Policies

It can be challenging, at the very least, to find a therapist that you like by searching the Internet. With this in mind, we can talk on the phone or meet in person for a fifteen minute consult, at no charge, of course! I want you to feel encouraged in your decision to seek support, whether you choose to continue with me or not.

Booking your first appointment. You are free to book an appointment on your own through the secure client portal link below or on this website’s menu. A credit card will be required to complete your request. Once I receive your request, I will call you to have a conversation about your needs and see if we might be a good fit. Your appointment will not be confirmed until we talk. If our first contact is by phone, we can arrange a tentative appointment. I will refer you back to this website to use the secure client portal to create an account (it’s free) and request your appointment. When I confirm your appointment, I will send you initial documentation to be completed before your first session, including insurance information if you choose to use your benefits. This methods ensures your credit card information remains secure. I do not view, have access to, or store full credit card numbers or related information in order to be in compliance with PCI DSS (the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

Fees for therapy services are as follows:
$75 to $120 out of pocket sliding scale per forty-five (45) minute individual or couples session,
$120 for a one hour EMDR session (this modality sometimes requires an hour and a half session and can be discussed as needed),
$180 for a ninety (90) minute group session.

Payment. Individual and couples therapy sessions are forty-five (45) minutes. Charges for services are due at the time of service. Please be prepared to bring cash or a check, my preferred method of payment, for your co-pay (if an option) or fee to each session. However, you may pay for your session by debit or credit card through the secure client portal. This will be an option after you have registered and received confirmation of your first appointment.

Insurance. I accept Blue Cross Blue Shield, Tufts, and ComPsych insurance. 
Please provide the necessary information on the form that will be sent as part of the initial documentation packet, and allow enough time for me to verify your benefits (at least a full 48 hours). If this cannot be done before your first session, your session will be postponed. If I do not take your insurance, I can provide documentation for you to file your own claim.

Timeliness. Please be on time for your sessions. I will be and ask for the same courtesy and respect. You will receive an automatic reminder of your appointment by text or email.

Cancellation. Consistency in attending therapy will offer you the opportunity for the best results. However, if you need to cancel your session, please contact me with a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours notice or you may be charged a fee. If you are late or do not show, your session will be cancelled and you will be charged for the time.

There are, of course, rare extenuating circumstances that may prevent you from providing notice or attending your appointment. I will trust that this will happen only under situations you absolutely cannot control.

Confidentiality. Any communications we have are protected by law. I record your protected health information and session notes on a private secure server. I do not keep paper copies of records or information. Texts, emails, and voice messages are all deleted once received. Without your specific written permission I cannot even acknowledge you are a client. 

A word about doctors, family, friends, or anyone else who may contact me about your therapy. I have a form available for you to sign to give your written permission allowing me to talk with others. You can specify what information to release and I must, by law, follow your instructions (with the exceptions noted below). This means I cannot talk about your appointments with anyone else without this signed release, even a significant other or family member, even if you verbally tell me it’s okay. Under such a situation, and if I am calling to speak with you but cannot, I will simply leave my name and request that you call me back.

However, as a licensed therapist, I am a mandated reporter in the state of Massachusetts. This means that I must report the following to the proper authorities as exceptions to confidentiality:

  • to protect children, the elderly and those labeled with disabilities from abuse or neglect,
  • when required by federal, state or local law, for example, a court order.

Social Media and Social Interactions
Please be aware that while I have an online presence, I do not accept friend requests or interact with clients anywhere, or for any purpose, other than in my professional capacity as a therapist. The American Counseling Association’s Code of Ethics for therapists, which can be found here, clearly states that “counselor–client interactions or relationships with current clients, their romantic partners, or their family members are prohibited. This prohibition applies to both in person and electronic interactions or relationships.” Further, if I should see you somewhere in public, outside of our therapeutic relationship, it is likely that I will not acknowledge you. If we are in a social situation, I will act as if I do not know you. I do this not to be rude or unfriendly but to preserve your confidentiality and abide by the Code of Ethics on which my license is based. Thank you for your understanding.

 

Call me at 413-349-4005 or go HERE for booking information.

 

 

©2018 Robin Slavin, LMHC, MA License #7459
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Recent Posts

We Are Not Our Thoughts

IMG_1869Most of us believe that what we think is who we are. This is supported in western culture. There are many sayings and affirmations that reinforce this idea. We often get stuck there. We believe our thoughts are one hundred percent true. Not only that, we believe we must act on them. What if that is not the case? How many times have you made the mistake of acting thoughts you believed were true only to find out that you made an erroneous assumption, or lacked all the information to make a sound judgment? What about emotions? How often have you acted on impulse, without thinking something through, without asking yourself, what is the evidence this is true? Is there another way to look at this? What if I wait for this thought or feeling to pass? Have your impulsive responses led to damaged relationships, an inability to connect with others, lost jobs, income, or opportunities ?

One of the tenets of psychology is that we have the power to change our thoughts and feelings. It is possible to distance ourselves from our thoughts, to feel less ruled by them. The first step occurs by increasing awareness of those thoughts and feelings and beginning to question their validity. This is challenging because we believe so strongly that our thoughts define us. This is not an easy exercise. Start by practicing a deliberate pause before speaking or taking action, especially in relationships, which I introduced in this blog entry on communication: Setting BoundariesBut what do we do when our internal dialogue is self-defeating? What about thoughts that I’m not good enough, that I can’t handle this, that I feel too anxious or sad, or angry, or want to die? Then what? What do we do with that?

One skill to develop is self-talk. We all talk to ourselves. Whether we want to admit it or not, we have conversations with ourselves. Start noticing how you speak to yourself. If you drop a glass on the floor, do you call yourself an idiot or do you say it’s just a glass, it was a mistake? This noticing will help you understand how you treat yourself, what you think of yourself, what you like about how you treat yourself, and what you want to change. You can use that same self-talk in new ways. You can learn to become your own coach. You can say to yourself I’m okay right now. I don’t like this feeling but I know it will pass. It has passed before. Pairing self-talk with other skills like distraction, especially if pleasurable, increases the chance that change can happen. Changing your environment, going for a walk, listening to music, calling someone can change your thoughts and feelings and provide relief. Even temporary relief can build emotional resilience. It takes practice and does not work all the time but it’s a start. Give me a call and we can talk about other changes you have the power to make if you are willing to take a look and consider the possibilities.

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