Elizabeth Rae Larson: Information for My Clients

INTRODUCTION

If you are considering, entering, or already engaged in education, counseling or therapy with me, I hope the following information helps you utilize my services effectively and efficiently.

I believe it takes two factors to build a successful working relationship: I must have competence in the areas you need assistance with, and you and I must be comfortable working together. Therefore, in this document I will outline my areas of training and expertise and my methods of practice. I will be happy to give you more information on any of these areas; please ask.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE

My primary clinical specialization is in cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and education. Cognitive-behavioral theory and techniques have been demonstrated effective in helping remedy a wide range of human problems. The techniques can assist you in clarifying your goals and learning how to act effectively to get what you wish accomplished. This form of therapy focuses on identifying and changing pivotal behaviors. Regular homework is an essential part of the process. In some circumstances it is necessary to include this form of intervention within a larger treatment context. Cognitive-Behavior Therapy (CBT), therefore, can be an accompaniment to long-term psychotherapy or psychiatric treatment. Consultation with referring or other relevant health professionals is strongly recommended.

My greatest depth of knowledge is in sexuality. Over more than 40 years, I have made this field my primary focus of study. I have applied this knowledge clinically as a sex therapist, assisting clients to understand and support their sexual development. As a sexuality counselor, I have helped clients to acquire and analyze information relevant to their lives. I have also worked with sexual trauma and exploitation victims, and with sex offenders and others who find their sexual behavior to be out of control. I help clients learn a set of self-management skills that will put them in charge of their lives. I work, clinically and educationally, with couples in long-term committed relationships to help revitalize their intimate and erotic connections.

I have worked, as a teacher, with other professionals, graduate and undergraduate students, and the general public. I am certified as a sex therapist and sex educator by the American Board of Sexology and as a sexologist by the American College of Sexologists, and I am a founding Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Sexology. I have been an active member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, serving twice as Western Region representative on the Board of Directors and as Program Chair for three conferences. I have been active also in international, interdisciplinary groups which focus partly or wholly on sexuality.

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

I received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University in 1963: a pre-medical psychology major with a specialty in learning theory. I began the study of theory and practice in behavior modification during the following year when I worked as a research assistant. I received a Master of Science in Psychology from Washington State University in 1967. My interest was in experimental-clinical psychology, for example, assessment of treatment effectiveness and the examination of conscious vs. unconscious control in behavior modification. My interests extended also to the study of sociology and philosophy. In the following years I (1) designed social skill and behavioral control programs for institutionalized children, adolescents and adults (Rainier School); (2) did telephone and drop-in counseling with adults (Seattle Counseling Service for Sexual Minorities); (3) read Masters and Johnson and their predecessors and began to study human sexuality more deeply.

I enrolled in trainings in sexuality, principally through the National Sex Forum of the Methodist Church. In 1975, I was one of the co-founders of Seattle Institute for Sex Therapy, Education, and Research. Today I am its Director. In 2001 I received a Doctor of Human Sexuality degree from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. I have led classes or workshops on a wide variety of topics, including: organizing your life, dating and relationship development, sexual enhancement in relationship, sex and violence, remedies for trauma survivors and their partners, sex and spirituality, sexual minorities, and erotica/pornography. I teach clinicians and train interns in cognitive-behavioral therapy and sex therapy. I have a long-time interest in ancient civilizations, other cultures, and the origins of Homo sapiens which inform my opinions about “human nature.”

ACCESSIBILITY

My primary office is in the Wallingford/Greenlake neighborhood at the northeast corner of NE 56th St. and First Avenue NE. I share a reception area, office and classroom with several others in a homey, remodeled corner grocery store. The building is wheelchair accessible and located near two bus lines: 26X (some signage still reads 26) and 62 (formerly 16). Parking is available but limited; be careful not to block fire lanes or driveways or parking spaces in front of houses nearby.

OFFICE HOURS

TELEPHONE: I am available to take brief calls directly on many weekday mornings. You may leave messages 24 hours per day.

TELEPHONE CONSULTATION: To assist people who must drive long distances or confront other barriers to in-person contact, I offer telephone sessions. Telephone consultation is also available for therapists dealing with sexuality issues.

IN-PERSON: I do not see people on a drop-in basis.

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY: I am available for scheduled appointments on weekday afternoons and evenings. The appointment time I give you, for example 6 PM, is 5–10 minutes earlier than I intend to start the session. Please plan to arrive very close to the scheduled time to give yourself time to relax, me time to get ready, or allow you to cope with traffic without missing much of your session. If I do not hear from you, I will wait for 30 minutes after a session is scheduled to begin, for example 6:30, before leaving the office.

NOTE: My schedule is noted for its variability. I work at several locations, travel for professional reasons and write. All of these activities can result in my being inaccessible to you on an emergency basis. Clients who need emotional support between sessions should either have a primary clinician also, with whom I consult, or consult another practitioner.

TYPICAL COSTS/PAYMENT PLANS

My standard fee is $175 per clinical hour (50 minutes). This fee remains the same whether you schedule an individual or couple appointment. Small group fees vary. If I see you through Seattle Institute, a fee reduction may be available. If you are a Seattle Institute client, a time payment plan is possible and/or you can pay by credit card. I usually collect the fee and give you a receipt at the beginning of the appointment unless we have another agreement. Please keep your receipts until you are sure you do not need them for tax deduction or third-party reimbursement. I do not accept direct third-party payments since the work I do is rarely covered by insurance.

Feel free to discuss these financing questions by phone rather than use your clinical time to do so.

CONFIDENTIALITY

I offer extensive protection of your right to privacy in my private practice and at Seattle Institute. Other agencies set their own policies and typically maintain files accessible to clinical staff. State and federal HIPAA law requires us to request signed statements from our clients affirming they have been given information such as you are reading; this law intends to protect you as the consumer of counseling or therapy services. Because I must keep these records on file in my office and make them available to the state, if requested, they represent a potential breach in confidentiality. Discuss this with me before signing if you have any concerns.

If you are receiving third-party reimbursements, you should be aware that the reimburser is entitled to review your clinical records; again, discuss your concerns.

If I become convinced that a minor or a disabled person is at risk of exploitation by you, or that any adult is in mortal danger, I will take action including notifying proper authorities.

SCHEDULING, CANCELING AND MISSED APPOINTMENTS

Appointments that are missed but not cancelled are charged at full fee. If you cancel your appointment less than 24 hours before, you will be charged only if I am unable to fill the appointment. If you notify me 24 or more hours in advance, there is no charge. To be sure I receive the message in a timely fashion, call my direct line; you can leave a message 24/7. I do not use email or fax to schedule or cancel appointments.

LICENSING BY WASHINGTON STATE

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LH#00005994) and am legally bound by the ethical code in the Washington state mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers law (RCW 18.225). You may obtain additional information regarding these standards from the Department of Health by contacting the Health Systems Quality Assurance Center, 310 Israel Rd. SE, P.O. Box 47865, Olympia, WA 98504; telephone (360) 236-4700.

“A person must not represent himself or herself as a licensed advanced social worker, licensed independent clinical social worker, licensed mental health counselor, or licensed marriage and family therapist, without being licensed by the department.”

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