This is some of the 'fine print' stuff, but it is an important part of our therapeutic frame - allowing you to trust that the space is safe and that your process is held with care and sensitivity.
In line with the Protection of Personal Information Act, I am committed to handling your personal information with care and sensitivity. This means that my practice (my admin team and I) only collect the information we need from you for the purpose of making the therapeutic process as effective and efficient as possible.
We keep physical records locked up in steel cabinets and digital records are protected through passwords, back ups and frequent security updates. If you would like to know more about how we collect, process, store and discard of your information, you are welcome to contact us directly. You can also learn more about the POPI Act here.
As a Clinical Psychologist registered with the HPCSA, I protect the confidentiality of all our communication. I will only release information about our work together with your permission or if I am required to do so by law.
In rare situations I am obliged to breach our confidentiality in the interest of your safety or the safety of others. If such a situation occurs, I will make every reasonable effort to discuss the matter with you before taking any action. Such situations may include:
If I am informed that a child, elderly or disabled person is being abused
If you are an imminent risk to yourself or if you make threats of imminent violence against others
If I need to consult with another professional on your process, the consultant is similarly guided by these principles of confidentiality. During consultation I make every effort to avoid revealing your identity. I may not disclose to you when I consult with another professional unless I feel that it contributes to our therapeutic process.
Please note that this practice's accounts are managed externally. This means that some of your personal details (name, ID, contact details, and diagnostic codes in as far as they are needed for billing purposes) would be made available to the administrative members of the practice. Please be assured that your information is treated with absolute sensitivity and confidentiality, regularly backed up and protected.
Online sessions are available as an alternative to in-the-room sessions to patients who travel or relocate once a therapeutic relationship had been established. The online platform currently approved by ethical bodies is called ‘Zoom’. While all online communication carries the risk of a breach of confidentiality, Zoom reports to exceed industry standards in securing communication through their software. You may read Zoom’s statement about their steps in securing their video calls here: https://zoom.us/security if you would like to know more.
To emulate the experience of an in-the-room therapeutic session, it would be important for you to ensure that you have a stable internet connection and a private, secure space where you will not be disturbed by anyone else for the duration of our session. Zoom calls are not recorded by the therapist unless explicitly stated and consented to and may not be recorded by the patient.
Any digital administrative or therapeutic notes are secured and backed up with password protection and data encryption. Hardcopy notes are stored in a locked cabinet.
Investment / Payment
All accounts are managed externally. If you will be settling your account privately, kindly do so monthly via EFT.
Medical aid claims will be managed on your behalf. Please enquire with your medical aid about the status of your benefits before starting psychotherapy.
Your account ultimately remains your responsibility to settle.
Sessions not cancelled 24 (business) hours in advance will be charged for in full and may not be covered by your medical aid.
If you foresee that you are going to struggle to make a payment, kindly discuss this with me or René (finances) in advance - payment plans are available.
Emergencies and contact between sessions
Our therapeutic time will be limited to our session times, but please do not hesitate to contact me for any admin related issues (such as rescheduling sessions etc). I am usually able to respond to emails within a few days and to messages or missed calls within a few business hours.
If you are in an emergency situation or if you are feeling unsafe (due to thoughts or the intention to bring harm to yourself or others), please do inform me. However, as I may not be able to respond immediately or may not be the most appropriate person to assist you at that very moment, it might be useful to have a list of emergency contacts nearby. Please ask me about such a list if you think it might help.