On Becoming a Client
When you become a formal client of Northside Psychological Consultancy (NPC), you (or your legal guardian) will be required to complete various documents including the following:
• Client Information Registration Form (adult & older persons version OR infant, child & adolescent version);
• Client Consent Form (adult & older persons version OR infant, child & adolescent version).
These documents are required to be completed at your first consultation. Assessment can only be commenced upon full completion of these documents. Generally, the first and second consultations will be for assessment purposes only, after which treatment options may be discussed and the focus of clinical intervention agreed upon.
NPC collects the above information for professional and business management reasons.
Given the nature of most psychological conditions, clinical experience has shown that clients are generally likely to benefit from attending a minimum of 7-10 consultations to enable comprehensive assessment to be undertaken, differential diagnosis to be determined, treatment recommendations to be discussed, intervention to be commenced and the benefits of same then gradually evaluated. NPC emphasizes that clients are expected to assume personal responsibility to actively participate in treatment recommendations. Should clients choose not to do so, that is entirely his/her prerogative, however, NPC then ethically reserves the right to cease involvement which will then ensure that the client has an opportunity to seek assistance elsewhere. The decision to cease psychological input with a client is contextual to assessment and evaluation and remains at the sole decision of the treating clinician and/or the Director. Clients are able to attend for more than 10 consultations according to clinical recommendation, according to their progress with psychological intervention and/or for other personal needs. Should clients require more than 10 consultations (as may be the case for clients who experience chronic or complex mental health conditions), NPC is willing and able to offer discounted consultation fees (i.e. when a client's Medicare or Private Health Fund entitlements are exhausted).
Policy regarding the supervision of children attending NPC
NPC advises that it is the sole responsibility of parents, guardians and/or carers to actively supervise any child which s/he brings to NPC - whether the child is a client, sibling and/or other. NPC advises that child-minding services are unable to be provided at the premises.
Policy regarding punctuality with consultation times
NPC appreciates that everyone's time is valuable. NPC, therefore, requests that clients arrive on time (not early or late) for his/her consultation to ensure that others are not inconvenienced.
Policy regarding children and adolescents who are under the legal care of the Department of Communities & Child Safety
Children and adolescents who are under the legal care, guardianship and protection of the Director of the Department of Child Safety/Communities are required to have the written consent of the Department and are required to attend the initial consultation accompanied by his/her Child Safety Officer as well as his/her foster carer. NPC adopts this policy for professional and legal reasons. The manner in which follow-up appointments are provided to the child or adolescent in statutory care will then be determined and agreed upon. The Department is required to assume responsibility for full payment of the consultation fee at each session (unless bulk-billing of consultations has been agreed upon).
Policy regarding children and adolescents who are not residing with their legal parent
Children and adolescents aged under 16 years who reside with an adult third party who is not his/her legal parent or guardian are required to produce the written consent of his/her legal parent (if living) unless guardianship has been formally delegated or relinquished (in writing) to the stated adult third party. NPC adopts this policy for professional and legal reasons. NPC is unable to assess children or adolescents who cannot, or decline, to meet this requirement. These clients must produce their current Medicare Card and a current GP's Mental Health Care or Treatment Plan (with, of course, current clinical psychology session entitlements).
Policy regarding audio or video recording of clinical sessions or conversations with clinicians
NPC strives to protect the privacy of clients who attend its premises. NPC does not permit nor authorise any kind of recording of clinical sessions or any other physical or telephone conversations with clinicians. Clients are requested to disable his/her mobile phone and/or any other recording device prior to entering NPC's premises. NPC also does not authorise the recording of telephone conversations between clinicians and clients (potential or registered). Should NPC become aware of an unauthorised recording, legal and other action will be immediately and assertively commenced to prevent distribution of the unauthorised recording.
Policy regarding physical and/or verbal hostility by a client toward a NPC's clinician and/or damage to NPC's property
NPC does not tolerate any kind of hostility by clients toward clinicians. This policy is strictly enforced and applies to all clients (i.e.children, adolescents and adults) and also to anyone else who may accompany the client to NPC.
In the event that a client engages in behaviour which is interpreted by NPC as threatening, the client will be informed of same, the consultation may be terminated and the client may be directed to leave the premises. Parents are responsible (and will always be directed and expected) to assertively manage any child or adolescent who engages in verbal/physical abuse toward a clinician or who engages in any kind of property damage. NPC will offer to assist a parent to manage a child (under age 13 years) who may be acting out (verbally or physically), but only for the purpose of minimizing a potential risk of self-harm, damage to NPC's property or potential harm toward others at the premises. In the event of an assault or threat (direct, indirect or otherwise implied) by a client toward a clinician, Queensland Police Service (QPS) will ALWAYS be informed and, if necessary, requested to attend the premises. In the event of damage (intentional or otherwise) caused by a client to NPC's property, QPS will be informed and action taken by way of the client being held financially liable for reparation. In the event of property damage caused by minors, the parent or guardian will be held financially liable for reparation.
NPC advises that it reserves absolute right to withdraw psychological services in response to hostility, property damage or any other threat - perceived or otherwise. Should withdrawal of psychological services be required, the client (and, where appropriate, the referrer) will be advised in writing.
Clients are informed that NPC's internal and external premises are protected by security monitoring - 24/7.
© 2013-18 Copyright reserved on all written content by Marcene Brumby, Clinical Psychologist.
® Northside Psychological Consultancy (NPC).