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Upon scheduling a first session, all clients agree to the following policies and procedures. Financial, minor treatment, technology/virtual, and specific informed consent, and good faith estimate (No Surprises Act) are further outlined in intake forms.


Any time you seek therapy to work with the difhiculties in yourself or your relationships there are benehits and risks involved. The benefits can include the ability to handle or cope with your specihic concerns and/or your interpersonal relationships in a healthier way. You may also gain a great understanding of personal, interpersonal, or family goals and values. This new understanding may lead to greater maturity and happiness as an individual, couple, or as a family. There may also be other benefits that come as you work at resolving your specific concerns. However, therapy can be challenging and uncomfortable at times, and there are no guarantees to the outcome you desire. Remembering and resolving an unpleasant event may cause intense feelings of fear, anger, depression and frustration. As you work to resolve personal issues or issues between family members, marital partners, and other persons, you may experience discomfort and an increase in conflict. There may be changes in your relationships, which you had not originally intended. Your counselor will discuss with you the benefits and risks involved in your particular situation.


At Secure, we focus on the neurobiology of human behavior and relationships. Treatment at Secure Counseling Clinic is based on an emotion-focused approach, which is a combination of biological attachment theory and family systems theory. Our therapeutic approach at Secure is well-rounded, as we take all aspects of a client into consideration. In your treatment, we will look at the entire system you are a part of: your family, personality, work, religion and spirituality, your thoughts/cognitions, society, innate heretical factors, medical conditions, etc. Clinicians at Secure conceptualize presenting concerns from an attachment-based perspective: human behavior and emotions stem from the innate need to belong, to be accepted, to be comforted, and to be protected from harm. Our practitioners believe that the need to attach to the people we love in a healthy way is consistent across the life cycle - from the cradle to the grave. Each of the clinicians in this practice have specialized post-graduate professional certifications and specialized training, and those credentials can be found online in each clinician’s biographical information.


Details about consenting to minor treatment are outlined in the Minor Consent Form. Secure Counseling Clinic provides clinical outpatient counseling services. As a part of treatment, recommendations regarding family system issues and/or other psychosocial matters which are impacting the child may occur. Consideration of these recommendations are a vital part of the therapy process. Failure to consider clinical recommendations and implement therapeutic changes on the part of parents/guardians or other adults in your child’s psychosocial environments may create substantial obstacles to your child’s treatment and limit his/her ability to benefit from the outpatient counseling provided. As the parent/guardian, you agree to participate in child(ren)’s therapy treatment by possibly attending parent sessions, classes, and/or implementing interventions at home that your counselor recommends. Child(ren)’s therapy progress does heavily rely on parental ability to follow treatment recommendations on the child’s behalf. These services are intended to address your child’s treatment and clinical needs and are not intended to serve in any other manner, including those described below.

• Secure’s services do not include formal placement or formal custody evaluation.
• Secure’s services do not include conducting a home study.
• Secure’s services are not forensic in nature and do not include determining if something has or has not happened to a child.


If you would like referrals to other agencies or practitioners with alternative approaches to counseling, other options are available; for example, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, self-help groups or anonymous support groups, or medications prescribed by a physician or psychiatrist. Your counselor or a member of the Secure staff can provide you with more information about other forms of treatment that might be right for you. Your clinician will likely recommend additional interventions to meet your needs. Some possible referrals may include medical doctors, psychiatric consultation, occupational therapy, other forms of mental health treatment, supplemental groups or classes, massage or natural forms of intervention (nutritionist, dietician, etc).


The information you provide in therapy is confidential. Your therapist will not reveal any information about you or your issues, except for professional consultation, without your written consent. Your therapist will not reveal that you are a client at Secure Counseling Clinic or initiate contact/acknowledge that s/he knows you if you were to meet outside of the clinic location, in order to protect your right to privacy. You may always initiate or acknowledge contact outside of the therapy location yourself. Any written records of your treatment are also confidential. Because of our legal mandate to report some issues, confidentiality may be broken if you are found to be a clear or imminent danger to yourself or others, if you report current abuse of a child or dependent adult, or if a judge court orders your records.


If you encounter your counselor in a public setting (grocery stores, community events, school, etc.), s/he will NOT acknowledge any relationship with you in the interests of protecting your privacy. You are welcome to approach or acknowledge your relationship, but it must be initiated by you.


Details about consenting to minor treatment are outlined in the Minor Consent Form. In the state of Kansas, parents are allowed access to information about their children in therapy. If we are treating a minor child individually, our Minor Consent Form has a statement about the content of these sessions being confidential, even from parents, in the interests of maximizing the effectiveness of therapy in a private/individual session. This is common professional practice in counseling treatment of children and adolescents. If there are life-threatening concerns, the same policy of breaking conhidentiality (emphasized above) applies.



