Information, quality control and visitor bill of rights
OnlineClinics.com (AKA: TherapistOnline.org) displays on it's web sites links to other organizations, services and/or clinicians online so that the public can be educated and informed about resources. While OnlineClinics makes every effort to post only reliable resources and links, Company CAN NOT be responsible for any aspect of service that is provided by others, such as service quality, availability, accuracy of data displayed, and any other aspect of service.
Company will assist customers with any issue of concern, even if issues relate to services which are provided by authorized third party suppliers and not by Company. Contact us with any questions or concerns. Company WILL RELATE TO ALL MAIL yet due to fluctuating mail volume, can not specify exactly how much time it may take for a reply to arrive.
Visitors are encouraged to review all information & use the recommendations made on this site when selecting the service or service provider(s) that best fits their needs. A review of the disclaimer will help users understand the service, the possible limits involved in online service, and how to locate as well as use the available resources.
A. Visitor bill of rights:
1. Visitors to independent providers listed by OnlineClinics are entitled to professional, ethical and confidential care whether services are provided online or in person. Listed professionals are required to adhere to the principles of HONcode and EthicsCode.com.
2. Visitors may not be discriminated against, or refused service on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, cultural background or disability.
3. Visitors may review information about the service and service providers. Legal, ethical and other information about service are posted for the public to view without restriction.
4. Visitors have FREE access to the Educational resources.
5. Visitors have a right to information about how to access resources by USA states with questions or complaints. USA professional associations: Psychological Associations A-Z, National Association of Social Workers.
B. Our commitment to a professional code of ethics.
Providers working through OnlineClinics.com are required to adhere to the principles of EthicsCode.com as well as to HONcode and all ethical and professional guidelines of their state or professional boards.
The organization acknowledges that any administrative decisions made by OnlineClinics.com are the sole responsibility of the company and its employees, and that all professional decisions made by the professional providers of services are their sole responsibility. Each service provider is directly responsible for the quality of their professional work, and providers are required to hold valid liability insurance for independent practice.
C. Essential Information and Legal Disclaimer
The following information is important to know before you seek online professional services with one of our therapists. Please read all sections carefully.
1. A new medium
OnlineClinics.com offers options to those interested in locating or communicating with a qualified health care providers. Specifically, we can help with a referral to a professional clinician working either online or at an actual office. The choice of service, virtual or in person, is left to the visitor.
Although counseling online is new, this non-traditional method is increasingly common and appears to be here to stay (see the Educational resources) Also, the debate about the potential benefits of counseling for personal growth and healing is not yet over, at least to some degree (more information on therapy outcome.) While we strongly believe that there are benefits to counseling, results are not guaranteed and may depend on various factors, among which are: the individual's motivation, willingness to "work it through," and feeling that both the process and selected therapist can really help; the skill, approach and ability of the therapist; and a good match between client and therapist.
Most clinicians believe that non-verbal communication is important to understanding the total message. Non-verbal communication is everything we communicate besides the spoken word: posture, gestures, dress and appearance, facial expressions, etc. Non-verbal communication is considered important in order for us to correctly "read" and understand each other. Since secure video connections are not widely available, the current way to privately communicate online is through written words and over the telephone. As a result, the therapist's ability to "read" a client's non-verbal communication online is limited. In the future, it is expected that video conferencing may partly overcome this limitation.
Although the clinicians at OnlineClinics.com would agree that traditional, face-to-face communication has advantages, they also believe that effective therapy is possible online and/or through the telephone for many people and in many situations.
There are some situations where online psychotherapy is inappropriate or inadequate. In these situations, in-person therapy and other forms of health care may be necessary. If any of the following situations exist, we strongly advise you to seek immediate assistance, or to seek help in-person from a mental health professional or health care facility. Use OnlineClinics.com only as a referral source to a therapist who can see you in-person and immediately for evaluation or treatment.
* If you have thoughts of hurting or killing yourself
* If you have thoughts of hurting or killing another person
* If you are in a life threatening or emergency situation of any kind
* If you have a recent history of suicidal, violent or abusive behavior
* If you hold what others may consider unrealistic beliefs (delusions)
* If you see or hear things that others don't (hallucinations)
* If you are currently addicted to or are abusing alcohol or drugs
WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY
If you feel that you are currently at risk of hurting yourself, if you are considering the use of violence, or if you are presently at risk of being injured or physically abused, you should seek or call for assistance immediately. Assistance may be sought at the offices of health care professionals, in an emergency room of a local hospital, in a crisis center or by calling 911 (in the USA.) PLEASE CONTACT ONE OF THESE RESOURCES IMMEDIATELY.
