This agreement (“Agreement”) outlines the terms and conditions which govern the access and use of the online platform Open Heart (the “Platform”) for therapists (the “Practitioner”) and clients (the “Client”, ‘you’). The Agreement covers any websites or applications by which you can access the Platform, whether owned and/or operated by Arise Asia Limited/ Essentia Psychological Services Co. (the “Company”, ‘we’) or by third parties.
By accessing or using this Platform, you are entering into this Agreement. Please read this Agreement carefully and thoroughly before starting to use the Platform. If you do not agree to be bound to any terms of this Agreement, you must not access the Platform.
1. Client-Practitioner Relationship
All therapists registered on the Platform are required to be accredited with a recognized academic qualification in psychology, and to be registered with a recognized professional healthcare body qualified to provide mental healthcare. Practitioners agree to abide by the ethical and professional guidelines as outlined by the professional body they are registered with and/or governed by.
All Practitioners are independent providers, who are not employed by nor representatives of the Company. All services provided by the Practitioner are the responsibility of the Practitioner who provides them. It is expected that the Client engages with the Practitioner and their services voluntarily and that the Client uses his or her own best judgment in doing so. If services provided by a Practitioner do not suit needs or expectations of the Client, he or she can voluntarily discontinue services with a Practioner or change to a different Practitioner on the Platform anytime so long as the 24-hour cancellation policy for appointments are followed (see Section 2). Likewise, if the Practitioner experiences a conflict of interest or recognizes that the Client’s needs are outside his or her field of expertise, the Practitioner may make a referral to a different Practitioner on the Platform.
The crucial factor in therapy is the collaborative relationship between the Practitioner and the Client. Therapy involves not only a financial commitment but also one of time and energy, so it is important that Clients feel content with the Practitioner they choose to work with and to the best of the Client’s ability to provide feedback to the Practitioner when this would benefit the therapeutic relationship.
The Practitioner may have separate forms they would like you to sign in addition to the agreement provided by the Platform. The Company is not affiliated or associated with these forms and takes no responsibility for the content of these forms. The decision lies entirely with the Client regarding whether the Client wishes to sign the additional forms or not. Both Clients and Practitioners confirm that all information provided during the term of this Agreement in or through the Platform now and in the future, is accurate, true, current, and complete. The Company will not be liable to Clients, Practitioners, or any third party, for the accuracy, reliability, timeliness, or completeness of information provided by Clients or Practitioners, or any other data or information provided or received through the Platform. Clients and Practitioners may only use the Platform for lawful, non-commercial purposes. Clients and Practitioners may not use the Platform in any manner that could damage, disable, overburden, impair our servers or networks, or interfere with any other party's use and enjoyment of the Platform or its services. Clients and Practitioners may not attempt to gain unauthorized access to any of the services, user accounts, computer systems or networks through hacking, password mining or any other means. Clients and Practitioners agree not to post or transmit any material which contains viruses or other computer codes, files or programs which are designed to limit or destroy the functionality of other computer software or hardware.
2. Mental Health Services
Mental health services include, but are not limited to, psychotherapy, coaching, and counselling (collectively ‘Therapy’). Practitioners agree to only practise Therapy using the approaches and styles that they have been trained in, not to misrepresent own skills or areas of expertise and specialty, and to stay current with continued professional development.
Clients understand and agree that Therapy can be complex and requires active effort on their part both during and between sessions, as guided by the Practitioner.
The services and features of the Platform enable you to make mental health appointments via an online booking system. These appointments can be taken with the Practitioner in person or online as agreed between the Client and Practitioner. Practitioners are responsible for keeping their calendar maintained and up-to-date to ensure a smooth booking process.
Once an appointment has been booked, this appointment is binding between Client and Practitioner unless cancelled up to 24-hours prior to the appointment by the Client or Practitioner. Cancellations less than 24-hours in advance by Clients will incur a cancellation fee. Cancellations by the Practitioner incurs no cost to Clients; however the Practitioner agrees to honour booked appointments to the best of their ability. Verified complaints from Clients about frequent cancellations may lead to removal of the Practitioner from using the Platform. The Company cannot guarantee the availability of Clients or Practitioners at any particular time. The Company will not be liable for cancelled or otherwise unfulfilled appointments, or any injury resulting therefrom, or for any other injury resulting or arising from or related to the use of the Platform. The Company may from time to time add new services to the Platform, substitute a new service for one of the existing services, or discontinue or suspend one of the existing services. The use of new services will be governed by this Agreement. Clients and Practitioners agree that the Company will not be liable to them or any third party for any suspension or discontinuation of any of the services or portion thereof.
