• Important Stuff With the Word “Policy” in It, post 1: Intro

    I get it. Terrible word, right? Policy. Just reading it probably makes you want to fall asleep.

    I’ll bet most people feel that way. Heck, even I feel that way. Most policies are boring and only marginally relevant to your life, or at least seem that way.

    But there is at least one set of policies it’s extremely important you understand. I mean, I’m sure you already know it. I’m talking about my Office Policies and Informed Consent, of course. 🙂

    You read it, right, when you first became a client?

    Every amazing, perfectly placed, incredibly important word?

    I don’t know about you but when I start seeing a new provider, I’m like, “Just tell me where to sign.” I assume most of my clients are that way too.

    But the relationship between a therapist and their clients is very different than between a doctor and their patients. It’s closer. It’s more personal. I “know you” better. Often a lot better.

    Because of this, it’s, actually pretty important that you have read my office policies. I value my relationship with you, and we’ve known for decades that the most important predictor of whether therapy succeeds or not is whether the client values the relationship with the therapist.

    At some point in counseling, a situation could arise that would require me to behave in a certain way. For example, let’s say you try to “friend” me on Facebook. My office policies document states that I do not accept clients as friends on social media and explains why, but if you don’t know that, you could be hurt or angry. If you don’t discuss that with me, our relationship could be damaged.

    Being familiar with my policies helps you know, “If this happens in counseling, Dave is going to do X,” and then you aren’t taken by surprise or feeling like I am singling you out or punishing you for something.

    So my next few posts are going to cover the most immediately relevant and important sections of my Office Policies and Informed Consent document (only in plain English, unlike the original document!) and make sure you are truly informed about how I work and what I understand to be the nature of our relationship as client and counselor.

    I’ll try to keep each post shorter than this one has been, and I hope you’ll either join me on this journey or else just go to the portal, pull up your copy of my office policies, and read it through carefully!