3. Age requirement
Clients must be at least 18 years old to obtain professional services from professional at OnlineClinics.com. If you are a parent seeking online therapy or another form of consultation for a child or adolescent, you can arrange to send the selected therapist a signed informed consent form so that services can be legally provided to your child. Minors are welcomed to invite their parents (or legal guardians) to examine and approve the use of Online Clinics for them.
4. The Therapists
OnlineClinics.com itself does not provide therapy or any other health care service to the public. Thus, clients will not have a clinical or therapy relationship with us. Rather, we provide visitors with access to form a private therapeutic relationship with a qualified, professional therapist. Internet connections to licensed therapists in the client's state are facilitated and secured by us and our affiliates, yet each provider has sole responsibility for the treatment and quality of care provided. OnlineClinics.com does not intervene or interfere in any way with the professional services rendered by its therapists.
Each of our therapists sets his or her own fees for clients. OnlineClinics.com does not set client fees for our therapists. Therapists usually set their fees based on those customary in their geographical area, their field of specialty and their experience. To our knowledge, our therapists set their fees independently of each other. OnlineClinics.com does not split fees with therapists (charge them fees based on what they charge clients), but rather, we charge them a setup & credentials verification fee, monthly maintenance fee, and usage fees, all of which are agreed upon in advance. Insurance reimbursement arrangements, if any, can be arranged between the therapist and the client; OnlineClinics.com DOES NOT bill health insurers or credit cards companies on behalf of therapists or their clients. Service and billing takes place directly between the client and selected professional who provides the service.
OnlineClinics.com has established requirements for our Verified and Full Members, including that they be licensed as a health care professional in the state in which they and their clients are located, and carry malpractice insurance. We verify the credentials of our Verified and Full Members through National Register, an organization that is accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
Much information about our therapists can be found in their personal online pages. If we are asked for more information about one of our therapists, we will make every effort to provide this information. If we are unable to provide the specific information which is requested, we will try to direct you to a source where that information may be available.
WHILE ONLINECLINICS.COM USES QUALITY CONTROL MEASURES, WE CANNOT MAKE ANY REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT, ENDORSE OR OFFER ANY WARRANTIES OR GUARANTEES ABOUT THE TYPE OF SERVICE, COMPETENCE, EXPERTISE, QUALITY OF CARE, OR BILLING PRACTICES OF INDIVIDUAL CLINICIANS.
5. Questions to ask therapists
Before entering a therapeutic relationship with a clinician, some information should be obtained and considered. Answers concerning type of therapy, location or specialty will differ with each provider. Clients have a right to have questions answered before they decide to enter the therapeutic relationship and "buy" a professional service. In other words, "consent" to enter therapy should be "informed." Some of the answers to the following questions may be found on each provider's web page. OnlineClinics.com itself cannot answer these questions for the providers, as answers will differ with each therapist/patient relationship. You may wish to have all the information at once, or not all of it. Here are some of the important questions you should consider asking a therapist:
* What are your credentials? How long have you been in practice?
* How will therapy be conducted? How long would it take?
* Will consults online differ from in-person sessions?
* What are the chances of getting better or worse? Are there any risks involved?
* Are there alternative methods or treatments that may be helpful?
* What happens if there is an emergency? Will you be available? If not, what should be done?
* What happens if clinician is away or on vacation and the patient needs help?
* Do the clinician keep records? Who gets to see records and how?
* Is all information given to clinicians kept confidential? What are the limits of confidentiality?
* What are the fees for serice? Will these be covered by my insurance?
* Where do clients go with questions or complaints about treatment?
Confidentiality and its limits are important issues for persons considering treatment. In general, confidentiality is strictly maintained by professional therapists. In fact, therapists are required by law, professional regulations and ethical codes to maintain clients' confidentiality. Laws, professional regulations and ethical codes governing exceptions vary by state and profession, but some general information about the limits of confidentiality that may be useful to potential clients includes:
* In all states, therapists must report to authorities suspected child abuse or neglect.
* In some states, therapists must report to authorities suspected elder abuse, and sexual misconduct by other therapists.
* If a client poses an imminent risk of danger to self or others, therapists may be required to inform those who can assist in managing the risk, including those put at risk by the client, emergency medical service and/or appropriate authorities.
