EXPLANATION OF PRIVACY POLICIES
This document explains important policies and business practices. Please read it carefully and write down any questions that you may have so that we can discuss them together. When you sign this document, it will represent an agreement between Neda Petz Psychology, Inc. and yourself about the psychological services you will receive and our privacy practices.
DESCRIPTION OF ASSESSMENT SERVICES
There are a variety of purposes for psychological testing. Common aspects of an assessment include:
- A review of relevant records provided by the client (e.g., reports from school, relevant medical records, prior assessment reports).
- A thorough structured interview with the client and/or parent(s) or partner of the client for the purpose of obtaining background information and current concerns.
- Psychological assessment questionnaires and/or inventories include surveys to be completed by all relevant parties depending on the purpose of the assessment (e.g., parents, teachers, partner, etc.).
- A collection of assessment measures, tailored to meet the purpose of the assessment. This could include tests of cognitive ability, academic achievement, visual-motor coordination, attention span, neurological functioning, memory, processing speed, psychosocial functioning, and validity measures that assess the effort and truthfulness of the assessment.
- During a feedback session, Dr. Petz will explain the test results, diagnostic impressions, and treatment recommendations.
- The results are all combined and interpreted to create an assessment report which will provide an analysis, diagnoses, and recommendations for treatment and support.
Assessments of this nature can be beneficial for multiple reasons, including identifying specific strengths and areas for growth, receiving diagnostic clarification, and getting specific recommendations for how to proceed accordingly. There are also some potential drawbacks involved with assessments. A person may experience frustration and/or fatigue due to the demands of the tasks. The person may request breaks from testing at any time, however, in order to avoid nullifying test results it is best to continue until the assessor says it is a good time to take a break. Assessment results may not be what is expected or hoped for, and people may find the results disappointing. The assessor might not be able to render an opinion or outcome that was hoped for. Assessments may be deemed invalid due to malingering, poor effort, poor performance on validity measure(s), or other unforeseeable factors. The best way to avoid misunderstanding is to be clear at the beginning of the assessment about the reason for testing and what is needed from the results.
Your clinical interview, testing dates, and feedback sessions are reserved specifically for you. In the event that you must reschedule or cancel an appointment for any reason, please provide a minimum of 24 hours notice. Due to the difficulty of rescheduling appointments on short notice, it is our policy to charge a partial fee for missed appointments, regardless of the reason, if we do not receive 24-hours notice. The cancellation fee for initial intake assessment and/or feedback is $250 and the cancellation fee for an evaluation appointment is $350.
Due to our staff’s work schedule, we are not immediately available by phone. Although we will make every effort to return calls within one business within one to two business days, we cannot guarantee that we will always be able to do so. In the case of an emergency, please call 911 and/or proceed to the nearest emergency room.
Our staff are willing to use email to communicate with clients on a very limited basis; however, your decision to use email indicates that you understand that it is not a guaranteed secure form of communication as it can be intercepted by a third party. Emails should not be utilized to discuss clinical information but can be used for scheduling appointments.
Our staff do not communicate with or contact clients through social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND RECORD-KEEPING
In general, California law and the standards of our profession guarantee that all information disclosed during a psychological assessment is kept confidential. Typically, information about your assessment will only be released to yourself and others with your written permission on a case-by-case basis. However, there are a few exceptions to confidentiality that you should be aware of:
- If our staff have reason to suspect child abuse or neglect, we are obligated to notify the appropriate authorities
- If our staff have reason to suspect abuse or neglect of a vulnerable/dependent adult, we are obligated to notify the appropriate authorities
- If our staff have reason to believe that you may seriously harm yourself or another person, we must take protective action to attempt to ensure the safety of your child or others. This may include family members of the threat, warning an intended victim, notifying the police, or seeking hospitalization
- In legal cases, a court may order testimony of records and/or ask our staff to testify
- In some cases, I may find it helpful to consult with another professional. During a consultation, I would make every effort to protect your identity. Please be aware that other professionals are also legally and ethically bound to keep this information confidential.
- Occassionally, I find it helpful to have doctoral level (Psy.D. and/or Ph.D.) student to facilitate in scoring (i.e., double scoring to ensure no errors are made), and/or writing summaries of individual test scores. These documents are exclusively provided within HIPAA compliant platforms and are always fully supervised. Please note that any other professional is legally and ethically bound to keep this information confidential.
You will receive a psychological report with a summary of the pertinent test results as well as a “data sheet” with test scores. You may also review notes that were taken during the assessment process upon request. Psychologists are required by law to make efforts to maintain test security. For this reason, the test questions and specific responses are confidential and will not be released to clients.