Your Rights
As a client, you are entitled to the highest standard of professional care.   All our services are fully confidential except in cases of threats to self or others, child or incapacitated adult abuse, judicial order, or your specific written permission.   All competent adults who have been in therapy together must agree to any release of information before records can be released about any of them, with the exception of the circumstances mentioned above.  You are entitled to ask your therapist about her or his training, about the basis for your treatment, and questions about cost.    You will be given a copy of our fees before therapy begins, and must sign a payment agreement before therapy will start. You also must sign a separate agreement to enter therapy, which will specify what you can expect and what the limits of your and our obligations are.  You are free to discontinue therapy at any time, though we may advise against it.

You are also entitled to the full protection of HIPAA, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.  At the beginning of therapy you will receive a copy of your HIPAA rights.  Learn more about your rights under HIPAA here.

While we occasionally conduct research with clients, you will never be placed in a research program without your written permission and informed consent, and we will not require you to take part in research as a condition of your treatment.   All research involving clients must be approved in advance by the University Institutional Review Board.  You may raise any questions regarding research at the Center with the Center Director at 540-231-7201, or with the Review Board.  Federal health care privacy regulations restrict us from communicating with clients by e-mail or by computer-based fax.   While we recognize this is an inconvenience, please understand that e-mail and computer fax do not ensure the privacy of your conversations with us.   Please use the telephone, the U.S. mail, or regular appointments.

Therapists are required to abide by the Ethical Code of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Therapists are prohibited from having "dual relationships" with any client, including, but not limited to being prohibited from having business or family relationships with clients, close friendships, close collegial relationships, and sexual or romantic relationships.  Therapists also may not have romantic or sexual relationships with former clients.   They are further prohibited from discriminating against any client on the basis of the client's ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender status, religious affiliation, or disability. In the event of any violation of these prohibitions or other questions you should telephone the Clinical Director at 540-231-7201.
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