Why is there so much paperwork when I begin therapy?
I definitely did not get into this field for the paperwork. And yet, here we are. Whether it is the doctor’s office or your therapist’s office, the forms to fill out and sign can seem never ending. And we each respond to this different. Some people like to read through everything and ask questions. Others want to sign on the dotted and get to the good part. Either way, it is important to understand what’s in these documents.
Making an Informed Decision by Knowing All the Facts
There are several reasons for all these forms. The simple and short answer is: We are required to have them. There are governing board’s that require specific information be in these forms. Why, though? Well, it is so people can make an informed decision about seeing a therapist. This is a fancy way of saying that people understand possible risks and possible benefits from being in therapy. And they get to decide if they are ok with those before saying “yes” to therapy.
For instance, we are required to let you know that if you are using insurance to pay, we will notify your insurance about your therapy so we can bill them. We want you to be informed about this so you can decide if you are comfortable with this. So that you can make an informed decision. Some people are comfortable and some are not. And either is ok. More than anything, we (and our governing boards) want to make sure you understand.
Making an Informed Decision by Understanding Your Rights to Privacy
Second, therapists are responsible to ensuring that clients understand privacy. We need to disclose HIPAA regulation and how we can and cannot use your private information.
Making an Informed Decision Includes Helping Your Therapist Understand Your Needs and Information
Finally, we want to learn about you. Generally, there is an intake form so we can prepare for what other information we will need at the intake, so we can ask the right questions. This helps us to help you more effectively.
Well, that sums it up. While it can be burdensome at the beginning, all the paperwork is to help you make a decision you are comfortable with. You are encouraged to read it, ask questions, and understand it.
Contact us anytime with questions we can help you answer!