The Professional Statement contains information about aspects that organize and facilitate the therapy relationship. I am posting the Professional Statement here for you to look at it in advance and, if we decide to work together, will give you a copy to sign. This document is to help us both create a shared understanding of expectations, so please ask me any questions. I’ll be glad to talk with you about any of the information.
Note: I use the words “therapy” and “counseling” interchangeably because today, both “therapy” and “counseling” refer to same set of evidence-based and clinical practices. Visit the «Therapy & Counseling» section in this site for more information.
My Approach: We can change, heal, and grow by intentionally examining our lives, processing emotions, receiving support, learning, and trying new behaviors and ways of relating to ourselves and the world. As a psychologist, I help clients engage in compassionate and insightful self-explorations in the context of a professional, safe, and caring relationship. I use integrative techniques from the Cognitive, Humanistic, Behaviorist, Systemic, Psychoanalytic, and Mindfulness traditions and a host of resources recognized in good clinical practice. I help clients attend to immediate practical needs, while we investigate and bring change to deep psychological dynamics affecting their experience. We are made of psychological, biological, and social dimensions that dynamically interact and influence each other. I help clients understand how their psycho-bio-social situation is functioning and may need attention to bring balance and nourishment. Each person is unique. You are unique, and so are your psycho-bio-social configurations, sensibilities, history, values, preferences, hopes, and goals. Our work will aim to help you learn, grow, and heal, while empowering your uniqueness, and attending to the real environmental and historical circumstances affecting you. Our work begins with your desire to start positive and intentional change and ends when you have reached your personal goals or you or I believe our collaboration is not necessary or beneficial any longer or an alternative form of support seems better.
Limits: Counseling and therapy, and my help as a psychologist, have limitations. There are times I cannot help, whether it be because of external circumstances, e.g. the complexity of the problem, my own limitations, elements in the life of the client, or other factors. Therapy and Counseling are a science and an art: the science & art of facilitating human change. Personal change can make people confront undesired thoughts and feelings. Also, by becoming more aware and developing new experiences, some people start questioning and challenging aspects of their lives. Some people end and start new relationships. Please understand that I cannot control your experiences during the counseling/therapy process and cannot guarantee the outcome of our counseling/therapy work. I am, however, always invested in your best interest and will welcome your feedback and guidance. Our work is a collaboration, a team work to help you. Please help me help you. The work we do has to feel safe, caring, supportive, worth your time and efforts. Working with you is an honor and a privilege, and I hope to honor your trust by providing you with my best service and by supporting you in accessing alternative resources and care.
Formal Education and Training. See the ‘Resume’ section on this site for more information. I received education and training in both the USA and Argentina. I completed a graduate licensing degree, “Licenciado en Psicología”, in 2003, from Universidad de Belgrano, in Buenos Aires. I hold an active license to practice mental health and providing counseling, therapy, and psychotherapy in Argentina. I also hold a license as a Mental Health Counselor in the State of Oregon, USA. I completed two master’s degrees in the USA. One MA in Mental Health Counseling from Adams State University, in Colorado. The other is a MS in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Baruch College, the City University of New York, in New York. In undergraduate school, I pursued two bachelor’s degrees at the University of Florida, one BS in Psychology and another BA in Philosophy.
Confidentiality: Our work is based on protected privacy and trust, so we can talk about everything and anything. All our communication is private and confidential. I don’t disclose any information about you or our work to anyone. It is good practice to discuss work with clients in supervision or professional consultation. When I do, I prevent references to your identifying information. I will be glad to communicate with a provider or someone else if you sign a written consent and we agree that the communication is to your benefit. Confidentiality and privacy have some limitations and they usually involve risks of harm to you or others. Examples are: suspected child, minor, elderly, or disabled person abuse; risks to your or someone else’s life; court or legal requirements beyond my control. Please let me know if you have any doubts or anything you want to discuss. I am very committed to making our space safe and conducive of transparency. If we ever encounter a situation that challenges our privacy or confidentiality, I will try my best to protect your interests.
Time: Counseling/therapy sessions last 50 minutes. We decide the frequency of sessions, or any other variations, together. I, some times, work with clients in short and intense modules of two or three hours. But generally, we work with weekly sessions of 50 minutes.