During the course of our work with a couple or a family, we may see a smaller part of the treatment unit (e.g., an individual or two siblings) for one or more sessions. These sessions should be seen by you as a part of the work that we are doing with the family or the couple, unless otherwise indicated. If you are involved in one or more of such sessions, please understand that generally these sessions are confidential in accordance with our Confidentiality Policy. However, we may need to share information learned in an individual session (or a session with only a portion of the treatment unit being present) with the entire treatment unit — that is, the family or the couple, if we are to effectively serve the unit being treated. Your counselor will use his/her best judgment as to whether, when, and to what extent disclosures are made to the treatment unit, and will also, if appropriate, first give the individual or the smaller part of the treatment unit being seen the opportunity to make the disclosure. Thus, if you feel it necessary to talk about matters that you absolutely want to be shared with no one, you might want to consult with an individual therapist who can treat you individually. The “No Secrets” Policy is intended to allow us to continue to treat the patient (the couple or family unit) by preventing, to the extent possible, a conflict of interest to arise where an individual’s interests may not be consistent with the interests of the unit being treated. This policy is intended to prevent the need for termination of therapy because of a conhlict of interests between individual members and the family.


We never hang or display any art or photographs of clients’ unless we have written consent to do so. If you and your counselor will be hanging your artwork in one of our therapy rooms, you will need to sign our Art and Image Consent form to allow items to be displayed for the purpose of affirming your therapy growth and sharing the message or artistic expression of your emotions with others. Your name(s) will be withheld in any display of artwork, writing, or photographs.

TECHNOLOGY-ENABLED COUNSELING (Sessions on Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Phone)

Your counselor abides by the ethical code enforced by the American Counseling Association, most specihically those associated with online counseling and technology in Section A.12. Technology Applications of the ACA Code of Ethics. Currently, counseling laws state that you must reside in the state where your counselor is licensed in order to participate in technology- enabled counseling. Our counselors are licensed in the State of Kansas. We may counsel by technology (phone, video chat) anyone who also resides in Kansas, whether locally or several hours away. Please be aware that Skype is not encrypted, while FaceTime is encrypted. The intake process, billing, paperwork and policies are all the same as a face-to-face client. We do not have a landline as a clinic, as we choose to use cell phone communication to maximize our availability to you. Your counselor also reserves the right to refuse technology-enabled counseling based on best clinical judgement related to your physical safety and therapy needs.


It’s best not to text. Email is the best form of written communication. Texts to your clinician go into a password protected 913-735-xxxx number, which hilters to a password-protected app on their cell phone, so texts are not seen in real time! If you happen to also have your clinician’s direct cell phone number, it is not safe to text because anyone - not your clinician - could be holding or viewing the phone at any time. To Bear in mind that your therapist is not always at work, so please limit your texts.



Cell phone communication, fax, email, and texting are not confidential forms of communication, and the choice to use them to communicate with your counselor is assumed when you provide your contact information at intake. Our counselors use cell phones for communications in the interest of being responsive and available to you as a client. You are responsible for ensuring the conhidentiality of the location in which you schedule your appointments online, speak on the phone, email, or text (for example, emailing on a computer at work or a public library is not as confidential as emailing at home). We do not utilize a landline telephone or fax machine, so that paperwork is not visible to anyone who might enter our offices. The only guaranteed confidential form of communication available is face-to-face communication. If you choose to fax content to us, our fax number is 1-866-755-4670. Fax is not confidential - by choosing to fax, you waive the confidentiality risk.

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY (Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, etc.)

Social media consists of such networking platforms online as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, etc. In order to protect the privacy of our clients and to contain the exclusivity of counseling to the counseling room, we do not form connections on these platforms. If connections already exist at the time of intake, clinicians will use discretion about whether or not to maintain the connection, based on what is in the best interests of each client. Our clinic does have a Facebook Page; if you become a Fan or “Like” our clinic, you may become visibly associated with our clinic to others on Facebook. We leave “like” and becoming a fan to the choice of our clients; please be aware that your confidentiality as a possible client of our clinic may become known. This is your decision.


A file is kept for each case seen, which includes an your Client Information Packet, Informed Consent Form, any Authorizations for Release of Information, hinancial record keeping, assessments, and any other correspondence or information related to that case. Records are stored in a locked, secure cabinet in a locked closet for conhidentiality purposes and will be held for at least seven years after termination, or the end of therapy. If client is a minor, his/her records will be kept for seven years after termination or after 18 years of age, whichever comes chronologically later.



