The Therapy Centre offers e-mail communication as a method of contact between yourself and our clinic. We use e-mail to provide appointment confirmations and reminders, and to send invoices for services rendered. We may also use e-mail to communicate with you about appointment bookings and cancellations if we cannot reach you by telephone (or if you request we use e-mail as a primary method of contact).
E-mail is convenient and efficient; however, communicating by e-mail also encompasses risks that should also be considered.
E-mail is not recognized as a secure form of communication. Risks of transmitting your information by e-mail include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The privacy and security of e-mail communication cannot be guaranteed;
- E-mail is easier to falsify than phone, fax or mail. It is also impossible to verify the true identity of the sender, or to ensure that only the recipient can read the e-mail once it has been sent;
- E-mail can introduce viruses into a computer system, and potentially damage or disrupt the computer;
- E-mail can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored, or even changed without the knowledge or permission of the sender or recipient. E-mail senders can easily misaddress an e-mail, resulting in it being sent to unintended and unknown recipients; and
- E-mail creates a permanent record. Even after the sender and recipient have deleted their copies of the e-mail, back-up copies may exist on a computer or in cyberspace.
We will use reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of e-mail information sent and received. However, because of the risks outlined above, we cannot guarantee the security and confidentiality of e-mail communication.
Consent to the use of e-mail indicates your agreement with the following conditions:
- E-mails from you containing clinically relevant information may be printed in full and made part of your clinical record. Because these would become part of your clinical record, other individuals authorized to access the clinical record will have access to those e-mails;
- We will make reasonable efforts to read and respond to e-mails promptly. However, we cannot guarantee that any particular e-mail will be read and responded to within any particular period of time. Therefore, e-mail should not be used for emergencies or other time-sensitive matters;
- E-mail communication is not an appropriate substitute for treatment. You are responsible for following up with us to schedule appointments, where warranted; and
- If your e-mail requests a response from us and you have not received a response within a reasonable time period, it is your responsibility to follow up to confirm we did indeed receive your e-mail.
E-mail should not be used to discuss sensitive personal health information, such as that related to mental health, disability or substance use. Therefore, we will not discuss such matters over e-mail.
E-mail communication is voluntary. Please advise us if you do not wish to engage in e-mail communication, and we will remove your e-mail address from our system.
Tele-Services (Virtual and Telephone-based Sessions):
The Therapy Centre offers in-person, virtual (video) and telephone-based options for assessment and treatment services. Virtual and telephone-based sessions are also mental health services, and these have the same purpose or intention as treatment sessions (or psychotherapy) that are conducted face-to-face at The Therapy Centre. Your Clinician will discuss which mode of service is recommended based on your needs, and changes can be made throughout the course of your treatment with respect to the mode of therapy you both decide to use.
Virtual care is offered through the Janeapp videoconferencing platform. Janeapp videoconferencing meets Canadian privacy laws and is privacy-compliant. Virtual care requires the use of a webcam or smartphone, and a link to the virtual session will be provided by e-mail prior to the session. We highly recommend you test your video/audio settings the day before your session, and contact Janeapp’s tech support for assistance if needed. In the event of technical problems during your session, a back-up plan (e.g., a phone number where you can be reached) will be used to restart the session or to reschedule it. Your Clinician may elect to use a different videoconferencing platform; the benefits/risks of that platform will be discussed with you prior to beginning virtual sessions.
Telephone-based sessions will involve your clinician contacting you by phone at your scheduled appointment time. Please note that in some cases, the Caller ID may show up as “Unknown” or blocked. We ask you to ensure you are available and can answer the call at the scheduled appointment time.
Virtual and telephone-based sessions are convenient and may be used when in-person sessions are not possible. Engaging in treatment using virtual care or by telephone encompasses risks that should also be considered. Please note the following rights and risks in using virtual and telephone-based care:
The laws and professional standards that apply to regular mental health services apply to virtual and telephone-based care.
There are exceptions to client confidentiality policies that exist for regular therapy; these also apply to virtual and telephone-based services. The exceptions are provided in the “Disclosure of Personal Health Information” section below.
You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. It will not affect your right to further treatment.
Your Clinician has the right, at any time, to determine if virtual and/or telephone-based sessions are not appropriate for your care. Should this be determined, your Clinician will suggest alternative ways to continue your therapy.
Despite best efforts to ensure high standards of technology, there is always a risk that services could be disrupted or distorted by unforeseen technical problems.
Consent to the use of virtual and telephone-based sessions indicates your agreement with the following conditions:
- Confidentiality still applies for mental health tele-services, and the session will not be recorded by the Clinician or yourself without permission from the other person(s).
- It is important to be in a quiet, private space that is free of distractions during the session.
- It is important to use a secure internet connection rather than public/free Wi-Fi.
- For child/adolescent clients, permission of your parent/legal guardian (and their contact information) is required to engage in tele-sessions.
Use of virtual and telephone-based sessions is voluntary. Please advise us if you no longer wish to engage in tele-services and we will discuss alternate options with you at that time.