Vanessa Bell, PhD  Individual Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy
Therapy in Encino California
Individual Therapy, Couples Therapy, Family Therapy  

Office Policies

The Therapy Process

Your participation in therapy can have many beneficial results that include improving your interpersonal relationships, increasing your self-confidence, and resolving the specific problem that caused you to seek treatment.

Psychotherapy requires a collaborative effort and is a process that takes place over time. The length of time that is needed depends on a number of factors, not the least of which is the nature of the difficulties present.

Successful results are the most likely outcome when an individual or couple has the capacity and desire to understand and resolve their concerns, and learn more about their thoughts, feelings and behavior.

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Discussion of Treatment

Often by the end of the first session, Dr. Bell can offer you a preliminary assessment of your difficulty, and say whether or not she thinks you would benefit from her services. Sometimes two or three sessions are necessary for a more comprehensive evaluation and to decide whether to begin treatment. Dr Bell does not accept individuals or couples for therapy if she does not think she can be of benefit to them.

Should you and she decide to continue following the preliminary sessions, throughout the course of therapy Dr. Bell will discuss her view of the problem, therapeutic objectives and her perspectives on the possible outcome of treatment. She welcomes your questions about procedures, benefits, risks, and any concerns or questions you may have.

You may terminate therapy at any time. If Dr. Bell assesses that she is not effectively helping you she will discuss this with you and if appropriate will offer you referrals to other mental health professionals.

Dual relationships of a business or personal nature between therapists and patients are unethical and illegal.

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All information that a patient discloses in psychotherapy, including the therapist’s written notes and records, is confidential. A psychotherapist may not disclose confidential information to anyone unless the patient has granted permission in writing, or where the law requires disclosure. In situations such as couple or family therapy, where individuals are in treatment together, all participants would need to grant permission in writing before any notes or records can be disclosed.

Circumstances where the law requires disclosure include situations in which there is a reasonable suspicion of child, dependent, or elder abuse or neglect, or when the patient presents a danger to himself or others, to property, or is gravely disabled.

Disclosure may be required pursuant to a legal proceeding. If you place your mental status in a litigation initiated by you (patient), the defendant may have the right to subpoena the psychotherapy records and/or testimony of Dr. Bell.

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Health Insurance and Confidentiality

Your insurance company may require disclosure of confidential information in order to process your claims. If you wish Dr. Bell to provide information to your insurance company concerning your treatment, only the minimum necessary information will be communicated to the carrier. Upon your request, Dr. Bell will release information to any agency/person that you specify.

Dr. Bell has no control or knowledge about what insurance companies do with the information she provides or who may access that information. It is important to realize that there is a certain amount of risk to your confidentiality and privacy associated with submitting a mental health invoice for reimbursement.

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Telephone and Emergency Procedures

If you have a psychiatric or medical emergency, please call 911. If you need to contact Dr. Bell between sessions, please leave a message on her answering machine at any time of the day or evening. Telephone calls are typically returned during the day they are received during normal business hours and in the early evening.

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Payments and Insurance Reimbursement

Unless special arrangements have been made in advance, payment is due for professional services at the time of service. Dr. Bell does not accept payment from insurance companies.

If your health insurance includes mental health benefits, and you choose to submit a claim for reimbursement, Dr. Bell will provide you with a statement containing the information required by the insurance company.


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These Web pages were created for your information and to present our services to you. The material included on this site is intended for informational purposes only and in no way is meant to substitute for individualized mental health therapy provided in person by a professional.

The primary goal is to assist individuals, couples and families in determining whether the services provided would meet their needs. The information provided on these pages is not meant to substitute for individualized therapies. No claim to cure, treat, diagnose or otherwise provide mental or behavioral healthcare is guaranteed, promised or implied by this site.

If you are in need of mental health services, please contact a licensed professional.

If there is an IMMEDIATE CRISIS such as a child or adult currently being abused, suicidal or homicidal thoughts or actions, or any other mental health emergency, CALL 911.

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Encino Therapy for individuals, couples, families
Vanessa Bell, Ph.D.
16550 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 405
Encino, CA 91436
Tel: (818) 986-3993
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