Frequently Asked Questions
WE DO NOT PROVIDE SAME-DAY SERVICES OR WALK-IN SCREENINGS. PLEASE CALL IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE SCREENED AT THE PSC.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I CALL THE PSC FOR AN APPOINTMENT?
You will speak with one of our graduate student assistants who will ask you a series of questions we ask everyone who calls the clinic. The purpose of these questions is to make sure we have the expertise you need to get the best treatment for your concern. You will also have the opportunity to ask any other questions you have about the type of services we provide, or what to expect if you come in for treatment or assessment at the PSC. For clients who are placed on our waitlist, or who we feel we are unable to provide the services that would suit them best, we provide a list of referrals. Referrals are the names and numbers of other agencies or individuals who may be able to assist you with your concerns.
HOW SOON WILL I BE SEEN? HOW LONG IS YOUR WAITLIST?
This varies are great deal, and unfortunately we typically cannot promise a particular date for assessment or therapy services. Availability depends on student training needs and on the availability of supervisors. Thus, it makes it difficult to estimate a time. In addition, the person who is "first" on the waitlist may not be the next person seen because a student may need to see a client with a particular diagnosis, or there may not be a supervisor with expertise in that area. Because of all this, you may receive a call the next day, or it could be several months. If it has been longer than 6 months, we typically remove clients from the waitlist. If you are currently in crisis (e.g., experiencing a lot of stress/distress, or feeling suicidal or homicidal), we do not recommend services here. We suggest calling 211 and asking for referral or crisis services in your area, or visiting our Emergencies page for the numbers of several crisis hotlines.
EVERYTHING I TELL MY THERAPIST/ASSESSOR IS PRIVATE, RIGHT?
Yes, but with some exceptions. As your therapist or assessor will discuss with you during your first appointment, your records are confidential, but there are a few exceptions to this confidentiality. The first is if we are concerned you might do something to seriously harm yourself. The second is if we are concerned you plan to harm another person. The third is if we are aware of, or suspicious of, the occurrence of elder or child abuse. We are mandated by law to report our suspicions, regardless of whether the abuse was conducted by you or someone you know. It is important to know that sometimes using physical punishment is considered "abuse" by the state of California, and if it crosses the line determined by the Department of Child and Family Services, we must report it. The fourth instance in which we may have to disclose information about you is if we are ordered to do so by a court of law. In all these instances, the therapist or assessor will almost always discuss with you that (s)he must make a disclosure prior to doing so.
It is also important to note that personal information is included in our assessment reports. It is of course your decision as to whether you wish to share the report with anyone else, and you will have a copy of the report to review before making this decision.
WHY AM I CHARGED WHEN I MISS A SESSION WITHOUT CANCELLING?
We charge for missed, uncancelled sessions because our therapists often spend that time dedicated to your care. Because we are a teaching clinic, our therapists have many other responsibilities -- classes, meetings, teaching, research -- and often come to campus or over to the clinic only for your appointment. In addition, we wish to encourage clients to attend sessions regularly and be committed to treatment in order to achieve the best outcome. While we do not charge extra for missing assessment sessions, we will discuss with you whether or not this is the best time to obtain an assessment if we are unable to complete it with you in a timely manner. For both assessment and therapy appointments, we request 24 hours notice of your cancellation.
WHY ISN'T VIDEO RECORDING OPTIONAL?
We video record all of our sessions because our intent is to provide you with high quality care. Because we are a teaching clinic, we want to make sure our therapists and assessors are receiving the best possible supervision so that they get the best training, and you receive the best care. We feel the best method for accomplishing this is when we can see and hear both client and therapist. We take the utmost care to protect your confidentiality, and your recordings are only viewed for the purposes of training and supervision. They are deleted regularly unless you have expressly given your permission for us to keep them by signing a separate, written consent.
WHAT IF I HAVE A COMPLAINT?
Our mission is to provide high quality care at the PSC, and thus we want to address any complaints you might have as quickly as possible. You have the right to ask to speak to your therapist/assessor's supervisor at any time (you should be provided with the supervisor information at your first appointment). You can also call the Clinic Director, Dr. Lauren Shapiro, at 213-740-6620 to discuss any complaints. In addition, you have the right to contact the California Board of Psychology with any complaints:
NOTICE TO CONSUMERS: The Department of Consumer Affairs' Board of Psychology receives and responds to questions and complaints regarding the practice of psychology. If you have questions or complaints, you may contact the Board on the Internet at www.psychboard.ca.gov, by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 1-866-503-3221, or writing to the following address: Board of Psychology, 1625 N Market Street, Ste N-215, Sacramento CA 95834.