Standards for Communication: Steve Franklin, MSW LCSW
If you have a life threatening emergency, and your are unable to reach me, I suggest you call Life Crisis Services Hot Line (647-4357), Behavioral Health Response(800-811-4760), or “911”.
Paper: Paper records created in intake, therapy sessions, or related correspondence will be maintained in a client file. The client file will only be accessible to me and you, unless explicit permission is granted by you, or there is a requirement under law to disclose information (consistent with limits of confidentiality reviewed at intake, and my Notice of Privacy Practices.) On occasion, I may contract with staff to assist with billing and other administrative matters, and they would also have access to files.
Telephone: Messages left on my voice mail are secure, accessible only by me with a password. You can normally expect a response within 24 hours. If you are requiring a more urgent response, follow instructions on the voice mail message to flag it as an urgent message, and I will respond appropriately. If there are occasions when I may be out of the office and checking my voice mail less frequently, I will leave special notice and instructions in the voice mail message.
If you give me a phone number, as a general contact number, or a call back number in a voice mail message, I will assume it is acceptable to leave a message at that number with basic information, such as an answer to a question or scheduling information, unless you advise me otherwise.
Fax: Faxes are received by me in an electronic form and access is password protected, only viewed by me. I can typically be expected to access a fax message within 24 hours. Response will be determined by the priority I determine. If you require a particularly prompt response, talk with me directly to make arrangements.
Email Email is received by me and access is password protected, only viewed by me. I can typically be expected to access an email message within 24 hours. Response will be determined by the priority I determine. You should normally expect I will respond at the next session. If you require a particularly prompt response, talk with me directly to make arrangements. I will assume that your email communication is safe and secure if I choose to respond by email, unless you advise me otherwise. Email can be a convenient way of passing along information you want to remember to discuss in a session, or even as a way of journaling for emotional expression. It is not a usually a good choice for addressing a crisis.
Text Messaging (SMS): Text Messages appear on my phone as soon as they are received. However, I may not read the message until a later time. If a response is requested, I will typically respond within 24 hours. If a response is not explicitly requested, I will choose whether to respond. Text messages may be convenient to communicate simple information such as scheduling, but is not usually a good medium for discussing emotional or cognitive issues.
Social Media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc): As a matter of policy, I do not join a client’s Social Media Network, or include a client in Social Media Networks I may participate in. This helps maintain the privacy and personal boundaries of our therapeutic relationship.
In-person: There may be occasions when we unexpectedly “run into each other” outside of the office, such as at a store, or event, etc. I will typically ignore or not acknowledge knowing a client to protect your privacy. This may seem awkward, but it also avoids the awkwardness of deciding how to explain to someone how we know each other.
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