Telephone Counseling Services
-- Updated June 18, 2016 --

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Would You Like to Chat With Dr. Sterling Right Now?

If you have not yet purchased a service from Dr. Sterling and you would like to chat with him briefly by telephone to talk about his services, please feel free to call him at 206-784-7842.

Have You Already Purchased at Least One Service From Dr. Sterling?

  • You can purchase one Initial Telephone Consultation as noted on the Order Buttons at the bottom of this page without being required to supply Dr. Sterling with more extensive personal and medical information. However, to receive Ongoing Telephone Counseling Services you will need to provide Dr. Sterling with similar information as that requested in the Client Registration Form. This information is the same type of information Dr. Sterling would request from you if he consulted with you in-person.

  • Ongoing Telephone Counseling cannot be purchased unless you have already purchased at least one E-Mail or an Initial Telephone Consultation from Dr. Sterling. To purchase an initial E-Mail or an Initial Telephone Consultation, please review the contents of this page and click on the appropriate Initial Telephone Consultation Order Button at the bottom of this page.

  • The purpose of first purchasing at least one initial service from Dr. Sterling is so that you and he can at least briefly discuss how Ongoing Telephone Counseling might fit into your life.

  • Since Ongoing Telephone Counseling is a more personal form of interaction, Dr. Sterling must pay attention to certain professional and ethical considerations, such as gathering appropriate medical and personal information.

  • If you wish to continue Telephone Counseling after your first Telephone Consultation, you will need to give Dr. Sterling certain information he would normally ask you for if he was consulting with you at his office. There are three options for providing such information to Dr. Sterling:

    1. Send an e-mail to Dr. Sterling which contains information similar to what is asked for on the Client Registration Form; or

    2. Send an e-mail to Dr. Sterling which contains the actual Client Registration Form which can be copied and pasted into an e-mail and then filled out, or copied and pasted into a word-processing document and sent as an attachment; or

    3. Purchase a Short Initial Telephone Consultation from Dr. Sterling by using the appropriate Order Button at the bottom of this page. During that Consultation, Dr. Sterling can interview you and gather the required Client Registration Information.

  • Please keep in mind that you if you are not a resident of or visiting within the State of Washington, Dr. Sterling can only offer you general mental health information and relationship counseling and feedback, but cannot engage in a more personal analysis that could be defined as establishing a more traditional doctor-patient relationship. Washington State is the only state in which Dr. Sterling is currently licensed to practice medicine. You can find more information about Dr. Sterling's license at his Biography Page.

What Telephone Consultation Services Are Available?

Four Telephone Consultation Services are available:

  • Short Initial Telephone Consultation (25 minutes - $90.00).
  • Long Initial Telephone Consultation (50 minutes - $170.00).
  • Short Ongoing Telephone Counseling Session (25 minutes - $80.00).
  • Long Ongoing Telephone Counseling Session (50 minutes - $150.00).

Telephone Order Buttons Are at Bottom of Page.

Between here and the bottom of this page, you will find:

  • A Short Discussion of Telephone Counseling
  • Recommendations About Secure E-Mail
  • The Telephone Consultation Terms of Service Agreement

Some Benefits and Challenges of Ongoing Telephone Counseling.

Because of the ongoing nature of the Telephone Counseling process and the attempt to deal with deeper personal issues, Telephone Counseling is similar to traditional psychotherapy. As in in-person psychotherapy and counseling, Dr. Sterling will attempt to get to know you over time, to work with you in a supportive way and to gather information, give feedback, formulate goals, and assist you with making changes.

However, Telephone Counseling should not be viewed as a substitute for in-person psychotherapy or other types of direct counseling techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy. It is an alternative form of therapy with certain limitations due to the format of the interactions.

Because of the non-in-person circumstance of Telephone Counseling, Dr. Sterling cannot diagnose disorders or complex issues as easily or quickly since he cannot use all the senses to evaluate a person. Dr. Sterling can only proceed on the information given to him by you. Many cues that might be helpful, such as appearance, body posture, facial expressions, etc., are not available and, therefore, evaluation and feedback is less informed than in in-person consultations.

Dr. Sterling also will not be able to provide certain interventions as easily, such as evaluating transference issues. Dr. Sterling cannot provide direct help in a crisis. By all ethical and professional standards, a person in crisis deserves in-person assistance.

  • Some Advantages of Ongoing Telephone Counseling.

    • Convenient.
    • No travel time involved in the consultation.
    • Relatively more confidential than an in-person consult.
    • People who are not comfortable writing or typing or who get frustrated with not hearing the voice of the person with whom they are communicating might find more benefit from speaking with Dr. Sterling by phone. However, please keep in mind that a major disadvantage of phone conversations is that after they end, unless you have kept very good notes while talking with Dr. Sterling, you will have a more difficult time reviewing the content of the conversation.