Fees: please contact me. Payments can be done via cash, credit card, PayPal, bank transfer.
Third parties: If you choose to pay via PayPal, credit card, or via bank transfer, or any other way that is not cash, please understand that you are making your personal information available to a third party. If you want me to bill you via PayPal, I will not make a reference to ‘therapy’ or ‘counseling’. I will only write dates and amounts. To maximize privacy and encourage you to do the same whenever paying online. If there is ever a disagreement on payments, please communicate with me directly to secure privacy and confidentiality.
Insurance: I am not in any panel or work directly with insurances. Many clients get reimbursed totally or partially through their insurance coverage. If you want me to issue an invoice for you to manage a reimbursement request with your insurance, I will be glad to do it. I will detail the date of service, time, place, type of service, amount charged, and received. If you want me to write a diagnosis, I will do so only upon your request and if I assess that there is one. Please know that I am not involved in managing, or responsible for, the outcome of your reimbursement request, or any other communication, with your insurance provider. Also note that, my invoice is issued to you and contains confidential information. By sharing or submitting this receipt to a third party, you are making this information available to them to be handled and used in the terms of the contract you have with them.
Cancellations: I charge the session for missed appointments or cancellations within 24 hrs. If you need to cancel or change an appointment, please speak to me in advance so we can plan changes.
Communication outside of sessions: I welcome your emails and phone messages when needed. I respond to communication during office hours, 8 am to 8 pm, Monday through Friday, usually on the same day unless I am traveling or out of the office. If something comes up during the week that you believe is significant to your growth and our work, and there are no urgencies, I recommend we wait until our session to discuss the issue. My support is most effective when we contain our interactions to the session and can give it full attention, in real time.
Life threatening: If you experience a life-threatening emergency and speak Spanish fluently, call 911 (SAME). If you don’t speak Spanish fluently, tell a local person to help you and to stay with you until emergencies services arrive. When we complete the Professional Disclosure form, I will ask you to provide a contact person you trust, both in Buenos Aires and back “home”, that I can contact in case of an emergency.
Termination: Termination (ending) of our counseling/therapy is usually agreed together. However, you are free to end counseling/therapy at any time. In some instances, I initiate the ending of counseling/therapy. These instances may involve: goals have been met, I assess your needs are out of my competency, are not met, or go beyond the safety and benefit of my support. I also terminate our sessions if there are factors that makes our work unproductive or unsafe to you or me. Should this happen, I will discuss the reasons with you and will help you plan. I will gladly recommend alternative counseling providers in the area and other relevant resource I may know.
Remote Sessions: When you or I travel, we can have sessions through videoconference or phone if we think they can be helpful. Remote sessions can be very helpful and effective, but they are not for everyone. We can try and, of course, decide to do them only if you find them helpful. All that I’ve said so far in this Professional Disclosure Statement also applies to remote sessions. Remote sessions are not recommended in case of crisis, self-harm, violence, suicidality, risky behaviors, or when the situation where you or I will be located do not allow for proper attention and privacy during the meeting. We will assess and discuss and reconsider all this as we experience.
Privacy and Confidentiality in digital communication. Remote communication, i.e. via email, phone, videoconference, and other electronic forms of transmission, can make private and confidential information vulnerable to unauthorized third parties. For example, a communication system can be hacked, or the computer or phone you use may be accessed by an unauthorized person. I recommend keeping your devices password protected. I use encrypted email: firstname.lastname@example.org. For videoconference sessions, we will use an encrypted videoconference system via the link https://doxy.me/alejandro . This system is free to you and a simple log in. You will need Chrome as browser to use this videoconference system. In case of disconnection or any disruption while on videoconference or phone session, I will try to re-establish connection, or reach you right away to your phone or the system you prefer. If I cannot reach you within a minute or so, you can call my cell +54911-4414-6364 in Argentina (or, from the US, to the number 1-503-928-7938 which rings wherever I am). Ultimately, if none of these works, we will email to set up a different time to meet.
When we complete the Professional Statement form, I will ask you to sign it and will give you a copy.