Taking the first step to start a psychotherapy process can be anxiety provoking. The thought of speaking to a stranger about your most intimate concerns can feel intimidating. These feelings are normal when we are considering starting therapy. The decision to start therapy can feel like starting a journey - you decide when you are ready to take it, where and how far you want to go, and who to take with. Your therapist will be your navigator, and companion. It is therefore important to consider the fit between yourself and your therapist. It may help somewhat, if you get an idea of who I am in the About me section.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions that may answer some of your questions about the process:
Where are you situated?
The Stellenbosch office is located at Office 2, Lutz Building, 11 Victoria Street, Stellenbosch. The Strand office is at 90 Beach Road, Strand. I also offer online consultations.
Do you accept medical aid?
I am contracted to most medical aids. And can claim directly from them, should you prefer so. Please note that the person responsible for payment will be liable to settle the account, should medical aid not cover the consultations. Check with your medical aid about your cover for psychotherapy beforehand. Contact me to confirm if I am contracted to your medical aid.
What are your rates if I don't have medical aid?
My fees are aligned with the recommended rates of the Council for Medical Schemes. The cash rate for 2021 is R1 030. A discount will be applied to all cash accounts (not claimed from medical aid by the practice) that are paid in full directly following the session. You may be able to claim this back from your medical aid. EFT payments are preferred for direct payments. Unfortunately, cheques will not be accepted. Please contact me for more information about the cash discounted rate.
How long are sessions?
The psychotherapy process consist of an evaluation phase and a therapeutic phase. The evaluation phase consists of 1-3 sessions, and primarily centers around your therapist gaining an understanding of your main concerns, who you are, and how you are functioning at present. The therapeutic phase follows the evaluation phase and will be informed by your therapist's understanding of your needs and difficulties and your goals of therapy.
The duration of the therapy process is dependent on the goals and challenges of the individual. For some, the process of therapy may be brief (6-8 sessions) or long-term (months to years). Each session is usually between 50-60 minutes long.
How confidential is the information I share in sessions?
I will treat all private information I collect about you as highly confidential. I will not disclose any information without your consent (see par 2 for exceptional circumstances).
2. In certain exceptional circumstances, however, legal or professional rules may force me to disclose information. These will include:
• Emergency situation
If there is a risk of a patient harming him/herself, someone else or myself, I am obliged to take necessary steps to prevent such harm, even if it means breaching confidentiality.
• Statutory duty
A provision in an Act may compel me to disclose confidential information about the patient.
• Court Order
A court may order me to disclose private information. In terms of my professional rules I must, however, endeavor to do everything possible to prevent the disclosure of your private information.
3. Children from the age of 12 are legally allowed to give consent for medical treatment, including psychotherapy, without permission from their parents/guardians. Paragraphs 1 and 2, above, also applies to children under the age of 18. Where indicated and clinically appropriate, I will regularly inform parents/guardians about the therapeutic process and progress of their child. As a general rule, no information will be given to a parent/guardian about the content of a session without the relevant child’s consent. I do, however, reserve the right to inform the parent/guardian if it appears that the relevant child makes him or herself guilty of criminal behavior, or threatens with, or is involved in behavior which I consider dangerous or potentially dangerous.
4. Subject to what is stated about confidentiality, I will not issue a medical certificate or report without:
• The patient’s consent, and
• Until I have given the patient an opportunity to discuss the relevant document with me.
What happens if I can't make it to my session?
If you are not able to make it to your appointment, you must please cancel it by e-mailing or calling the practice. This practice has a 24 hour cancellation policy, which means that all appoointments not cancelled 24 hours prior to the scheduled appointment time will be charged in full.
Are there any forms I have to complete?
In order to proceed with the initial session, you have to complete an agreement form for therapy that includes your personal details. For online therapy, there is an additional form that must be completed prior to your first session. These forms will be e-mailed to you before the session. Please contact me for an appointment and to receive your forms prior to your first session.