Michael R. LaValle, Ph.D.
OFFICE POLICIES & AGREEMENT FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY SERVICES
Welcome to my practice. I hope this letter will answer some of your questions and help us work together. Please take time to read it carefully and let me know if you have any questions or need more information. When you acknowledge having read this document, it will represent an agreement between us.
I received my doctorate from the University of Dallas. I work from an integrative perspective and rely on a broad range of therapeutic models and techniques, including mindfulness, transpersonal, existential-humanistic, psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, and systems interventions. As a psychologist, I bring certain expertise to our collaboration while you bring self-knowledge, the ability to learn from your life experiences, and a vision of what you want your life to be. I enjoy working with a diverse range of individuals and relationship partners.
During our first meetings, I will assess how I can be of benefit to you. If there are treatments or services I think could be of assistance and that I do not offer, I will refer you to professionals who are trained in those modalities. Within a reasonable period of time after starting treatment, we will discuss my working understanding of your issues, how I propose we address them, and how this will help you meet your goals. If you have questions about any of the procedures used in the course of your therapy, their possible risks, my expertise in employing them or about the treatment plan in general, please ask me. You also have the right to ask about other possible treatments for your condition and their risks and benefits. If you could benefit from any treatments that I do not provide, I have an ethical obligation to assist you in obtaining those treatments.
TERMINATION & FOLLOW-UP
Deciding when to stop our work together is meant to be a mutual process. Before we stop, we will discuss how you will know if or when to come back or whether a regularly scheduled "check-in" might work best for you. If it is not possible for you to phase out of therapy, I recommend that we have closure on the therapy process with at least one termination session. At any time, If you have concerns or reservations about how your therapy is proceeding, I strongly encourage you to express them so that we can resolve any possible differences or misunderstandings. If during our work together I assess that I am not effective in helping you reach your therapeutic goals, I am obliged to discuss this with you and, if appropriate, terminate treatment and give you referrals that may be of help to you. If you request it and authorize it in writing, I may talk to the psychotherapist of your choice (with your permission only) in order to help with the transition. If at any time you want another professional's opinion or wish to consult with another therapist, I will assist you in finding someone qualified. You have the right to terminate treatment at any time. If you choose to do so, I will offer to provide you with names of other qualified professionals whose services you might prefer.
EMAILS, TEXTS, PHONE CALLS & EMERGENCIES
For small administrative matters such as checking appointment times or changing them, you are welcome to text or email me. I generally receive and return these calls within 24 hours with the exception of weekends and holidays.
If you need to contact me between sessions about a clinical matter, please leave a message for me at 214-750-1086. I ordinarily check my messages routinely each day. If I am planning on being out of town, I will let you know in advance. I will also let you know who I have covering for me if I plan not to take or respond to phone messages during my absence.
Payment for my services is expected at the time of each appointment unless we have made other arrangements. It is my policy to charge my full fee for missed appointments and when cancellations are made within 24 hours of a scheduled appointment. It is unethical to bill insurance companies for missed appointments.