Frequently Asked
Questions

pricing

Because AJ feels strongly that the connection between any therapist and client is pivotal, AJ offers a complimentary 20 minute meet & greet consultation to any clients contemplating asking AJ to be their individual, couples, or family counselor.  We will schedule a time to meet and get to know each other better either in-person or via video.  After this meet & greet session, clients have the chance to decide if they’d like to move forward with therapy with AJ.  

Individual, couples, & family sessions last 50 minutes and are $140. Some couples and family sessions require more time and select 80-minute sessions are available for $200. All forms of electronic payment as well as cash/check are accepted.  Payment is due at time of services. Itemized billing statements are available for all clients if requested. 

Process group therapy sessions have a price per person/session listed in each advertisement.  See this page under General to learn more about group therapy offerings at the practice.

Yes, and clients facing financial constraints are encouraged to openly discuss this during our initial consultation to see if we can find a fee structure that works for you.  Please note that those requesting sliding scale will be required to show proof of income to qualify.  

I can provide a documentation of services to clients who wish to provide this to their insurance companies and retain reimbursement when applicable.  Please note, you should contact your insurance company before any meetings with me to ensure you have a complete understanding of your coverage, reimbursement amounts, and any other details.  As a Registered Associate Marriage & Family Therapist, I am not considered “in-network” for any insurance panels.  

All forms of electronic payment, including HSA cards when applicable, are accepted.  Additionally, clients can pay with cash or check.  Please review intake documents for full details on payment, using the client portal, and other important practice policies.  Please note that electronic payments appear as M. Chatterton Therapy on your billing statements and payments are made directly to Marina Chatterton, LCSW #26126.  

The times are held for each client, and any time a client will miss a session, AJ requests as much notice as possible.  Please note that there will be a full charge for a session if not re-scheduled or cancelled with at least 24 hours advanced notice.  AJ will also alert all clients in advance when he is away for any scheduled sessions, normally with at least two weeks notice or as early as possible.  

General

The majority of AJ’s clients are individuals involved with personal therapy.  As a MFT (Marriage & Family Therapist) I believe that our relationships with others have the greatest impact on our psychological well being and cater my treatment with this in mind.  

The office is located at 2812 Avenel Street in Silverlake. The contact page of this site offers an interactive map where you can see the exact office location.  For door codes and instructions including detailed parking instructions, please refer to your intake documents.  The therapy practice is not responsible for damage or theft of vehicles/personal property or parking citations/towing/etc.  Please read street signs carefully and pay your meters if parking on Rowena (the main street).  This neighborhood is notorious for parking tickets.  

Getting started and staying committed to the process is the biggest hurdle.  AJ’s clients can expect an open dialogue throughout each session, with them leading the way on what they would like to address each time we meet.  AJ’s clients can expect a direct and active approach to therapy.  Also, AJ does not take notes during sessions so that he can spend the entire time focused in on what we talk about and giving you his undivided attention. 

Most clients see AJ at the same time each week, especially at the beginning of the therapy relationship.  Each client, couple, or family is unique and we will discuss your treatment plan together at the beginning of our work together. 

AJ treats clients with relationships, life transitions, marital, pre-marital, post-marital, anti-marital, anxiety, depression, grief, chronic illness, codependency, coping skills, emotional disturbances, developmental issues, gambling, parenting, infertility, infidelity, parenting, racial identity, school issues, sex, self-esteem, self-harm, abuse of all types, sexuality, gender expression, stress, and is also affirming to clients from all marginalized communities. Check AJ out on Psychology Today, Therapy Den, and Good Therapy for more in-depth information.  

Psychodynamic, Relational, Person-Centered, Narrative, and Imago therapy are most often used by AJ in his counseling approach.

AJ works with various types of individuals, couples, & families and is proud to be affirming and open to everyone.  That being said, the majority of AJ’s clients might be described as “outside the box.”  Based on physical location of the office, AJ works intensely with creative clients, whether that be involvement with film/television, music, art, or freelance communities and people.  AJ is also proud to offer services to members of his personal LGBTQIA+ community, as well as clients that are exploring other life events that are often diminished or “looked down upon” such as couples in a consensual non-monogamous relationship, individuals opposed to or turned off by traditional gender roles, and various other unique characteristics.  AJ also strongly believes that the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist is the cornerstone of any successful therapy and is open to direct and engaging feedback from clients when the “connection might feel off.”  Part of practicing within AJ’s own competence might involve referring clients out to a more experienced clinician when particular events present in therapy, and all referrals provided are done so thoughtfully and with that particular individual in mind.  

Yes, our practice offers group therapy options.  These groups are typically time-limited and focus on a particular issue or population (grief, parenting, trauma).  

Please reach out directly to learn more or inquire about a specific group therapy option.  If not offered directly, we may be able to provide referrals to other clinicians in the area working with a group.