* If clients become involved in certain types of legal proceedings, therapists may be required to respond to demands by an attorney or by the courts for otherwise confidential information about such clients. These proceedings may include cases where clients place their psychological condition at issue, child custody disputes, civil commitment hearings, lawsuits by a client against the therapist, and court-ordered treatments.
* If clients themselves request information about their treatment or their treatment records, or give consent to the therapist to release that information to others, then therapists generally must comply with their clients' wishes.
While clinicians may keep private records about their clients details and billing information, OnlineClinics DOES NOT keep records of the communications exchanges between clients and professionals.
Some clients may wish to remain anonymous, that is, have treatment without the therapist knowing their name. Such requests are problematic and if a therapist agrees to such an arrangement, the agreement can only be tentative and conditional. Therapists have a right, and in some situations, an obligation to know who their clients are. One reason for this is the issue of "dual relationships," the other is compliance with the law regarding risks to, or presented by clients. See details below.
A dual relationship means that the parties in a professional relationship have, had, or likely will have, some non-professional relations (family, social or business relations, for example.) A dual relationship is a situation both clients and providers should try to avoid, as it can hinder or interfere with treatment. A simple way to avoid the risk of a dual relationship is to make sure both parties identify each other. As part of the therapeutic relationship, providers are also obligated to ensure the well-being and safety of their clients, and sometimes, the safety of third parties endangered by their clients. To prevent harm in a crisis for example, a provider may need to know how to contact the client or try to obtain outside help for a client.
For these reasons, even if a therapist has provisionally agreed to treat a client without knowing the client's name, the therapist may nevertheless find it necessary, at some future time, to know the identify a client. For these reasons, a therapist should know the client's identity.
For legal and billing purposes, some personal information of Registered, Verified and Full members will be securely maintained, but never on a publicly accessible computer. This personal and financial information is available only to the company and to our authorized online payment processing company for billing of clinicians or groups for usage. OnlineClinics.com does not share clients' personal information with any other companies or organizations. Communications are treated and protected as confidential health care records.
Therapists and clients are free to keep records of their communications independently, and in fact, most therapists are legally required to maintain some written records of treatment. However, OnlineClinics DOES NOT keep such records.
7. Contacting us
OnlineClinics.com welcomes e-mail contacts with comments or questions from the public. An ongoing dialogue with consumers is, in fact, one of the more important aspects of our operation. Keeping open lines of communication helps us to maintain quality service and address the needs of our clients. You can find how to contact us at the bottom of the page. OnlineClinics.com will make every effort to respond to e-mail communications in a timely manner. However, it is difficult to estimate the time it will take us to respond to incoming mail. If you require mental health or other treatment, please do not delay seeking it while waiting for information from us. In emergency or crisis situations obtain help without delay (see Emergencies section in menu).
8. Disclaimer and conditions of use
All general information about mental health, mental illness, emotional problems and counseling and psychotherapy that OnlineClinics.com presents on our website is for informational purposes only. It should NOT be used to substitute for individual professional service and advice. OnlineClinics.com also provides free links to other web sites and services on the Internet. We believe that these resources may be useful to clients and therapists alike. However, OnlineClinics.com HAS NO AFFILIATION with the organizations maintaining these sites, nor can it be responsible for the content or service they deliver.
ONLINECLINICS.COM MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR GUARANTEES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, OF USEFULNESS, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS OR COMPLETENESS, OF ANY INFORMATION PUBLISHED OR MADE ACCESSIBLE ON THE SITE.
All text and images on this site are propriety information of OnlineClinics.com. These may be downloaded by users for personal use only. Any other use requires the prior written consent of OnlineClinics.com, which may be obtained by writing us at P.O. Box 460 Bogota, NJ 07603 USA. Users agree not to post any information that contains any virus, worms, Trojan horse or other code which may contaminate, damage or destroy our files and programs. See our Spam Policy.
Use of this site will indicate you have read and understood all 8 sections of the foregoing "Essential Information and Legal Disclaimer," find the terms and conditions stated therein to be fair and reasonable, and agree to abide by all of the terms and conditions stated therein. OnlineClinics.com reserves the right to modify any of these terms and they will continue to apply, as modified, to your current, previous or future use of this site; you agree to periodically review this "Essential Information and Legal Disclaimer" and, if you do not wish a recent modification to apply to you, then you may discontinue use. If you will be seeking online professional services, then you hereby state and warrant that you are 18 years of age and that you will not misrepresent your identity. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless OnlineClinics.com, its officers, directors, employees and agents from and against any claims, actions, demands, liabilities or settlements including without limitation, reasonable attorneys fees and costs, resulting from any violation by you of these conditions of use.