Note-taking is an essential part of your clinician’s work. It’s important to understand the difference between ofhicial clinical records, progress notes, and psychotherapy notes. You are entitled to your clinical records, which consist of your intake packet, formal assessments done during the course of therapy, communications between you and your therapist such as emails, texts and phone calls, billing records, diagnoses in the form of treatment plans/summaries, letters or other communication that your clinician provides on your behalf, disclosure authorizations, termination summaries. You must make your request in writing. Your clinician is not obliged to produce those records with immediacy; your clinician will collaborate with you and evaluate, based on your case and clinical needs, the appropriate delivery and timeline. Most of these things are items you will have already seen yourself during the course of treatment. If you request your records at any point, you may be charged an administrative fee, depending on the volume of your client hile. The purpose of a progress note is for sharing session by session information between treatment providers who are actively coordinating care within a treatment team in real time. At Secure, our clinicians do not generally keep progress notes because you are working with one clinician who is not a part of a treatment team within the same organization. In order to collaborate/consult with outside practices or other treatment providers, it’s generally more effective for your clinician to write a summary letter or to consult verbally about your case, rather than transmission of client hiles (this is difhicult for other treatment providers to distill into relevant information for helping you). The purpose of note taking is to move the treatment process along smoothly and effectively. The most useful form of note keeping for your clinician is psychotherapy notes, which are the clinician’s private notes and which receive special protection through the Privacy Rule. They are not a part of your formal client records and they will not be released under any circumstances. Here is some information about that from the Department of Health and Human Services:

  • The Privacy Rule distinguishes between mental health information in a mental health professional’s private notes and that contained in the medical record. It does not provide a right of access to psychotherapy notes, which the Privacy Rule defines as notes recorded by a health care provider who is a mental health professional documenting or analyzing the contents of a conversation during a private counseling session or a group, joint, or family counseling session and that are separate from the rest of the patient’s medical record. See 45 CFR 164.501. Psychotherapy notes are primarily for personal use by the treating professional and generally are not disclosed for other purposes. Thus, the Privacy Rule includes an exception to an individual’s (or personal representative’s) right of access for psychotherapy notes. See 45 CFR 164.524(a)(1)(i). Emphasis ours.



If client records need to be seen by another professional or anyone else, counselor will discuss it with client. If client agrees to share these records, an Authorization for Release of Information form will be completed. This form states what information is to be shared, with whom, why, and for how long the information may be shared. Your counselor has reached the highest level of licensure available for practicing clinicians (LCPC), therefore are not required to be supervised. Because we believe that the integrity of our professional training requires the occasional consultation with other clinicians, we ask your permission to disclose information about your case to the below listed professionals. Secure Counseling Clinic and its counselors believe that these practices also contribute to the high quality of professional services provided for you, our valued client. All identifying information about you and your family is kept confidential, and your counselor reveals only relevant case information for discussion of best practice and appropriate treatment.The therapy offered to you is delivered by a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the State of Kansas. Vanessa Knight, LCPC (#2330), NCC (#270119), CCMHC and Ben Taussig, LCPC (#2344), NCC (#270122). Both Ben Taussig and Vanessa Knight consult with one another regarding Secure Clinic cases, as practicing partners. Both partners occasionally participate in collegial consultation groups with other private practice clinicians for the purpose of continuing education and the pursuit of professional excellence.


Should either counselor of Secure become unavailable, incapacitated, or deceased, the co-owner and partner of that counselor will assume responsibility for your case, files, treatment and referrals to additional/alternative professionals. Your file will be maintained by Secure for a total of seven (7) years after the final date of treatment. Minor hiles are maintained for 7 years after the child’s 18th birthday or the hinal date of treatment, whichever is later.



You may have given optional permission to allow your counselor to make audio or video recordings of counseling sessions for your counselor to replay session interactions in order to further help you/your family or for consultation/training purposes (portions of these recordings may be reviewed by the counselor’s consultants/supervisor(s) as part of his or her professional continuing education or certihication requirements). All recordings are destroyed following viewing and are not kept as a part of formal client files at any time. All recordings are treated with the same ethical concern as conhidential records. If you gave your optional consent, your counselor may present the case and segments of audio or video during group consultation/ supervision for the purpose of excellence in case management and training.