WINTER 2020: Single Parenting 8 week processing group is $25 per person/session.  In this virtual group that meets weekly, single parents discuss the unique challenges of single parenthood amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic including school-from-home and the pressures that accompany the holiday season, especially in this unique year.  

Privacy & support

Select and limited in-person sessions are available following strict safety protocols.  The therapy practice also uses confidential and secure HIPAA compliant video software to conduct sessions from the comfort and safety of your own home, office, or other preferred location.  

Yes, using a confidential and secure HIPAA compliant video software that is user friendly and does not require downloads, logins, or complicated passwords.  

All clients agree to call 911 in the event of any emergency or if they are in need of immediate attention/support, including psychiatric. Additionally, operators are available 24/7 at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK [8255].

The link to the client portal is at the bottom of every page on my website and can also be accessed by clicking https://ajrichtherapy.clientsecure.me

The practice takes every step available to ensure that your privacy is upheld.  It is understandable that people are worried about their personal health information (commonly referred to PHI) and it getting into the wrong hands.  The practice strives to be up to date on changes and advancements to technology and to keep your records safe and protected by paying for industry leading software and protection in hopes of avoiding a break.  Of course, with the world wide web and speed of which technology is advancing, there is no way to ensure total confidentiality, and in the off-chance of any type of security breach, AJ would alert each client directly that such an event occurred.  The practice expressly makes no promises and wants all clients to be aware of the dangers and risks of PHI being stolen via the internet.  For these reasons and more, AJ strongly encourages clients not to text or email with private information and reserve these platforms for appointment setting and other similar details.  For clients seeing AJ via telehealth (video or telephone) you will receive a detailed document about the risks and benefits of using this type of technology for therapy at the beginning of our work together and it will be addressed throughout the online work together. Please see this page for a full detailed description of the practice privacy policies that explain this information in full detail.  

Yes, and as a mandated reporter AJ and his supervisor, Marina, are legally and ethically required to break confidentiality in certain cases such as child or dependent adult abuse/neglect or when he feels like a client is in danger of harming themselves or someone else.  Each new client is given a written version of consent at the beginning of our work together that details all of the reasons AJ would need to break confidentiality and we will openly discuss it in the first session and throughout our work together.  

We will discuss this in-person during our sessions, however it is important to note that AJ will avoid ever “saying hello” to a client first if we are to see each other outside of the therapy space to protect your confidentiality.  Although never required, if you feel comfortable with saying hello to AJ in public, he will surely reciprocate.  These limits extend to the internet as well.  Clients can feel comfortable that AJ will never publicly respond to reviews left on sites such as Yelp, Google, or elsewhere and will not accept friend requests via social media from any current or former clients to preserve and uphold confidentiality.  

NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES

THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW HEALTH INFORMATION MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.

I. MY PLEDGE REGARDING HEALTH INFORMATION:
I understand that health information about you and your health care is personal. I am committed to protecting health information about you. I create a record of the care and services you receive from me. I need this record to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements. This notice applies to all of the records of your care generated by this mental health care practice. This notice will tell you about the ways in which I may use and disclose health information about you. I also describe your rights to the health information I keep about you, and describe certain obligations I have regarding the use and disclosure of your health information. I am required by law to:

  • Make sure that protected health information (“PHI”) that identifies you is kept private.

  • Give you this notice of my legal duties and privacy practices with respect to health information.

  • Follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.

  • I can change the terms of this Notice, and such changes will apply to all information I have about you. The new Notice will be available upon request, in my office, and on my website.

II. HOW I MAY USE AND DISCLOSE HEALTH INFORMATION ABOUT YOU:
The following categories describe different ways that I use and disclose health information. For each category of uses or disclosures I will explain what I mean and try to give some examples. Not every use or disclosure in a category will be listed. However, all of the ways I am permitted to use and disclose information will fall within one of the categories.

For Treatment Payment, or Health Care Operations: Federal privacy rules (regulations) allow health care providers who have direct treatment relationship with the patient/client to use or disclose the patient/client’s personal health information without the patient’s written authorization, to carry out the health care provider’s own treatment, payment or health care operations. I may also disclose your protected health information for the treatment activities of any health care provider. This too can be done without your written authorization. For example, if a clinician were to consult with another licensed health care provider about your condition, we would be permitted to use and disclose your person health information, which is otherwise confidential, in order to assist the clinician in diagnosis and treatment of your mental health condition.

Disclosures for treatment purposes are not limited to the minimum necessary standard. Because therapists and other health care providers need access to the full record and/or full and complete information in order to provide quality care. The word “treatment” includes, among other things, the coordination and management of health care providers with a third party, consultations between health care providers and referrals of a patient for health care from one health care provider to another.

Lawsuits and Disputes: If you are involved in a lawsuit, I may disclose health information in response to a court or administrative order. I may also disclose health information about your child in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.

III. CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES REQUIRE YOUR AUTHORIZATION:

  1. Psychotherapy Notes. I do keep “psychotherapy notes” as that term is defined in 45 CFR § 164.501, and any use or disclosure of such notes requires your Authorization unless the use or disclosure is:
    a. For my use in treating you.
    b. For my use in training or supervising mental health practitioners to help them improve their skills in group, joint, family, or individual counseling or therapy.
    c. For my use in defending myself in legal proceedings instituted by you.
    d. For use by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to investigate my compliance with HIPAA.
    e. Required by law and the use or disclosure is limited to the requirements of such law.
    f. Required by law for certain health oversight activities pertaining to the originator of the psychotherapy notes.
    g. Required by a coroner who is performing duties authorized by law.
    h. Required to help avert a serious threat to the health and safety of others.

  2. Marketing Purposes. As a psychotherapist, I will not use or disclose your PHI for marketing purposes.

  3. Sale of PHI. As a psychotherapist, I will not sell your PHI in the regular course of my business.

IV. CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES DO NOT REQUIRE YOUR AUTHORIZATION. Subject to certain limitations in the law, I can use and disclose your PHI without your Authorization for the following reasons:

  1. When disclosure is required by state or federal law, and the use or disclosure complies with and is limited to the relevant requirements of such law.

  2. For public health activities, including reporting suspected child, elder, or dependent adult abuse, or preventing or reducing a serious threat to anyone’s health or safety.

  3. For health oversight activities, including audits and investigations.

  4. For judicial and administrative proceedings, including responding to a court or administrative order, although my preference is to obtain an Authorization from you before doing so.

  5. For law enforcement purposes, including reporting crimes occurring on my premises.

  6. To coroners or medical examiners, when such individuals are performing duties authorized by law.

  7. For research purposes, including studying and comparing the mental health of patients who received one form of therapy versus those who received another form of therapy for the same condition.

  8. Specialized government functions, including, ensuring the proper execution of military missions; protecting the President of the United States; conducting intelligence or counter-intelligence operations; or, helping to ensure the safety of those working within or housed in correctional institutions.

  9. For workers’ compensation purposes. Although my preference is to obtain an Authorization from you, I may provide your PHI in order to comply with workers’ compensation laws.

  10. Appointment reminders and health related benefits or services. I may use and disclose your PHI to contact you to remind you that you have an appointment with me. I may also use and disclose your PHI to tell you about treatment alternatives, or other health care services or benefits that I offer.

V. CERTAIN USES AND DISCLOSURES REQUIRE YOU TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO OBJECT.

  1. Disclosures to family, friends, or others. I may provide your PHI to a family member, friend, or other person that you indicate is involved in your care or the payment for your health care, unless you object in whole or in part. The opportunity to consent may be obtained retroactively in emergency situations.

VI. YOU HAVE THE FOLLOWING RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO YOUR PHI:

  1. The Right to Request Limits on Uses and Disclosures of Your PHI. You have the right to ask me not to use or disclose certain PHI for treatment, payment, or health care operations purposes. I am not required to agree to your request, and I may say “no” if I believe it would affect your health care.

  2. The Right to Request Restrictions for Out-of-Pocket Expenses Paid for In Full. You have the right to request restrictions on disclosures of your PHI to health plans for payment or health care operations purposes if the PHI pertains solely to a health care item or a health care service that you have paid for out-of-pocket in full.

  3. The Right to Choose How I Send PHI to You. You have the right to ask me to contact you in a specific way (for example, home or office phone) or to send mail to a different address, and I will agree to all reasonable requests.

  4. The Right to See and Get Copies of Your PHI. Other than “psychotherapy notes,” you have the right to get an electronic or paper copy of your medical record and other information that I have about you. I will provide you with a copy of your record, or a summary of it, if you agree to receive a summary, within 30 days of receiving your written request, and I may charge a reasonable, cost based fee for doing so.

  5. The Right to Get a List of the Disclosures I Have Made.You have the right to request a list of instances in which I have disclosed your PHI for purposes other than treatment, payment, or health care operations, or for which you provided me with an Authorization. I will respond to your request for an accounting of disclosures within 60 days of receiving your request. The list I will give you will include disclosures made in the last six years unless you request a shorter time. I will provide the list to you at no charge, but if you make more than one request in the same year, I will charge you a reasonable cost based fee for each additional request.

  6. The Right to Correct or Update Your PHI. If you believe that there is a mistake in your PHI, or that a piece of important information is missing from your PHI, you have the right to request that I correct the existing information or add the missing information. I may say “no” to your request, but I will tell you why in writing within 60 days of receiving your request.

  7. The Right to Get a Paper or Electronic Copy of this Notice. You have the right get a paper copy of this Notice, and you have the right to get a copy of this notice by e-mail. And, even if you have agreed to receive this Notice via e-mail, you also have the right to request a paper copy of it.

Acknowledgement of Receipt of Privacy Notice

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), you have certain rights regarding the use and disclosure of your protected health information.

have a question?

If have not found the answer to the question you were looking for, feel free to contact AJ Rich & ask your question.