know.
- If a resident of your home tests positive for the infection, you will immediately let me [and my staff] know and we will then [begin] resume treatment via telehealth.
I may change the above precautions if additional local, state or federal orders or guidelines are published. If that happens, we will talk about any necessary changes.
My Commitment to Minimize Exposure
My practice has taken steps to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus within the office and we have posted our efforts on our website and in the office. Please let me know if you have questions about these efforts.
If You or I Are Sick
You understand that I am committed to keeping you, me, [my staff] and all of our families safe from the spread of this virus. If you show up for an appointment and I [or my office staff] believe that you have a fever or other symptoms, or believe you have been exposed, I will have to require you to leave the office immediately. We can follow up with services by telehealth as appropriate.
If I [or my staff] test positive for the coronavirus, I will notify you so that you can take appropriate precautions.
Your Confidentiality in the Case of Infection
If you have tested positive for the coronavirus, I may be required to notify local health authorities that you have been in the office. If I have to report this, I will only provide the minimum information necessary for their data collection and will not go into any details about the reason(s) for our visits. By signing this form, you are agreeing that I may do so without an additional signed release.
This agreement supplements the general informed consent/business agreement that we agreed to at the start of our work together.
If you have any questions about these guidelines, please let us know.
Newest issue of Mental Health News released June 2017. Find it here
TRAUMA AND ADDICTION SPECIALIST KRISTIN BATCHECK, MACPC, LPC-CR, JOINS DCG
Kristin (Kris) Batcheck is our newest professional counselor-clinical resident at DCG. Kris completed her internship at DCG and is a recent graduate from Ashland Theological Seminary in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Kris has received extensive training in trauma treament and currently works with adults and adolescents who are seeking recovery from various experiences. She is trained in EMDR and uses this method of treatment frequently in sessions. In addition, Kris will be counseling individuals who are struggling with substance addictions and dependency. She is currently pursuing certification as a Chemical Dependency Counselor.
IN THE NEWS…
Because of its therapeutic benefits, some mental-health professionals endorse coloring as a way to unwind and become mindful. Learn more in a recent article published in The Columbus Dispatch: Adults turn to coloring for relaxation, creativity
DCG RELEASES A SERIES OF SHORT VIDEOS HIGHLIGHTING VARIOUS MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AND TREATMENT OPTIONS
Directions Counseling Group is now releasing short videos highlighting various mental health conditions. Each 2-3 minute video is designed to give a brief overview of a mental health issue or a form of therapy.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) is one of the most prevalent and misunderstood conditions in the world, according to Sarah D. Wright, ADHD Awareness Month Coalition Chair. Directions Counseling Group has joined this education movement to create greater awareness and understanding about attention deficit disorder by preparing a short video entitled “Adult ADHD – what others see and what’s actually taking place,” which can be found on YouTube.
Leslie Marshall, MA, LPCC-S, Chief Operating Officer at Directions Counseling Group, specializes in adult ADHD and states, “My hope is that when adults with ADHD see this, they have a moment when they realize, ‘There’s a reason why my brain works like this’,” says Marshall.
“Our goal is to educate men and women about ADHD, to dispel myths that keep people from seeking appropriate treatment, and to provide tools to help minimize the impact of this disorder,” she continues.
DCG COMPLETED A MAJOR RENOVATION OF THE PLAY THERAPY ROOM
Play therapy allows a child to think about themselves and the world on a smaller scale. Both the relationship with the counselor and the environment in which they meet should be designed to relieve stress and improve self-expression, self-awareness and developmental skills. Garry Landreth, author of Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship, says, “In play therapy, toys are like the child’s words and play is the child’s language.”
In addition to communicating effectively with a child-client, there is also tremendous value placed on the environment in which the therapist meets with the child. With that in mind, Directions Counseling Group has just completed a major renovation of the Play Therapy Room and held a grand opening celebration on Friday, October 24.
We carefully selected colors, toys, games and other creative mediums that will help children express themselves. In addition to being therapeutic, we are confident that children of all ages will enjoy coming to counseling when they experience this inviting, safe space.
CODEPENDENCY AND COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR SPECIALIST SUSAN BOURQUARD, MACPC, LPC-CR, JOINS DCG
Susan Bourquard, MACPC, LPC-CR specializes in treating codependency, women’s issues and compulsive behaviors that have resulted in a lack of self-control. She is currently pursuing her doctor of ministry degree at Ashland Theological Seminary. Read more about Susan Bourquard, MACPC, LPC-CR
MARRIAGE AND FAMILY SPECIALIST KEVIN HECKATHORN, MDIV, MACPC, LPCC-S, JOINS DCG
Kevin Heckathorn, MDiv, MACPC, LPCC-S has worked extensively with couples preparing for marriage and with couples experiencing marital struggles. He has additional training in recovery from infidelity and men’s issues. Read more about Kevin Heckathorn, MDiv, MACPC, LPCC-S
BRIAN DAVIS SPEAKS AT THE OHIO ASSOCIATION OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS
Brian Davis, LISW-S, SAP, founder of Directions Counseling Group and New Directions Substance and Behavioral Services, will be speaking at the December 6th Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on the topic of substance abuse.