What is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a relationship between a therapist and a client.

In this relationship the two agree to work toward goals that they've decided on together. If symptoms are thought of as a solution to a problem (present day or past), the question becomes;  What is that problem and what other solutions are possible? The therapist is there to listen without judgement to you and help come up with your own solutions to problems faced in the past and present. The struggle for self understanding can be painful and at times may make the client feel worse before they can feel better. The therapist is not there to provide you with all the answers, they are merely a tool that can be used to better understand one's self.

What will my first appointment be like?

During your "Intake" appointment.

You will be asked to fill out some paperwork. You will also be interviewed by a clinician. The appointment should take 60-90 minutes. At this time the clinic program will be explained to you and you will have a chance to ask any questions. There is no charge for this first visit.

What happens after my Intake appointment?

Your clinician will then write a brief report that summarizes the intake session.

Sometimes, your intake clinician and therapist will be the same person, and sometimes someone else will be assigned to you, depending on your needs. At this time we will schedule your next appointment.  Once established, your therapy sessions will last 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Who will be my therapist at the PDC?

The PDC is a training, research, and service unit of the Department of Psychology's doctoral training program in Clinical-Community Psychology.

At the PDC clients are treated by closely supervised student therapists who are graduate students with at least one full year of clinical training and experience. PDC trainees receive regular, intensive supervision either from clinical faculty members of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Department of Psychology,  or from licensed clinicians in the community who are affiliated with the Department. 

Please Note:  Because we are a training clinic, your clinician will discuss your treatment with a supervisor and a clinical team of 4-6 other students.  In addition, your sessions will be recorded via DVD, videotape.  Any recordings made of sessions will be destroyed after they have been reviewed with a supervisor, unless a student receives your written permission to preserve them.

I understand that my therapist is a student. What happens when they graduate?

If your therapist plans to "graduate" from the PDC.

You may either work together toward termination or consider transferring to a new therapist.  In this event, you will be notified of a likely termination or transfer far in advance,  so that you can discuss and prepare for it together.

When will I be expected to pay for my treatment sessions?

At the PDC, we understand!

Many of our clients have limited resources, and that payment may be difficult at times.  Nonetheless, we ask that you make your treatment a priority and pay promptly and in full for the servces that you receive.  Your cooperation with this policy helps us to maintain our low fees and to keep the clinic operating.  If you are having trouble paying the fee, please discuss this with your clincian as soon as it becomes apparent.  We appreciate your understanding.

What is the PDC's Confidentiality Policy?

Protection of your privacy is one of our greatest priorities.

All PDC staff members sign a confidentiality agreement stating that they will respect the privacy of PDC clients. Your clinical case file is maintained electronically. The information is password protected and accessible only from computers within the clinic.  Security is such  that only your clinician and his/her supervisor has direct access to your files.  Limits to your confidentiality are explained in detail on the Informed Consent Form.  Your PDC clinician will gladly discull these exceptions with you during your appointment.

What if I have a problem with the way I have been treated at the PDC?

The PDC has a client grievance policy.

In the event that you ever feel that your rights have been violated or that you have not received adequate, appropriate, or ethical treatment at the PDC.  If you are not satisfied with an informal resolution of your complaint with your therapist, you are encouraged to discuss your concerns with the Clinic Director, Dr. Jason Whipple, 907-474-1999.

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