The Company may perform scheduled or unscheduled repairs or maintenance, or remotely patch or upgrade the Platform, which may temporarily degrade the quality of the Platform or result in a partial or complete outage of the Platform and its services. The Company will not be liable to Clients, Practitioners, or any third party for any such degradation in the quality or outage of the Platform and its services. We do not warrant that the Platform will operate error free, bug-free or free from defects, that loss of data will not occur, or that the Platform is free of computer viruses, contaminants or other harmful items.
As the Client you are entitled to full confidentiality. This means that any information you provide in oral or written form will not be revealed to anyone without your explicit written consent.
There are a few notable exceptions to this which will obligate mental health practitioners to break this confidentiality, as follows:
(a) if there is reason to believe the Client constitutes a serious risk of harm to themselves or another individual and/or their property
(b) if there is reason to suspect abuse of vulnerable individuals, such as children or elderly
(c) if the Practitioner is required to submit information in a legal situation, such as a court of law.
Your data will be handled in line with these confidentiality regulations and the Cap. 486 Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance of Hong Kong. Steps are taken by the Practitioner to protect identity, information and any records kept of the Client and the sessions. It is your responsibility to protect the confidentiality and security of your username and password, your e-mail accessibility and the safety and security of any computer, mobile phone and/or any other equipment and/or hardware you use to access the Platform or communicate with your Practitioner. If you wish to utilize your medical insurance, you will need to authorize communication to your insurance company as required to receive benefits.
5. Content & Copyright
‘Content’ means content, text, data, graphics, images, photographs, video, audio, information, suggestions, guidance, underlying technology or software, and other materials provided or used to allow access to the Platform, made available or otherwise found through the Platform, including without limitation Content provided in direct response to Client or Practitioner questions or postings. Client and Practitioner use of the Content is solely at their own risk. The Company is the sole owner of all Content.
Clients and Practitioners acknowledge and agree that any Content provided on the Platform by the Company, Clients, Practitioners or other third parties do not constitute advice, diagnosis, or treatment, not is it a substitute for the same. All Content is purely for informational, educational, matching, scheduling, and pricing purposes only. The Company derives information from sources which are believed to be accurate and up to date as at the date of publication and reserves the right to update this information at any time. The Company cannot be held liable for any damages resulting from this Content.
Clients and Practitioners agree that they will not post or transmit any material or information which is offensive, defamatory, obscene, unlawful, vulgar, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing or ethnically objectionable. Clients and Practitioners agree not to post or transmit any unsolicited advertising or promotional materials; or any material in which the copyright is owned by another person or entity, and you warrant that all material posted or transmitted is your original work and not sourced from any third party.
7. Release of and Waiver of Liability
Clients and Practitioners, for themselves, and their legal representatives, spouse, heirs and assigns, do hereby release and forever discharge and hold harmless the Company and the Platform, and its officers, directors, agents, insurers and representatives, and successors from any and all liability claims and demands of whatever kind of nature, either in law or in equity, which may arise from Client and Practitioner activities with the Company or the Platform, including (without limitation) any act, omission, opinion, response, advice, suggestion, information and/or service and/or any other Content or information accessible through the platform.
Clients and Practitioners hereby understand, agree and acknowledge that the Company and/or the Platform shall not be liable to them or any third party for any indirect, incidental, consequential, special, punitive or exemplary damages. Clients and Practitioners agree not to bring any action against the Company and the Platform for any such damages.
Clients and Practitioners hereby agree and acknowledge that the Platform is provided ‘as is’ without any express or implied warranties of any kind, including but not limited to merchantability, non-infringement, security, fitness for a particular purpose or accuracy. The use of the platform is at the own risk of Clients and Practitioners. To the fullest extent of the law, the Company expressly disclaims all warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied.
8. Governing law and jurisdiction
This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Clients and Practitioners irrevocably agree that the courts of Hong Kong shall have non-exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute which may arise out of, under, or in connection with this Agreement or the legal relationship established by them, and for those purposes irrevocably submit all disputes to the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong courts.
9. Termination of this Agreement
This Agreement can be terminated by Client through the deletion of your account if you should choose to discontinue Therapy using the Platform. Termination can occur any time as long as the 24-hour cancellation policy is followed, and no outstanding balances exist.