Information for Clients
How to make an appointment
The appointment process begins by making a call to our clinic at (813) 974-2496 during the operating hours listed on the left. If no one answers, please leave a confidential message. Someone will call you back as soon as possible during our office hours - normally within one business day. The next step in the process is to schedule a 30 to 60 min telephone interview with one of our trained staff. This phone interview will be scheduled to take place during our normal operating hours and will help us to learn a little more about you and the reasons you are seeking services at the Psychological Services Center (PSC). During your initial telephone interview with our Assistant Directors, you will asked about yourself (e.g., age, living arrangements) your family, social, medical, and psychological history, and your reasons for seeking services at the PSC. When this interview is completed, you will be advised as to whether you will be placed on our waiting list and potentially given information for other services you might consider. This interview will also help us to decide how best to serve you should you receive treatment in the PSC. Depending on the length of our waiting list and the specific services being sought, new clients may have to wait 2 - 4 weeks or more prior to being seen.
Current or prospective clients calling the clinic after hours receive a recorded message explaining regular operating hours and are provided an opportunity to leave a message. Current clients may leave messages for their clinician via confidential voice mail. However, please note that our clinic does not provide any emergency services, an emergency contact number or after-hours on-call service for clients OR non-clients. If you are experiencing an emergency, you should immediately dial 911 or other available crisis resources listed on the Public Resources page on this site or report to the nearest emergency room.
What to expect during your first session with a therapist at the Psychological Services Center
In general, you first session in the PSC will be for you and your clinician to get to know each other and spend some time discussing your current concerns or reasons for seeking treatment. This session will start with your clinician discussing the nature of therapy and our clinic and services with you, including the requirement that all sessions be video-taped for training purposes, and ask you to sign documents showing that you understand these issues and consent to being treated in our clinic. Following this, you and your therapist will talk about what concerns bring you to the clinic and your therapist will ask you questions about not only your current situation but also your personal history. This first session is important for informing you about our clinic and what we do, and for your therapist to get to know you and understand the current concerns that you have so that they can determine if they are the right person to be working with you and which treatments may work best for you.
This initial appointment/interview will last approximately 1-2 hours. This process is called an assessment and it is very important in getting treatment started in the right direction. As part of this process you will also be asked to complete different questionnaires about a lot of different things, such as your feelings and experiences. This process is so important to successful treatment that it will continue periodically throughout your time in the clinic.
This is the beginning of making changes, of learning what is going on and what might need to change. It is the beginning of the relationship between you and your clinician which will allow you to feel more comfortable and at ease during therapy. It also helps your clinician determine some of the ways that solutions to your current concerns can be explored. It is important to be open and honest in this and all sessions during your time in our clinic. To best benefit you during of your time here, your clinician will need to know how treatment is working for you and get an accurate picture of how you are doing. Often people will have concerns that they are embarrassed to tell others, such as alcohol and substance use, physical abuse, marital problems, other unproductive habits, etc. Although this information may be "embarrassing" it is important that your clinician be aware of it. Your clinician is not here to judge you, but to help you do better in areas in which you want to improve. The more honest and open you are, the better the therapy process will go. Also note that, because you will likely be talking about a lot of different things, your clinician may take notes during the conversation. Please be aware that all of your communications with your clinician will be private and confidential. Your clinician will give you information on how we will protect your privacy when explaining clinic operations and policies.
Once the interview is completed, your clinician will schedule your next appointment with you and then you will talk about what was learned in this process. As part of planning for your therapy, you will also be told more about what you can expect to happen during future therapy sessions.
As A Client, You Have the Right to:
- ask questions at any time;
- be informed about the therapist's areas of specialization or limitations;
- ask questions about issues relevant to your therapy;
- ask questions about written materials regarding your treatment;
- negotiate therapeutic goals and renegotiate when necessary;
- be informed regarding fees for therapy and method of payment;
- refuse a specific intervention or treatment strategy;
- discuss aspects of your therapy with others outside the therapy situation, including
consulting with another therapist should you choose to do so;
- request the therapist to send a written report regarding services rendered to a
qualified therapist or organization with your written authorization;
- know the ethics code to which the therapist adheres;
- solicit help from the ethics committee of the appropriate professional organization
in the event of doubt or grievances regarding the therapist's conduct;
- terminate therapy at any time.