    You Must Agree to the Terms of Service.

    By clicking on any of the Telephone Consultation Order Buttons at the bottom of this page and following through with a purchase of services, you will be agreeing to the Telephone Consultation Terms of Service set out on this page. Please read the Terms of Service carefully before clicking on an Order Button.

    We Recommend Printing This Page.

    We Recommend Obtaining a Secure E-Mail Address.

    • Before purchasing any services online from Dr. Sterling, please be sure you have an e-mail address at which you are comfortable receiving receipts that will contain the following or very similar information:  (1) "ORDER DESCRIPTION: Telephone Consultation," and (2) "Merchant: Ron Sterling, M.D." The receipt will also contain the amount paid and what type of credit card was used.

    • You can establish free, "independent," e-mail addresses just about anywhere these days.

    We Use PayPal for Processing Payments. You do Not Have to Be a PayPal Member.

    How Do You Schedule Your Telephone Consultation?

    • Once you have purchased a Telephone Consultation Service by clicking on an Order Button at the bottom of this page and completing the PayPal transaction, you can contact Dr. Sterling by doing the following:

      • Call him at 206-784-7842 to schedule your appointment. You will be asked to give him the Reference # (Order ID) of your purchase.

        In case you might reach Dr. Sterling's voice mail, please be prepared to give him: (a) the Reference # (Order ID) of your purchase, (b) a choice of three dates and times for the appointment, and (c) a return phone number or a return e-mail address to which he can respond; or

      • and give him a choice of three dates and times for the appointment. You must include the Reference # (Order ID) of your purchase in the e-mail. He will e-mail a scheduling response to you within 8-24 hours (including weekends and holidays).

      • Please Note:  If you leave a phone number on Dr. Sterling's voice mail for Dr. Sterling to use to return your call for scheduling purposes, he will not leave a voice message if he does not reach you directly.

    What Days and Times Are Available For Telephone Appointments?

      Telephone Counseling can be scheduled at selected times Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. (all times are Pacific Standard Time).

    How Do You Call Dr. Sterling at Your Scheduled Appointment Time?

    • Call him at 206-784-7842. If, you reach Dr. Sterling's voice mail, please leave a message that you called. Call back one more time in 10 minutes. If you still reach Dr. Sterling's voice mail, please leave another message. Dr. Sterling will refund the full purchase price of a Telephone Consultation that does not occur which you do not want to or cannot reschedule because of his failure to be available for any reason.

    What If You Change Your Mind After Purchasing the Service?

    • The only basis for a full refund request with respect to Telephone Consultation Purchases is on the basis of Dr. Sterling failing to keep an appointment.

    • If you change your mind after purchasing a Telephone Service and before you schedule an appointment with Dr. Sterling, you may request a refund of 75% of your purchase price or you can apply your full purchase price to some other service that Dr. Sterling offers.

    • If you fail to call Dr. Sterling at 206-784-7842 at any time within your appointment time for your Telephone Consultation, no refund may be requested. Dr. Sterling will not attempt to call you during your appointment time. Dr. Sterling will not double book or overbook any telephone appointments and your time will be available as scheduled.

    • If you wish to cancel your appointment with Dr. Sterling, you must do so by or by telephone call to 206-784-7842 and 36 hours before such appointment time. You must include enough information in your e-mail or your telephone call so that Dr. Sterling can clearly identify who you are and which appointment you are canceling.

    • If you cancel within the 36-hour period before your appointment and no other appointment can be made with another client for that same period of time, you will only be entitled to a 50% refund or the amount of said 50% refund as a credit toward another appointment time or another service that Dr. Sterling offers.

    • All refunds will be made by personal check drawn on Dr. Sterling's account or through PayPal, if requested.

    • Refunds are made payable to the purchaser of services shown on the PayPal receipt. Checks are sent by regular mail and refunds through PayPal are sent within 20 business days of receipt of a request for such refund.

    Before Scheduling a Telephone Consultation, Please Order and Pay.

    • You must order and pay for Telephone Consultation Services in advance.

    • You must provide a valid e-mail address when you order and pay for services. A valid e-mail address must contain the correct user name, the @ symbol, and the domain name: Example - user@ziplip.com.

    • Without a valid and correct e-mail address, Dr. Sterling cannot respond or, if the address is incorrect, such response will not be received by the purchaser of services and confidential information could be disclosed.

    • You must enter the Reference # (Order ID number) in any e-mails you send to Dr. Sterling.

    • Dr. Sterling cannot respond to e-mail requests for scheduling an appointment time for a Telephone Consultation if the e-mail does not contain the Reference # (Order ID number).

    You Must Agree to the Following Terms of Service ("TOS").