You may contact our office by dialing 913-735-3384 (general voicemail). Ben Taussig may be reached at 913-735-5128; Vanessa Knight may be reached at 913-735-4899. We are not available for 24-hour emergency care. A client cannot assume that we will be available at all times. In case of an emergency and the inability to reach us, immediate contact should be made to one of the following crisis hotlines:

Emergencies: 911
Battered Person’s 24 Hour Hotline: 816-995-1000 Child Abuse (KS): 1-800-922-5330
Child Abuse (MO): 1-800-392-3738
Johnson County Mental Health: 913-782-2100 Rape Crisis Line (KS): 913-642-0233
Rape Crisis Line (MO): 816-531-0233
Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255




A regular therapy session is 50 minutes in length in order to allow adequate preparation for your session and processing of your paperwork at the beginning and end of your session. Session lengths may be extended with prior discussion between client and counselor when deemed necessary for meeting treatment goals. Attendance at scheduled therapy sessions is expected.




Once you have made an appointment with your clinician, the clinician has now reserved the session time exclusively for you. We require 48 hours notice of cancellation (which you can do online through our scheduling software anytime of day/night by following the links in your session confirmation email), and preferably, the most notice you are able to provide once you know you will not be able to make a session time. If you are unable to be physically present for the session, your counselor can meet with you through remote connections such as Zoom, Facetime, Skype, or a telephone-enabled session. For example, in case of inclement weather or you/your child being ill (therefore home from daycare/school/work), your counselor may be able to meet with you through technology-enabled means, including the telephone.Negative emotion due to being billed for sessions cancelled within the 48 hour window tends to be one of the common reasons for discontinuation of therapy - in order to avoid this trap, please be sure that you understand and joyfully agree to pay your therapist for the time exclusively and respectfully reserved for you in his/her schedule. If you cancel less than 24 hours from your session time, regardless of the reason, you will be charged the agreed session fee for that time. If you cancel 48 to 24 hours from your session time, you will be charged 50% (half) the amount of your agreed session fee. Our No-Show Policy also states that you will be billed in full for not showing up for your appointment. A cancellation must be made with 48 hours notice in order to avoid being billed/charged the full amount due for the session. Please call your counselor’s direct phone extension (not the general voicemail line or by email) to advise of cancellations as soon as you are aware that you cannot make your scheduled appointment in order to allow the spot to be filled. Your appointment reminder email from Booksy is a no reply email address - if you attempt to cancel by replying to that address, you will be billed. Excessive cancellations may result in a discussion of readiness or motivation for therapy and may result in services being placed on hold status at that time. Services may be reinstated at a later date, subject to discussion with counselor, and the intake process must be repeated.



A no-show occurs when a client does not call ahead of time to cancel an appointment and does not attend a scheduled session. Cancellation with less than 24 hours notice will be considered a no-show, and the client will be billed/charged the full amount for the missed session. A total of three (3) no-shows will result in termination of services. Services may be reinstated at a later date; however, the intake process must be repeated.


If a client arrives for a therapy session fifteen (15) minutes late or later, therapy cannot take place due to lack of sufficient time for the session, and the client will be billed/charged the full amount for the session. If the counselor is running behind in the day’s schedule, s/he will do his/her best to allow your full allotted time or the time will be made up to you.


Your client hile will become inactive after sixty (60) days of non-attendance at the clinic. You can begin counseling again at any time. You will complete a Reintake Form to update your contact information, alert your counselor to any life changes, and reevaluate your Financial Contract.


In the event of inclement weather, our counselor will be available for technology-enabled sessions (Zoom, Facetime, Skype or telephone). If you plan to cancel due to driving conditions, please call your counselor’s direct phone extension as soon as you have made your decision. Winter weather will be considered on a case by case basis; however, the default policy for cancellation is our 48-Hour Cancellation Policy (see above).



We are committed to providing the best care possible to every client, regardless of income level. To increase commitment to treatment, we believe it is beneficial to charge all clients a fee of some amount. Our clinicians' current fees are listed for clarity here.



Once you have made an appointment with your clinician, the clinician has now reserved the session time exclusively for you. We require a minimum of 48 hours notice of cancellation, and preferably the most notice you are able to provide once you know you will not be able to make a session time. Our No-Show Policy also states that you will be billed in full for not showing up for your appointment. In order to proceed with our hinancial policies, we require an authorization of a credit or debit card that will be used in the instance that clients choose not to attend a scheduled session. No deposit will be placed on the card, and no charge will be made unless you do not cancel with 48 hours notice or do not show up for your scheduled session. If you have enrolled in the Automatic Payment Plan, payments will continue as planned. Your clinician values the exclusivity of your scheduled sessions and schedules a period of time to give your his or her undivided attention. Thank you for understanding and agreeing to our policies. If you choose not to agree to authorize a credit or debit card charge, you will be required to place a cash or check deposit (in addition to today’s session fee). This deposit will be used in the instance of less than 48 hours cancellation or your not showing up for your scheduled appointment. When this happens, you will be required to place another deposit, to be held in the same manner.



