University of Vermont

Department of Psychology

Description of Services
The Behavior Therapy and Psychotherapy Center
Description of Services
Karen Fondacaro, Ph.D.
The Behavior Therapy and Psychotherapy Center is a not-for-profit outpatient clinic and training facility for the Clinical Psychology Program in the Department of Psychology at The University of Vermont. The two main functions of the Clinic are:
  • to offer psychological services to Vermont, New York, and New Hampshire, as well as other areas
  • to provide professional training for Clinical Psychology graduate students
Services of the clinic are provided by either:
  • doctoral level clinical psychologists who are licensed in the State of Vermont.
  • pre-doctoral student clinicians who are completing training under the supervision of the Clinical Psychology Faculty.
The Clinic Director, Karen Fondacaro, Ph.D., oversees the management of the clinic and is responsible for all operations. You may contact Dr. Fondacaro with any questions or concerns in writing or by phone at 802-656-2661.
Evaluation of Client Treatment Needs
The first few sessions will typically be dedicated to assessment in order to determine the client's specific treatment needs. The goal of these evaluative sessions will be to clarify whether the Clinic is capable of serving the client's specific needs and, if so, to develop a treatment plan with him/her. If it is determined that the Clinic is not capable of meeting the client's specific needs, she/he will be referred to other community mental health practitioners or agencies.
Clients should be aware that psychological services involve a joint effort between therapist and client, the results of which can not be guaranteed. For example, progress in therapy depends on many factors including motivation, effort, and other life circumstances such as the client's interactions with family, friends, and other associates.
State laws and the code of ethics for psychologists protect a client's rights of privacy, privileged communication, and confidentiality regarding psychological services. Clinic personnel will not release any record of a client's contact with the Clinic without her/his written permission, except under the rare conditions outlined below. For our graduate student therapists, clinic files are NOT part of academic records, and no one has access to them except for Clinic staff. Complete records are maintained for seven years, in accordance with law/ethical principles.
Despite our strict respect for clients' confidentiality rights, the following are situations that may impose limits on a client's right to confidentiality based on state laws and ethical principles for mental health professionals.
  • If Clinic personnel receive information that gives them cause to believe that a child's, or and elderly or disabled person's physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect, they are required to report this information to the Vermont Department of Children and Families.
  • If Clinic personnel receive information that leads them to determine that there is a probability of imminent physical injury by the client to himself/herself or to others, or where there is probability of immediate mental or emotional injury to the client, they are required to report this information to the appropriate persons and/or agencies.
  • In certain court proceedings, Clinic personnel may be required to disclose specific information regarding a client when ordered to do so by a judge and/or by state law.
  • If a client with third party coverage for outpatient psychological services consigns insurance benefits to the Clinic or otherwise authorizes information disclosure, Clinic personnel may be required to disclose summary information regarding the client's contact with the Clinic to the insurance company/agency providing at least partial payment for services. The privacy of your records is protected by Federal and State law. You will receive a summary of those protections.
These policies of confidentiality apply to all clinic activities with clients, including supervisory contact between student therapists and faculty supervisors.
Emergency Procedures
We have 24 hour phone service, and after hours you may leave messages or contact your therapist by dialing the clinic phone number (802-656-2661). Your therapist or a covering psychologist will get back to you as soon as possible. In case you can not get through, or are in need of immediate services, please call the Crisis Service of Chittenden County for adults at 802-488-6400, or for children call First Call for Children and Families at 802-488-7777. In an emergency dial 911.
Missed Appointments
Please be advised that all clients who miss their appointments without canceling 24 hours in advance will be charged for the missed appointment.
We have implemented this policy because we feel it is important to maintain a consistent therapy schedule in order for the therapy to be effective. In addition, our therapists have other commitments as well as their services here. It is important for them to be able to know in advance about cancellations so they can arrange their schedules accordingly.

Last modified October 15 2008 01:09 PM

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