The UAY Counseling Program is a voluntary program that provides therapy and support services to youth and families. Program participants have the right to end services at any time. As a participant in the Counseling Program you have the following rights and responsibilities:
· You and your belongings will be treated with unconditional positive regard (respect) by United Action for Youth staff.
· You will be treated fairly, honestly, ethically and responsibly without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin or disability.
· You will be notified if your Therapist is unable to attend your scheduled appointment.
· You will have your information kept confidential unless you have provided written permission for information to be shared, or in the case of imminent harm or danger to you or a member of your family, or in the case of suspected child abuse or neglect.
· You may review your case file upon written request to UAY or your Therapist.
·Meetings will be scheduled at times that are convenient for you and your Therapist
· Treat UAY Therapist with unconditional positive regard (respect).
· Contact your UAY Therapist at 319-338-7518 if you are unable to keep an appointment.
Therapists are often not immediately available by telephone. While usually in the office between 9 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday, your call may go to voicemail if your therapist is with a client or otherwise engaged. Please suggest some times when you will be available in your message. If you are unable to wait for a return call and are experiencing a mental health emergency, please contact or go to the nearest emergency room, or call 911.
· In some cases, electronic communications, such as email and text messaging, may be used to communicate with your therapist. These are not to be considered emergency contacts or crisis lines. In-depth conversations about your mental health and wellbeing should be avoided when communicating electronically to protect your confidentiality.
· Electronic communications will not be responded to after hours, on weekends, or during holidays. All messages sent during these times will be answered during the next business day.
·A voice messaging service is available for after hour calls. If you have a non-life threatening emergency, call 319-338-7518, dial 1 when prompted and you will be connected to an On-Call Counselor, available 24/7.
Benefits and Risks of Therapy
Engaging in therapy can have many benefits. Your therapist can help you identify your strengths and find ways to use them to cope with your life, or develop new coping skills. You may find that you learn more about your reactions, relationships, and emotions. Your therapist can also help you to make desired choices and changes. You may experience a reduction of negative feelings (anger, guilt, shame, etc) or a reduced impact on your daily life from these feelings.
Therapy has potential emotional risks as well. Approaching feelings or thoughts that you have tried not to think about for a long time may be painful. Making changes in your beliefs or behaviors can be scary, and sometimes disruptive to the relationships you already have. You may find your relationship with your therapist to be a source of strong feelings, some of them painful at times. It is important that you consider carefully whether these risks are worth the benefits to you of changing. Most people who take these risks find that therapy is helpful, and your therapist will always act in your best interest.
Client-Therapist Relationship Expectations
With the exception of their work at the youth center or at community events, your therapist will not engage in any relationship with you outside of the context of your therapy together. This means that you will not see each other socially or have a relationship on social media. You and your therapist can decide together how to manage situations where you may unintentionally see each other outside of therapy, including the youth center, in a way that acknowledges your right to confidentiality and your therapist’s ethics.
Counseling Program Grievance Procedure
If you believe your rights have been denied, or you would like to express complaints, suggestions, grievances or concerns regarding services you have received through your participation in the Counseling Program, you may do so without the fear of punishment or discrimination. We encourage you to share your concerns directly with staff. If you feel the issue has not been resolved please contact:
Talia Medlinger, LISW
Counseling Program Coordinator
United Action for Youth
1700 S 1st Ave, Ste 14, Iowa City, IA 52240
If you are unable to resolve the issue with the Counseling Director, an appeal may be sent to the Executive Director at the same address.