DECLARATION OF PRACTICE
Michael H. Gootee, MA, LPC, LMFT
3330 West Esplanade Avenue, Suite 512
Metairie, LA 70002
Declaration of Practices and Procedures
- Qualifications: My education includes: B.A. in Religious Studies, Catholic University, 1977;
- M.A. in Pastoral Counseling, St. Louis University, 1983; Certification from 3 year graduate training program in Pastoral Counseling, Care and Counseling, St. Louis, 1981-84; and M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, Our Lady of Holy Cross College, 1991.
- I am licensed as a Licensed Professional Counselor, License # 634, and as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, License #310 with the LPC Board of Examiners, 8631 Summa Avenue, Suite A, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. Phone: 225-765-2515.
The counseling relationship provides and opportunity where difficulties in one’s personal life and relationships can be explored in an environment of care and trust. It is the goal of the counseling relationship that you will grow in awareness of yourself and your relationships and that this growth will provide you with an opportunity to make new choices and implement them in your life.
Areas of Expertise
Individual, Marital, and Family Therapy. This includes working with marital and family relationship problems. It also includes working with problems such as depression, anxiety, grief and loss, recovery, family of origin issues, and the integration of psychological and spiritual growth through pastoral counseling. I hold national certification as a Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapist and as a Fellow of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.
Offered and Clients Served
I use an integration of psychodynamic, family systems, and cognitive-behavioral approaches to therapy. These approaches emphasize the importance of understanding how one’s past experiences of relationships in one’s family of origin and other significant relationships influence our present relationships. They emphasize the importance of one’s present relationships to understand and resolve current individual and family difficulties.
These approaches also emphasize the importance of the development of each individual’s unique personality and the importance of self awareness and ongoing growth in order to enhance individual and relational fulfillment. I utilize a variety of formats including individual, couple and family sessions.
I work with clients who can do the work of therapy on an outpatient basis. I have consultation relationships with psychiatrists for referral should medication or temporary hospitalization become necessary.
Code of Conduct
I am required by law to adhere to the Louisiana Code of Conduct for Licensed Professional Counselors and the Louisiana Code of Ethics for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. Copies of these codes are available upon request.Privileged Communication: I am required to abide by the professional practice standards for Licensed Professional Counselors and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and Louisiana law. I do not disclose client confidences and information to any third party except for materials shared during supervision without a client’s written consent or waiver except when mandated or permitted by law. Verbal authorization will not be sufficient except in emergency situations.
State law mandates that I report to appropriate authorities suspected cases of child abuse/neglect, elder abuse/neglect, or disabled abuse/neglect and instances of danger to self or others when reasonably necessary to protect the client or other parties from a clear and imminent threat of serious physical harm.
Certain types of litigation (such as child custody suits) may lead to court-ordered release of information without your consent. Also note that if you use third party insurers, such as health insurance policies, HMO or PPO plans, or EAP programs, you must sign a release of information and all information will be disclosed.
When working with couples, families, or groups, I cannot disclose any information outside of the treatment context without a written authorization from all individuals competent to sign such authorization. For example, I cannot release any information about either or both spouses I have seen for marital therapy to an attorney without signed authorizations from both spouses.
When working with a family or couple, information shared by individuals in sessions where other family members are not present must be held in confidence (except for the mandated exceptions already noted) unless all individuals involved sign written waivers.
After Hours and Emergencies
For after hour calls, please call my office phone, 451-8870 and leave a message on my voice mail and I will return your call. In an emergency situation where an immediate response is necessary, you may call River Oaks Hospital at 504-734-1740 for assistance 24 hours a day or 911.
Fees, Office Procedures, Policies for Insurance Reimbursement
The fee for a 50 minute session is $90.00. Payment is due at the time of the session. Clients are seen by appointment only. Since the time for a scheduled appointment is reserved for you, please give at least 24 hours notice to cancel an appointment. For sessions canceled with less than 24 hours notice, the regular fee will be charged. Consult your insurance company in advance regarding the extent of your mental health coverage. I am a provider for many insurance companies. Usually I can file the claim and you would pay your co-pay directly to me.
Counseling is a collaborative relationship where the counselor offers his experience and knowledge to help create an atmosphere where understanding, change and growth are possible. In this environment, you as the client are responsible for choosing and implementing the specific changes you desire for your life. Clients must make their own decisions regarding such things as deciding to marry, separate, divorce, reconcile, and how to set up custody and visitation. That is, I will help you think through the possibilities and consequences of decisions, but my Code of Ethics does not allow me to advise you to make a specific decision.
Other client responsibilities include:
- Giving the counselor feedback during counseling about how you feel the counseling relationship and process is developing.
- Notifying the counselor of any other ongoing professional mental health relationship(s) and granting permission to share information with this professional so that treatment can be coordinated.
It is recommended that you have a complete physical examination if you have not had one within the past year. Also, please indicate to me the name of your physician and any medicines you are taking.
Potential Counseling Risks
The client needs to be aware that as a result of counseling, the client may realize that he/she has additional issues which may not have surfaced prior to the onset of the counseling relationship. Also within marital or family counseling, additional strain may be placed on the marital or family relationship as one partner/member changes if the other partner/member(s) refuse to work on changes.