PSYCHOLOGICAL SERVICES AGREEMENT


Welcome to my psychotherapy practice! The following document contains important information about my work and the psychotherapy method I use. Please study it carefully and ask questions when we meet. Of course, this agreement has no legal force, but if we begin working together the assumption will be that you agree to the conditions below.


About the psychotherapy method
I am a cognitive-behavioral therapist. CBT has been shown to be effective in treating the following mental disorders: affective disorders (e.g., depression, bipolar disorder), anxiety disorders (e.g., social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder), personality disorders. At the same time, CBT can be useful for people who do not have a psychological disorder, but have other problems, such as low self-esteem, problems in relationships, or dissatisfaction with quality of life. There is also evidence that CBT is not the best choice for some types of disorders and problems. I will inform you of this if it becomes clear that other treatments are needed.

Work principles
I personally and CBT as a treatment method use the following principles:
1) CBT requires an active involvement both from the therapist and the client. It is expected that the therapist is proactive in therapy: prepares for sessions, starts them on time, will as questions, etc. It is also expected that the client is proactive in therapy: also prepares for sessions, completes therapy homework or action plans, is on time for sessions, asks questions, collaborates with the therapist, gives feedback, etc.
2) CBT encourages an equal partnership between the client and the therapist. I am not a guru who will tell you what to do and how to think to change things in your life. I am simply an expert in psychological science: I know how cognition, emotion and behavior work and I know interventions or exercises we can do to influence them. You are also an expert – in your own life! Only you can observe and explain how your cognitions, emotions and behaviors work and how our work influences your life. We will try to work on a common goal, so it is important to collaborate as opposed to play a game of war.
3) Homework (or action plans) are a main part of CBT. It is done by the client outside of therapy sessions. If you don’t have the ability, opportunity or motivation to do homework, I will inform you about the low quality of further work together or about the inability to do therapy.
4) CBT is not just about talking about problems. It is also about doing exercises or interventions. Before doing an exercise, I will explain its structure, evidence base, effectiveness and reasoning. If it still remains unclear, please ask questions! These exercises may seem weird, unexpected or can be difficult or uncomfortable for you. That is, unfortunately, a normal part of therapy.
5) Yes, a lot can be uncomfortable in the process of therapy! I will always give you the opportunity to stop any session or any exercise at any time. I encourage that! I also will stop or even interrupt you to make sure we are on the right track and doing what you’d like to do in therapy. You can also refuse to do any exercise and I will do my best to suggest a different one that will be acceptable for you.
6) I encourage you to tell me if there is something you don’t like in therapy. I will ask you for feedback quite often, and you can do so as part of feedback or at any other time during the session.
7) Even though CBT is not a short-term approach it is attentive and careful about time and resources. This is true both about the therapist and the client. As a result, we use the first 2 to 4 sessions to work on getting to know each other, and formulate problems and goals of therapy. If it seems that this cannot be done, I will inform you of my concern, suggest other colleagues you can try or try to collaboratively fix the problem that is preventing us from setting clear goals. If we are successful and there are specific goals we can work towards, therapy usually lasts between 2 months and a year.
8) Both the client and the therapist can decide to stop therapy. I encourage us to have a final session where we can summarize our progress, make a list of what you’ve learned and what works for you, and make plans for the future.

I follow a Code of Ethics: http://psyethics.ru/code/

If you are dissatisfied with the quality of my work or believe that there was an ethical violation, you can contact the Association for Cognitive Behavioral Therapists (in Russia), which I am a part of: https://russian-cbt.ru/



Confidentiality
All information received from the client is absolutely confidential (not subject to disclosure).

There are several exceptions:
1. If the psychologist is obliged to disclose confidentiality by law (for example, in the event of a criminal case against the client or if there is information that the client poses a danger to himself or others);
2. When referring a client to a doctor of another specialty (any doctor keeps medical confidentiality);
3. During supervision (presenting the progress of work with the client to a more experienced colleague in order to find the most effective ways to help the client);
4. During intervision (presenting the progress of work with the client in a professional group discussion with colleagues in order to find the most effective ways to help the client);
5. When teaching and when engaging in scientific activities (this item is discussed as a personal request).

In cases 3, 4 and 5, the client remains anonymous or under an alias.

In the event that we meet by chance in a public place, I will not show that I know the client (if the client does not do it himself), will not inform others about any information about the client (if the client does not do it himself) and will not initiate contact.



About the structure and payment for online sessions
Sessions take place on the set days and times and last for 55 minutes. The cost of each session is 7000 rubles or the equivalent in any currency at the exchange rate of the session day. Payment is due before the start of each session.

If the client is late, the session time is not extended, in case the psychologist is late, the time is extended for the period of my delay.
If the client realizes that they can’t come to the session, they should notify the psychologist 24 hours before the appointed time. Otherwise, regardless of the reason for missing the session, the client pays the cost of the session in full. If it is impossible to conduct a session, the psychologist also notifies the client 24 hours in advance. Otherwise, regardless of the reason, the next session will be free of charge. In either case, if there is no agreement to reschedule the session, the meeting is canceled.
If a client misses a session without warning it is also paid for in full. If the psychologist misses the session without warning the client, the subsequent session will be free.


Guidelines for working online
Online sessions differ markedly from face-to-face sessions. For sessions to remain effective, the client must meet a number of conditions listed below.
Please get in touch from a room where you feel comfortable enough (not cold and not hot, there is a comfortable place to sit, there is access to handkerchiefs and water, it is quiet enough).
Please get in touch from a room where you feel safe enough (the door closes and strangers cannot enter, no one can overhear, you can cry or speak loudly).
It is the client's responsibility to ensure that the Internet quality, sound quality, and screen quality are all good enough.
It is not recommended to get in touch using your smartphone, the screen should be large enough for you to clearly see the therapist's facial expression and the therapist’s screen, if the therapist shares it. It is useful to have a pen and paper nearby so that you can write something down.
The client is responsible for ensuring that his or her device does not run out of battery during the session. It is recommended to have a spare device just in case.
I follow the same rules.
Sessions are not held and will not be refunded if the therapist sees that these conditions are not met (for example, if the communication is so bad that the therapist cannot hear the client well, or if the client contacts the playground or while driving).


Contact information:

You can contact me at the following number: +7 (962) 917-32-69, from 9:00 to 21:00 or contact by e-mail: anyaserebr@gmail.com. I prefer email or text messages over calls.
Communication outside the sessions is used only for solving organizational issues (for example, rescheduling a session or preparing homework). All other types of communication are discussed separately and are possible only if absolutely necessary.