    By clicking on any Order Button located at the bottom of this Telephone Consultation Order Page and following through with a purchase of services, I irrevocably agree to each and every statement below:

    1. I am 18 years old or older.

    2. I have Refreshed the View of this page to insure that I am viewing the very latest version of these Terms of Service.

    3. If I am not a resident of the State of Washington, U.S.A., or visiting within said state during the period of time I receive this service from Dr. Sterling, I agree that I will only request counseling from Dr. Sterling for the purpose of information or feedback regarding general mental health and relationship concerns, and not for the purpose of creating a doctor-patient relationship or working on more personal, psychological matters on an ongoing basis.

    4. If I am a resident of the State of Washington, U.S.A., or if I am, and will continue to be, visiting within said state during the period of time I receive this service from Dr. Sterling, I understand I can receive any ongoing type of psychotherapeutic service, except for the prescribing of medications without a in-person appointment with Dr. Sterling.

    5. I am purchasing a Telephone Consultation Service from Ron Sterling, M.D ("Dr. Sterling"), who is licensed to practice medicine in the State of Washington, U.S.A.

    6. If I am purchasing a one-time, Initial Telephone Consultation, I am not required to supply Dr. Sterling with extensive personal or medical information as noted in Item 7 below.

    7. If I am purchasing my first Ongoing Telephone Consultation, I have already filled out the Client Registration Form or a reasonable equivalent thereof, and have sent it by , or I have already supplied Dr. Sterling with the Client Registration Form information by conducting a Short Telephone Consultation (which I can order further below) with Dr. Sterling.

    8. I understand and accept that Dr. Sterling cannot schedule an Ongoing Telephone Counseling Session with me unless I have already submitted or given Dr. Sterling access to the personal and medical information noted above in Item 7.

    9. I understand that I do not need to purchase any Service to fill-out and send the Client Registration Form to Dr. Sterling by e-mail.

    10. I agree that my use of any information communicated to me by Dr. Sterling pursuant to this purchase of services is entirely at my own risk. Any action or decision I make following the receipt of the service purchased hereby is done by my own free will, at my own risk, and with my own responsibility.

    11. I have no intention of harming or killing myself or harming or killing any other person or animal.

    12. If I am overwhelmed by the circumstances of my life, or if I am thinking about abusing animals or people, or harming or killing myself or any other person, I agree to immediately use a telephone and seek help by calling 911 or 1-800-SUICIDE.

    13. I agree that Dr. Sterling cannot be held responsible for breaches of confidentiality that may occur due to (a) my use of a cordless or wireless telephone, (b) my use of a wireless connection to the Internet, (c) my choice not to use a recommended secure e-mail service, (d) my failure to provide a correct and valid e-mail address for myself, (e) my failure to keep secure and confidential any copies I keep of receipts, account statements, e-mails, handwritten notes, or any other audio or visual records, (f) illegal hacking, and (g) hardware, software and other Internet service provider errors outside the control of myself or Dr. Sterling.

    14. I agree that any claim connected to the purchase or provision of this service will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington.

    15. No information or data that I disclose pursuant to this purchase of services will be disclosed to any other person or entity except in the following circumstances:

      1. Upon delivery to Dr. Sterling of my written, witnessed, original, signed authorization to release medical information;

      2. Upon my own indication or implication that I (i) intend to harm myself or some other person; (ii) have caused or am causing child abuse; (iii) have caused or am causing abuse of an elder; (iv) have committed a previously unreported felony crime, and/or (iv) am gravely disabled.

      3. If information is requested by court order or subpoena; and

      4. To assist relevant personnel in the event of a medical emergency.

    16. I possess an e-mail address which I will provide to Dr. Sterling at which I agree to receive receipts that will contain the following or very similar information: (1) "ORDER DESCRIPTION: Telephone Consultation," and (2) "Merchant: Ron Sterling, M.D." The receipt will also contain the amount paid and what type of credit card was used. I agree to the disclosure of such information to the e-mail address I provide, and I understand that such information may be considered confidential.

    17. I agree to the disclosure of the words "Ron Sterling, M.D." and "Telephone Consultation" or such similar words in the text of the credit card account statement mailed or otherwise delivered to me by the credit card company whose credit card I use to purchase this service from Dr. Sterling.

    18. I understand and accept that e-mail responses from Dr. Sterling will contain the following notice: "This e-mail contains confidential information. If you have received this e-mail in error, please do not read it and please delete it immediately."

    19. I accept that Dr. Sterling will reply to my e-mail to him by utilizing the "Reply To" button and that he will not attempt to retype an e-mail address found further down in an e-mail.

    20. I understand and accept that Dr. Sterling will not open any attachments or click on any hyperlinks found in any e-mail I send to him and I agree not to send any attachments or include hyperlinks in my e-mail to him.

