Welcome to my practice and thank you for reaching out! I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to work with you and be a part of your journey.
If you are familiar with my work, then I’m sure you already know my passion for counseling. I believe that we should all have our own counselor or psychologist provided when we turn age 13! First to help navigate life’s sometimes troubled waters but also to help us understand relationships, even to understand ourselves 😊.
Before scheduling a session or messaging there is important information that you need to be familiar with to make educated decisions about your care. This is called “informed consent and disclosure”. In order for me to provide you with counseling or communicate with you, you need to be familiar with the process, limitations, potential risks and benefits, scheduling, fees and billing, and otherwise what to expect in counseling. Informed consent is provided in the below information and disclosure information is this website.
I want you to know that I am here to listen and support you. I am committed to sharing the best information that my years of training, education, and experience can offer to help you be successful towards your goals. Our work together will be a partnership that will require your commitment to the process towards making the changes that are defined as meaningful by you.
I will strive to create an environment of trust and respect in which growth and movement forward can occur. It is necessary that we establish a relationship in which you can trust and express your feelings freely and completely. Please be as open as you can in order for us to navigate authentically through this joint effort and journey. Failure to do so may contribute to less desirable outcomes.
I approach counseling as an educational self-discovery process and believe that you are ultimately in charge of steering your own ship. Tell me where you want to go and we’ll work together to find the most effective coordinates to steer by to get there. This doesn’t mean we won’t hit some icebergs, we will, it is a part of the healing journey. Remember, there is no magic pill, quick fix, or guarantee in counseling or psychotherapy to address life's challenges but there are solutions that you can choose to apply or new perspectives to embrace.
You are your own best expert in YOU and only YOU have the power to make the changes you want to make.
Many people google their health challenges and set expectations that may not be helpful based on the general information that the internet provides. Your experience can seem similar to someone else's, or certain criteria, when it is in fact not. Comparing your situation or timeline to online information can complicate your counseling experience and limit understanding of your needs.
Although our sessions may include sharing of psychological and emotional content, it is important to realize that we have a professional relationship rather than a personal one. Our contact will be limited to counseling sessions and messaging (APA / ACA Code of Ethics). It is important to remember that you are experiencing me only in a professional role and context.
It will take a little bit for us to get to know one another and for me to understand what information may be most beneficial to share. The more specific you can be the better. It’s the small things that can make a big difference in our everyday lives especially when something big is demanding our attention.
Feel free to ask questions about anything at any time. Counseling is a process of sharing information to understand a problem and develop the best strategy to address it. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and frustrating. It is important to talk about it when you feel like things are not going the way you were hoping in the counseling process. We can work to make the necessary adjustments to customize the experience and make it meaningful for you.
Everything matters and what you think and feel are the most important ingredients. It can be difficult to disclose our inner thoughts but those are what fuel and drive what we do. Our work will only be as limited as the degree to which you share information.
By reaching out to me, and/or agreeing to counseling, you acknowledge and understand the above information and that: :
- Services are limited to scheduled sessions and messages.
In the event that your mental health requires additional emergency attention, or if you have an emotional crisis, you will need to reach out to the appropriate emergency resources including one of the following:- Go to the nearest local emergency care center
- Call a community mental health center or contact the national or international treatment locator for inpatient facilities and community mental health centers at: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
- Contact the national hotline to talk to someone at: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/talk-to-someone-now/
- If you are outside of the United States utilize: https://www.betterhelp.com/gethelpnow/
- Counseling is a process that may require your regular commitment for optimal results. Ultimately you are in charge of what you want to implement in your life relative to your thoughts, behavior, and feelings. Only you can make decisions about your life.
- There are no guarantees with services provided.
- Online counseling services may not substitute in-person psychotherapy, psychological services, mental health assessments, or psychiatric treatment.
- The online technology platform that is used is not managed by DrVic/VOLConsulting.
- Online payment information is only disclosed to iCouch technology administrators.
- DrVic/VOLConsulting does not manage or have authority over login access, passwords or any other administrative process within the iCouch technology and cannot be held liable for its operations.
- You understand that your information and file is retained and maintained by the technology owner iCouch and not DrVic/VOLConsulting.
- Communication through messages is asynchronous unless scheduling a video session. This means that when sending a message, the response will NOT be immediate. Messages are responded to during the office hours which are mainly Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays between 12pm and 5pm USA Eastern Time.
- For optimal counseling results it is recommended that one session a week is scheduled.
- There are no Chat/Text/Phone options for counseling.
- Support is limited to video & messages as scheduled and both require signed informed consent forms. You must register with iCouch, request those forms, and sign and submit them before scheduling a session. You are not a client until you have signed and submitted those forms and received confirmation to schedule a session.
- Messaging will mainly be available to communicate any changes or updates between sessions only and should not be utilized as the primary modality for services provided unless specifically scheduling messaging. If there are no sessions scheduled regularly, messaging will not be available except to schedule a session.
- Sessions must be purchased separately. The only way to schedule a session is to pay for it and reserve a date/time.
- Reports or letters relative to disability claims, unemployment, court orders, or mental health evaluations and assessments, are available at an additional cost to cover time and effort for processing, file review, writing, and any applicable delivery fees.
- Some conditions and circumstances may require specialized treatment that online services are not suitable for. Additionally, sometimes these are not initially known and may only surface and be revealed after services have begun. This may result in a referral or transfer for more appropriate care or relevant expertise.
- You can terminate services whenever you want to. Seeking counseling is voluntary.
- Sessions are purchased and reserved as needed by you as the client.
- You understand that information shared is confidential except in the following circumstances: If you present as a danger to yourself or others, are engaging in acts that require mandated reporting of abuse of children or elders, or if you sign a release of information.
- Privacy is limited by the access you have on your computer, your internet connection, and physical location, and is out of the control of the counselor. You will be required to show proof of ID upon signing up for services and your information will be housed in the designated technology provided by iCouch.
- Informed consent is a living document with conditions that may change. You will be notified of any changes in writing.
- Ask A Professional (AAP) is not a counseling service. It is a one-time message consult with a question about a specific issue or topic. It should not be considered legal advice, diagnosis, counseling, or mental health care in any way. The information may be broad and applicable to the majority of people with similar issues and pull from evidence in research.
- If referring someone you understand that you will not be able to know whether they followed up or not due to confidentiality laws. You will neither be able to find out if they are in counseling nor if they scheduled an appointment.
- Health insurance is not accepted. Counseling services are self-pay unless prior agreement or contract has been made with a third-party payor (crime victim’s unit or other trauma related support service).
- You have been provided HIPAA
- The average time for counseling is generally 20 sessions. However, try to remove any time pressures or expectations you set for yourself and keep an open mind in the counseling process. Your life experience is most important and can be unique compared to others.
- Sign up for counseling through the designated SCHEDULING process at https://DrVic.org
- Find the counselor and send a message to request the electronic informed consent documents and a client intake form to fill out, sign, and submit.
- Once complete, you can schedule a session using the DASHBOARD click on MY PRACTITIONERS and the link labeled VIEW CALENDAR next to your selected counselor name. Scroll down and choose your preferred APPOINTMENT TYPE, click on the box with TIME/COST, then select your preferred date and time, then check out. TIP: for each type of appointment you can hold your cursor over the white dot with an " i " for information and cost for each appointment type.
We will take it one step at a time in order to work towards sustainable solutions. My goal is to get you information that you can use outside of our sessions and independently into the future to be successful.
I look forward to beginning this journey with you. Thank you again for being open and sharing with me - I know it can be difficult to start in counseling and building trust takes time. I'm here when you are ready to get started.