Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
There is no set length of time for therapy. Therapy is a process that is sometimes brief (e.g. just a few sessions), and sometimes lasts quite a bit longer, depending on a person’s circumstances, presenting concerns, and goals for therapy. For some people, it is helpful to attend weekly sessions, and others may do this at first and then taper off to once or twice per month, until they meet their goals for therapy. Still others come to therapy quite regularly for a while, and then come for “maintenance” sessions that are spaced further apart. Together, we will discuss your particular situation and how we may work together most effectively. Each individual therapy session is 50 minutes long.
Information shared with a psychologist is kept in strict confidence and will not be shared with any other person or agency unless specific permission is given by a client. However, there are several exceptions:
- If you have the potential or threaten to harm yourself OR others. In this circumstance, the psychologist will act to protect the person(s) in danger by informing police, medical personnel, or other relevant individuals who may assist.
- If the psychologist suspects or thinks there is or there is a risk of child abuse/neglect. Psychologists are mandated reporters who must report relevant information to the Department of Children’s Services.
- If the psychologist suspects adult or elder abuse (physical, sexual, and/or mental cruelty to anyone over 16 who is vulnerable due to physical or mental disability that impedes their ability to care for themselves).
- In the event information is subpoenaed by a judge or court of law, in the case of legal proceedings.
This practice charges the hourly rate for psychological services as set by the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia ($190 per 50 minute session/10 minute file review/notation). The same rate applies to the time needed to prepare reports, letters, or notes requested by you, or on your behalf. Payment is required at the time of each session (cash, e-transfer, Visa, and MasterCard accepted).
Although MSI does not cover Psychologists fees, some health care insurance plans may reimburse you for part or all of the fees. I recommend that you talk with your insurance provider to find out what your plan covers. You may find the following questions helpful (be sure to have your wallet card, ID number and policy number ready):
- Does my plan cover the services of a registered Psychologist?
- How much coverage do I have per year? Is that per calendar year, or per 12-month period?
- Do you cover 100% of the cost or do I pay for part of each visit?
- Is there a deductible amount that I pay before I qualify for reimbursement?
- Does my insurance coverage require a physician’s referral?
- How do I submit a claim for reimbursement?
Unfortunately, I do not offer direct billing to insurance companies at this time. Therefore, payment will be required at the time of each session, and a receipt will be issued to you for reimbursement then.
When you reserve an appointment, a full hour is reserved for you and is not available to another client. Late cancellations and not showing up for an appointment make it difficult to efficiently provide service to others who require an appointment. Therefore, appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be charged the full session fee. Monday appointments would need to be cancelled by noon on Friday. If your appointment is cancelled due to illness, the fee can be waived if a medical note is presented. Exceptions may also be made for dangerous travel conditions. Please note that I am required to mark any receipt issued for a missed appointment as such, and therefore it may not be covered by insurance.
The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) recognizes both the right of individuals to protect their personal health information and the need for psychologists (or other health “custodians”) to manage clients’ personal health information to provide, support, and manage their health care and wellness. The highlights of our policies under PHIA include:
- This practice complies with PHIA’s requirements for the appropriate collection, use, disclosure, retention and destruction of your personal health information.
- There are safeguards to protect information that is kept in electronic information systems as well as paper records.
- You can request that your personal health information be corrected if you think there is an error. There are exceptions, including when the information you request to be corrected is part of the professional opinion of a health practitioner.
- If you feel that your information has been accessed inappropriately, you can make a complaint to the custodian of your information. Dr. Lisa White is the PHIA custodian/contact person for this practice.