In order to keep our fees reduced for families with financial needs, our commitment to patient mental health privacy, and due to philosophy of practice regarding diagnosis of mental disorders, our clinic operates on a self-pay system, and our clinicians are out of network with all insurance companies, and you may file your receipts (distributed electronically via email) for reimbursement with your insurance carrier if you prefer. If you choose to do this, all of the necessary information is available on your receipt (clinic tax ID number, treatment codes, and address of clinic), but in addition, your clinician will be required to provide a diagnosis code. Please discuss the risk and benehits of receiving a mental health diagnosis with your clinician, as there are several factors to consider. If you have a Health Savings Account or a flexible benefits account, receipts are generally 100% reimbursable through these means of payment.



Sometimes, correspondence with other mental health or medical agencies is required and most phone contact or brief letters to your case will be a complimentary part of our services. Your therapist is available for phone consultations outside of session regarding brief administrative, logistical needs. Generally, these conversations last 5-10 minutes and tend to be infrequent. We are happy to discuss scheduling, finances, brief treatment planning on the phone with our clients. If a phone conversation lasts longer than 15 minutes in duration or the nature of the phone call is therapeutic rather than administrative, your clinician will charge a prorated amount of your session fee in increments of 5 minutes (.08 hour).

Office Session Overage:

  • Sometimes a client needs a little more time before leaving a session because of the intensity of the discussion. We work hard to keep sessions running on time, so that clients can come and depart on time. Occasionally, a session runs slightly over or under one hour - most often these times are not noted because things tend to “all come out in the wash.” A standard therapy “hour” in medical billing is 50 minutes. If your session runs over the allotted time consistently, your clinician may charge a prorated amount of your session fee for the additional time. 

Court-Related Matters:

  • Sometimes, correspondence with other agencies (insurance, courts, other professionals, etc.) is required. Most phone contact or brief letters to medical or mental health professionals regarding your case will be a complimentary part of our services; however, any communication, verbal or written that involves the court system, attorneys or litigation will be billed the full private practice fee of $125/hr (prorated by the .25 hour), not at the agreed session fee. If a counselor of Secure is required to appear for any court related meetings, including depositions or expert witness appearances, you will be billed in full for the preparation time and the amount of time that the counselor is required to block out his or her schedule, regardless of whether the appearance takes place once the cancellation is less than 72 hours (3 days) from the required appearance. For example, if your counselor is subpoenaed as a witness, and s/he is required to block 4 hours of clinical time for the appearance, you will be billed for 4 hours, and 72 hours notice of settlement or cancellation of the appearance is required.

Extended (Cumulative >2 Hours) of Communication with Medical/Social Work/Mental Health Professionals:

  • Extended letters or contact (cumulative 2+ hours) with other mental health, medical or social work professionals may eventually result in these same prorated charges. In all correspondence, you will need to sign an Authorization for Release of Information.

Reading, Correspondence, Emailing for Therapeutic Purposes:

  • Bibliotherapy, or the use of media (movies or music your request your therapist watch/listen to), books, letter-writing, journaling or emailing, proves an effective form of supplemental treatment alongside regular sessions. Parents often require email correspondence for coaching or consultation in between sessions for minor clients. If you and your therapist discuss the use of this format in between your regular sessions, your therapist will be reading your therapeutic material (books, letter- writing, etc) and this time will be billed at your hourly rate. The fees will be prorated at the .25 hour.


Payment for each session is due at the beginning of appointment time. The amount of each clients payment is determined Intake Administration (hirst session). A Financial Contract is signed by both the client and counselor. Non-payment at the time of session may result in the credit card on hile being charged or loss of deposit. Continued non-payment will result in termination of services.



If your account carries a balance for an extended period of time, you will be charged a late fee of $15/month for every month there is an existing balance on your account that is more than three months old. We help you avoid late payment fees altogether by collect credit card information for our Deposit And/Or Charge Plan Agreement.


Each counselor, at his/her discretion, may choose to serve a client at a pro bono fee (lower than $100 per session) as a contribution for the general good. Each counselor may make individualized arrangements with these clients on a case-by-case basis. Most of the time, even pro-bono clients are required to pay a minimal amount for therapy services as a part of maintaining the value and commitment to therapy itself by the individual/family.

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