What you can expect as a client
We endeavour to make your contact with us as easy and simple as possible. Your first contact is usually with our reception who will find a suitable appointment time. Next, when time permits, or you have a particular question prior to your appointment, Kristina will call you to introduce herself and answer any questions. You will be asked to complete a registration form and be emailed or messaged details of your appointment.
Your first session is about getting to know you and the issues that brought you to therapy, to understand your goals for therapy and to outline a plan for working towards those goals. The following sessions can follow the plan or respond to changes in your situation as required. Our goal is to ensure our sessions meet your need for support.
Counselling sessions typically last for fifty minutes. Psychological assessments can take anywhere from two hours to several one hour sessions, depending on the nature of the assessment. The frequency of sessions is something you can negotiate with your psychologist, however weekly sessions are generally recommended at the outset.
If you are late for a session, please call or text to let us know. In most cases the session can begin when you arrive and will still end at the scheduled time. If you would prefer to reschedule your session please note that a cancellation fee may apply.
If for some reason you will be unable to attend your session, we kindly request that you contact your psychologist (via phone, text or email) to reschedule at least 48 hours in advance. This gives other clients the opportunity to make use of that vacant spot. If notice is not given a cancellation fee may apply.
If you do not show for your scheduled session your psychologist will attempt to contact you to check in and to see if you would like to reschedule.
Your rights as a client
Kristina is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and is bound by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) Code of Ethics and Ethical Guidelines. You can view a PDF file of the APS Charter for Clients on the APS website.
We collect some basic personal information in the first session to enable us to provide you with service. This information is only shared if your service is funded by another body (e.g. Medicare). In this case we share only the data required and no more.
Privacy and confidentiality
Confidentiality is one of our utmost concerns. Everything discussed in session, and even the fact that you are a client, is kept strictly confidential. This includes from other members of your household or family.
While Kristina Challands Psychologist endeavours to protect your privacy at all times, there are some things that are important for you to know. In providing psychological services we are dedicated to supporting your ongoing wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around you. If we identify that you are at immediate risk of harm, from yourself or from others, or that someone else is at immediate risk of harm, we have a duty of care to ensure your safety. When these concerns are identified we will speak with you about this and explore options.
If at any stage you feel unsure about what a psychologist does and does not have to report, we encourage you to ask and they will tell you.
Policy for Management of Personal Information
This document describes the policy of Kristina Challands Psychologist for the management of clients' information. The psychology service provided is bound by the legal requirements of the National Privacy Principles from the Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000.
Kristina Challands Psychologist is committed to keeping data secure. Notes taken by your psychologist are kept as part of your confidential client file. Client files are held in a secure filing cabinet, which is accessible only to authorised staff. The information in each file includes personal information such as name, address, contact phone numbers and other information that is relevant to the psychological service being provided. Any information stored electronically is protected by encryption.
All information obtained from clients is confidential. The client may provide the psychologist with the consent to reveal such information to medical or legal bodies. Disclosure without client permission can occur if there are statutory obligations. The psychologist may disclose minimal information necessary to avert risk in unusual circumstances where failure to disclose may result in clear risk to the client or to others.
Purpose of holding information
The information is gathered as part of the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the client's condition. The information is retained in order to document what happens during sessions, and enables the psychologist to provide a relevant and informed psychological service.
Requests for access to client information
You may access the material recorded in your file upon request, subject to the exceptions in National Privacy Principle 6. The request must be serious, i.e. "The request must not be frivolous or vexatious". All requests by clients for access to information held about them should be lodged with Kristina Challands Psychologist. These requests will be responded to within 14 days and an appointment may be made if necessary for clarification purposes.
If you have a concern about the management of your personal information, please inform us. If you wish, you can obtain a copy of the National Privacy Principles, which describe your rights and how your information should be handled. Ultimately, if you wish to lodge a formal complaint about the use of, or access to, your personal information, you may do so with the Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner on 1300 363 992, or GPO Box 5218, Sydney, NSW 1042.
Social Media Policy
You are welcome to view/share my Facebook Page and read or share articles posted there. Please note, I will not discuss the client/therapist relationship or post content that could breach confidentiality with individual clients on any social media sites. This also means that I cannot tell people that you are my client but you are welcome to tell anyone you wish that I’m your therapist or how you feel about the sessions and treatment I provide to you.
Please do not use messaging on Social Networking sites such as Facebook or Instagram including wall posts to contact me professionally. These sites are not secure and are not considered a professional means of communication even for scheduling appointments. If we have an established client/therapist relationship engaging with me through social media messaging could also compromise confidentially. If you need to contact me between sessions, the best way to do so is by phone or email.
All page content will be of a professional nature and any comments or posts that are deemed to be offensive, abusive or discriminative will be reported to Facebook and removed. My Facebook page is linked to an Instagram account and the same policy applies to the Instagram page.
If we are working together professionally, I hope that you will bring your feelings and thoughts about our relationship or work directly into the therapy sessions rather than expressing them through social media and trying to interact with me this way.
Steven C. Hayes
“Love isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”