    21. I understand and accept that Dr. Sterling, pursuant to relevant laws, must use his best efforts to keep records of all services he provides no matter how brief, and that he will use his best efforts to keep printed copies of all transactions and correspondence between him and myself and handwritten notes of telephone conversations.

    22. I understand and accept that although Dr. Sterling will use his best efforts to provide this service on a continuing basis as he would in a more traditional, in-person treatment circumstance, that certain emergencies may occur which could interrupt the ongoing nature of the service which are not within Dr. Sterling's control which may be, but are not limited to, forces of nature, computer software or hardware problems, Internet service provider difficulties, illegal hacking, or illness or death.

    23. I understand and accept that in the case of the discontinuance or termination of the ongoing nature of this service due to circumstances outside of Dr. Sterling's control that he may need to delegate certain responsibilities for follow-up communications to me from some other person than himself, but that the best efforts will be used to keep my records and information confidential in such a circumstance.

    24. If I am abusive, threatening, harassing, and/or sexually inappropriate in my interactions with Dr. Sterling, he can notify me clearly of his intent to stop services, the reason for stopping the service, and offer me a referral resource.

    25. I agree that the only basis on which I may request a full refund of the purchase price of this service is on the basis of Dr. Sterling failing to keep an appointment, for any reason.

    26. If I change my mind after purchasing a Telephone Service and before I schedule an appointment with Dr. Sterling, I will only be entitled to a refund of 75% of the purchase price or I can apply the full purchase price to some other service that Dr. Sterling offers.

    27. If I fail to call Dr. Sterling at 206-784-7842 at any time within my appointment time, no refund may be requested.

    28. I understand and accept that Dr. Sterling will not attempt to call me during my appointment time.

    29. I must cancel any appointment I make with Dr. Sterling by or by telephone call to 206-784-7842.

    30. I must send such cancellation e-mail to Dr. Sterling or contact him by telephone at 206-784-7842, or leave a voice message at said telephone number 36 hours before such appointment time.

    31. I understand and accept that any cancellation not made 36 hours before my appointment time for which no other appointment can be made with another client for that same period of time, will only entitle me to a 50% refund on this purchase price or such 50% refund value can be used as a credit toward another appointment time or some other service Dr. Sterling offers.

    32. I accept that refund checks will be made payable to the purchaser of services shown on the PayPal receipt, will be sent to the address shown on the receipt, and will be sent by regular mail or by PayPal within 20 business days of receipt of a request for such refund.

    33. I accept that available appointment times for Telephone Consultations may be changed by Dr. Sterling at any time, whatsoever, without notice to me. However, I understand that Dr. Sterling will use his best efforts to keep current his posted scheduling hours on the DearShrink.com Site.

    34. I accept that Ron Sterling, M.D., reserves the right to modify these Terms of Service at any time, whatsoever, without any advance notice and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon the posting of such modified terms and conditions on this page. You agree to refresh this page before proceeding to insure that you are viewing the very latest version of these Terms of Service.

      Credit and Debit Card Payment
      for Fees is Temporarily Unavailable
      as We Search for a
      New Merchant Services Provider
      -- Updated June 18, 2016 --

    Are You Ready to Order?  Click on the Appropriate Order Button Further Below.

    • Please Note: By clicking on an Order Button and following through with a purchase of services, you are agreeing to all of the Terms of Service found in the Terms of Service section immediately above.

    • Thank you again for your consideration!

    Order Buttons For First-Time Telephone Consultations.

    • You may only purchase an Initial Telephone Consultation once. Please use the next two buttons to order an Initial Telephone Consultation. You will not be required to submit a Client Registration Form to purchase one Initial Telephone Consultation.

    If you wish to order a Short Initial Telephone Consultation
    (25 minutes of Dr. Sterling's time), click on the button below. The fee is $90.00 USD.

    If you wish to order a Long Initial Telephone Consultation
    (50 minutes of Dr. Sterling's time), click on the button below. The fee is $170.00.

    Order Buttons For Ongoing Telephone Counseling.

    • Please use the next two buttons to order Ongoing Telephone Counseling Services.

    • Please Note:  Before Dr. Sterling can provide Ongoing Telephone Counseling, he must obtain certain personal and medical information. You have the choice of submitting such information in several different ways as noted above in Item 7 of the Terms of Service.

    If you wish to order a Short Ongoing Telephone Counseling Session
    (25 minutes of Dr. Sterling's time), click on the button below. Fee is $80.00.

    If you wish to order a Long Ongoing Telephone Counseling Session
    (50 minutes of Dr. Sterling's time), click on the button below. The fee is $150.00.


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    RON STERLING, M.D.
    DearShrink.com™
    Seattle, Washington
    Phone: 206-784-7842
    Send E-Mail to Dr. Sterling
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