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Terms and Policy

Disclosure Statement
Training and Experience:
I have been in private practice, working primarily with couples, for over 12 years. I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Washington (credential # LH 60385103). My degree is a Master of Arts in Counseling from Western Seminary Seattle (now The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology). I am a Certified Gottman Therapist specializing in evidence based couples therapy. In addition to this training and experience I have been happily married to Rebecca for 19 out of 20 years (#8 was pretty rough). 

Counseling Orientation:
I view the counseling process as a partnership with you to explore the nature of your problem(s). Although we will spend much time exploring the specific problem(s) that brought you into counseling, we will also look at the nature of your relationships and the relational dynamics that have influenced the complexity and intensity of your issue(s).

For couples, therapy generally begins with a 3-step assessment process which includes each individual partner as well as the couple as a whole. This assessment provides the foundation or "road map" for the therapeutic process. Once the assessment is completed, we will decide on the frequency and duration of your sessions. My goal is not to make you "therapy-dependent". It is, in fact, the opposite.

Through successful therapy, you will develop the skills and tools needed to renew a sense of intimacy and partnership in your relationship. This can only happen, however, if each individual client takes responsibility for their emotional health and maturity.

Please note, that while I have take training in the Gottman Method of couples therapy and have become a Certified Gottman Therapist, I operate as a completely independent clinical services provider and I alone am fully responsible for those services. The Gottman Institute or its agents have no responsibility for the services you receive.

Finally, I believe that certain problems can have a psychological component. In such cases, medical consultation will be advised.

Billing and Insurance Information:

The fee for counseling will be $170 per 50-minute session and $245 per 80-minute session. Payments are to be made at each session. You will be charged for a missed appointment if you have failed to notify me within 24 hours of our scheduled time (illness and emergencies excepted). Fees may increase periodically, and thus the fees are subject to change with two weeks prior notification.

I do not file insurance claims for you. If your insurance provider will be covering the cost of your counseling then you need to make arrangements with them to reimburse you directly. You are responsible for obtaining and filling out any appropriate paperwork and submitting it to the insurance company. I will be glad to fill out any part of the form that is necessary. 


Confidentiality:
There is a legal privilege in this state protecting the confidentiality of the information that you share with me. As a professional, I can assure you that I strive to maintain the strictest ethical standards of confidentiality.

There are legal exceptions to confidentiality. The following situations are those in which the information you have shared with me may be shared with others.
- The client gives written permission to share confidential information.
- Anything that suggests a crime or harmful act.
- If the client is a minor, and there is indication that she/he was the victim or subject of a crime.
- The client brings charges against the counselor.
- In response to a subpoena.
- As required under chapter 26.44 RCW.
When it is possible, we will discuss any exceptions to confidentiality as they arise.

Choosing a Counselor:

You have the right to choose a counselor who best suits your needs and purposes. You may seek a second opinion from another mental health practitioner or may terminate therapy at any time.

Consultations:
I regularly consult with other professionals regarding clients with whom I am working. This allows me to gain other perspectives and ideas as to how to best help you reach your goals. These consultations are obtained in such a way that confidentiality is maintained.

Scheduling Appointments:

Appointments are generally made on a regular, weekly basis. Appointment times are not automatically held open for you from week to week. It is your responsibility to reschedule at the end of a session.

State Information:
Counselors practicing counseling for a fee must be registered or certified with the department of health for the protection of the public health and safety. Registration of an individual with the department does not include recognition of any practice standards, nor necessarily implies the effectiveness of any treatment.

The purpose of the Counselor Credentialing Act (Chapter 18.19 RCW) is (A) To provide protection for public health and safety; and (B) To empower the citizens of the State of Washington by providing a complaint process against those counselors who would commit acts of unprofessional conduct.

Unprofessional Conduct:
The brochure called "Counseling or Hypnotherapy Clients" lists ways in which counselors may work in an unprofessional manner. If you suspect that my conduct has been unprofessional in any way, please contact the Department of Health at the following address and phone number: Department of Health, Counselor Programs
P.O. Box 47869
Olympia, WA 98504-7869
360.664.9098

Contacting Me:
You may contact me by phone at 206.779.4667 or by sending an email to zach@zachbrittle.com, though neither of these methods are 100% secure. You can send a secure, encrypted message using the CounSol mail option on your profile. I check all messages on a regular basis and will do my best to get back to you promptly. Please limit your phone conversation needs to appointment scheduling and emergencies.

Emergencies:
If you are in an emergency and cannot reach me, please call one of the following numbers for help:

General Emergencies 911
Crisis Clinic 800.244.5767 or 206.461.3222
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