Please read this prior to your first appointment. We will discuss it.
Practice Procedures and Policies
for Clients of Dr. Gregory Scott Sparrow, Ed.D., L.P.C.
Informed Consent Issues
Confidentiality and its Exceptions. Everything that you share with me will remain strictly confidential, with the exception of the following circumstances:
*If a client discloses an incident of child abuse that has not been reported to the state authorities, I must report it;
*If a client reports an incident of the abuse of an elderly or disabled person, I must report it;
*if a client is a danger to himself or herself, or to someone else, I am permitted by state law to inform the appropriate law enforcement agency.
*If my records and notes are subpoenaed, I may be required to submit them.
Insurance and Diagnoses. If you use insurance, your carrier may require periodic treatment reports that will be evaluated by a case manager(s). While these reports are unavailable to others, they can be subpoenaed.
Also, I will need to assign a diagnosis that will become part of your insurance and case record. The diagnosis may change as I obtain additional information over the course of my work with you. I am happy to discuss the diagnosis that I believe is appropriate, and you have every right to inquire about it at any time.
The Benefits and Risks of Counseling
Individual Therapy. While counseling may help you resolve immediate and longstanding problems, it is also important to acknowledge that counseling can stir up feelings and memories that can prove upsetting to you. Before beginning this process, it is important to ask yourself if you’re ready to embark on a meaningful journey that can, at times, upset you and challenge you.
Relationship Therapy. If I counsel you one-on-one, you and you alone are my client. Consequently, I strive to support your autonomy and self-determination, and endeavor to assist you in coming up with solutions for yourself. Because the focus in on you, if you are in a relationship and the relationship is a significant source of stress in your life, individual counseling may support your individual goals at the expense of the relationship. Therefore, if your primary goal is to improve and preserve the relationship, I recommend that you choose conjoint or marital therapy, rather than individual therapy. If you partner is unwilling to participate, it’s important for you to let him or her know that individual therapy alone may not help the relationship, even though I always endeavor to keep the focus on my clients, and to avoid making statements about people I do not know, and who are not my clients
Termination. I am committed to providing services to you only as long as it is helpful to you. Regardless, you are free to terminate services at any time. I will endeavor to work with you to find another therapist if you still need counseling once you terminate services with me.
You can make appointments by going to my website at www.drscottsparrow.com, and clicking on the online calendar. Once you schedule an appointment, I will be notified via email, and will make contact with you. Or you may call me (956) 309-3730 to schedule or reschedule appointments. If you get my voicemail, please leave clear details about when you want me to call, and whether calling your home or office number is something you would like us to avoid doing for privacy reasons. Either Julie (office manager) or I will return your call.
Cancellation of Appointments
Late-notice cancellations and cancellations without notice are costly, so I request 24 hours of notice for cancellation, in order to have time to fill the hour with another client. We normally call our clients the previous day to remind you, so there should be no reason to miss your appointment without providing adequate notice. Thank you for respecting this request.
For cancellations without notice, I have established the following policy:
1) For new clients, you will be charged a nonrefundable deposit of $50 upon making your first appointment, which will be applied to your first appointment.
1) For new clients who miss their first appointment without giving notice, you must pay an additional $50 for the missed appointment before you will be allowed to schedule another appointment.
2) For established clients, you must pay $50 for any cancellation without notice before you can schedule your next appt.
When I go out of town for an extended trip, I arrange for coverage from one of my colleagues, and will put her/his contact information in my temporary voicemail recording, and let my answering service know about my backup coverage. However, If you are in crisis and cannot reach anyone immediately—even when I am in town—please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. I will follow up just as soon as I can.
If you ever have a complaint about my services, you should contact the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. By Mail: Customer Service Representative, 1100 W. 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756. By Phone: (512) 458-7111 or 1-888-963-7111; TDD (512) 458-7708 or 1-800-735-2989