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Terms of Service – Personal Development Coaching

PROCESS OF COACHING AND SCOPE OF PRACTICE

Your provider is a personal development coach. She is not a licensed medical professional or a psychotherapist and does not provide mental healthcare services. If needed, she will refer you to the appropriate professionals for matters that fall outside her scope of services, including but not limited to:

  • Mental illness
  • Trauma
  • Medical concerns
  • Personality disorders
  • Suicidality
  • Financial Planning
  • Legal Issues
  • Emergency situations

Nothing discussed in your sessions should be taken as medical, legal, or financial advice, or as anything beyond suggestions for personal growth. Working toward this growth requires effort on your part. Personal development requires your very active involvement, honesty, and openness in order to achieve change in your thoughts, feelings, and/or behavior.

As a coach, your provider will seek to help you in a variety of ways apart from psychotherapy, including but not limited to:

  • Setting and achieving personal and professional goals
  • Making realistic and practicable plans for making change in your life
  • Managing life problems such as stress, relationship issues, anger problems, decision-making, work-life balance, and more.
  • Identifying internal and external barriers to decision-making and personal development
  • Referring you to other professionals as necessary for concerns outside her scope of practice

Note: While personal development coaching does not treat mental illness, that does not mean that people living with a mental illness cannot also benefit from coaching to help them in the ways described above. If you have questions about what you can expect from a personal development coach, please feel free to ask your provider or reach back out to the Baltimore Therapy Center at 443-598-2821.

Coaching may lead you to make changes in your life that you were not originally intending. Coaching may result in decisions about changing behaviors, employment, schooling, housing, or relationships. Sometimes a decision that is positive for one family member is viewed negatively by another family member. Change will sometimes be easy and swift, but more often it will be slow and even frustrating, with backsliding being a normal part of the process. There is no guarantee that coaching will yield positive or intended results.

CONFIDENTIALITY

All information disclosed within sessions is kept confidential and will not be revealed to anyone without your permission except where disclosure is required by law.  This includes situations where your provider believes that there is a risk of you harming yourself or someone else, or that abuse of a child or vulnerable adult is taking place in the present or has taken place in the past (whether or not you are directly involved). Disclosure may also be required pursuant to a legal proceeding by or against you, or to collect payment from an insurance company, Employee Assistance Program, or via a collections agency in cases of nonpayment. While your confidentiality will be protected with the utmost sensitivity, note that since you are not receiving healthcare services, the legal protections governing health information do not apply.

Your case may be discussed among staff in the agency in case consultations for the purpose of providing better guidance and coaching services. If your case is discussed with other professionals outside the agency, identifying information will be altered in order to preserve your anonymity and confidentiality.

LITIGATION LIMITATION

Due to the nature of the coaching process and the fact that it often involves making a full disclosure with regard to many matters which may be of a confidential nature, it is agreed that, should there be legal proceedings (such as, but not limited to divorce and custody disputes, injuries, lawsuits, etc.), neither you nor your attorney(s), nor anyone else acting on your behalf will call on Baltimore Therapy Center staff to testify in court or at any other proceeding, nor will a disclosure of any records that may or may not be kept be requested unless otherwise agreed upon. Any dispute arising from the terms of this agreement shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the state of Maryland. In the event that Baltimore Therapy Center staff is subpoenaed to testify in court, a charge of $400 per hour will apply.

PAYMENTS

Clients are expected to pay the standard fee of $160 per 45-minute session at the end of each session unless other arrangements have been made.  Clients who have made a payment by credit or debit card will have their card number securely stored and charged automatically after each session attended or cancelled less than 24 hours in advance. Please notify your provider if any problems arise during the course of therapy regarding your ability to make timely payments.

Sessions that are missed or cancelled less than 24 hours in advance of the scheduled time must be paid in full by the client.  The Baltimore Therapy Center reserves the right to charge credit cards on file for these fees. If your account is overdue and there is no written agreement on a payment plan, the Baltimore Therapy Center may use legal or other means (courts, collection agencies, etc.) to collect payment. If you have prepaid for a session and miss or cancel it less than 24 hours in advance you will not be refunded the money. If you wish to make up a missed session you will be required to pay for it at the regular rate.

Clients arriving late for their appointment should still expect the session to end 45 to 50 minutes after the scheduled start time, not after the time of arrival. If you do not show up for your session within 20 minutes of the schedule start time and are not in contact with your provider, your provider may choose to leave and consider a missed session.

Note that personal development coaching is not reimbursable by health insurance.

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATONS

All e-mails sent from the Baltimore Therapy Center are securely encrypted and cannot be intercepted in transit by third parties. However, you are responsible for the security of your own e-mail accounts and devices. Additionally, e-mails sent by you to the Baltimore Therapy Center are not encrypted.

You may also communicate with the Baltimore Therapy Center via unencrypted methods such as text messages. If you choose to use unencrypted communication options, please be aware that any computer, unencrypted e-mail or text communication can be accessed by unauthorized people and hence can compromise the privacy and confidentiality of such communication.

Unencrypted e-mails and texts are vulnerable to such unauthorized access due to the fact that servers or communication companies may have unlimited and direct access to all e-mails and texts that go through them.  The following are some of the risks inherent in using these media:

  • An unencrypted e-mail or text message might be sent erroneously to the wrong recipient, seen by someone in your house or workplace, or purposefully intercepted by a third party.
  • Communication companies (e.g. Google) may be able to access e-mail accounts and text messages.
  • Computers, tablets, and cell phones can be lost or stolen.

These risks exist both for unencrypted messages you send to your provider, and those your provider sends to you. (E-mails you receive from the Baltimore Therapy Center are encrypted.)  In order to further address these possibilities from the side of the Baltimore Therapy Center, all e-mails bear a disclaimer in case of mistaken recipients, and all confidential data on computers, tablets, and cell phones is password-protected.  Baltimore Therapy Center computers are equipped with virus protection and a password. Client information is stored in a secure cloud environment through Google Apps and is backed up regularly into a separate secure cloud. Emails and text messages exchanged between you and your provider become a part of your record and subject to all the same laws and rights of access as any other part of your record.

You are not required to use any of these methods of communication to receive coaching services. You have the right to choose which methods you will use or not use.  If you initiate communication with your provider via unencrypted methods, we will assume that you have made an informed decision to use such communication methods, will view it as your agreement to accept the risks associated with such methods, and will honor your desire to communicate using these methods. You may also choose to communicate electronically via Signal (www.signal.org), a secure and encrypted texting app.

TELEPHONE & EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

If you need to contact your provider between sessions, please leave a message at 443-598-2821 and your call will be returned as soon as possible, unless other arrangements have been made with your provider. Staff check and respond to text/voice messages a few times during the daytime only, unless they are out of town. The Baltimore Therapy Center is not an emergency service. In case of emergency, please call 911 or the Baltimore Child and Adolescent Response System at 410-547-5490.

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