WHAT IS TELEHEALTH?
Basically, Telehealth is an online video-based platform that allows you access to counseling from the comfort of your own home, or wherever is most convenient for you. Instead of having to come to the office for in-person sessions, your therapist will meet you online for your scheduled counseling sessions.
Telehealth is very similar to FaceTime, Zoom, or other online video-based platforms that many of you are already familiar with. Our video platform is hosted through Simple Practice, which is the HIPAA compliant and secure platform we use for our client intake process.
IS TELEHEALTH EFFECTIVE?
We understand that in-person sessions can feel more natural and normal, but evidence does show that Telehealth really is just as effective as in-person sessions are! Though it might seem weird or awkward that first session, Telehealth really is just as effective as in-person sessions. In fact, some clients end up preferring Telehealth because of the conveniences it affords.
HOW DOES TELEHEALTH WORK?
After your appointment is scheduled you will receive notification via text or email (whichever you choose) with a link for your personal video session. You’ll also receive a reminder of your Telehealth session 48 hours prior to your appointment time and another a few minutes before your session is about to start.
You will also be emailed a Telehealth consent form by your counselor. This will be stored in your HIPAA compliant client portal along with the rest of your documents. It explains a bit more about the Telehealth process and what you can expect from Telehealth, as well as gives consent for your counselor to offer you counseling via Telehealth.
If you choose to use your phone for Telehealth sessions, you’ll need to download the ‘Telehealth for SimplePractice’ app.
At the time of your appointment simply click on the link you received and a screen with a button that says ‘Join Video Session’ will pop up. Once you ‘Join Video Session’ you will be in session with your counselor! It’s really as simple as that!
IS TELEHEALTH CONFIDENTIAL?
Yes! Telehealth is absolutely confidential! We use the same HIPAA compliant platform that we do for our intake forms and scheduling (Simple Practice) and it is secure, confidential and 100% HIPAA compliant. And, just like your in-person sessions are taken very seriously by our counselors, please know that your online sessions will be as well. Our counselors guarantee that when they meet with you for a session they will be the only one in the room, will have no other distractions around them, and will continue to keep your information just between the two of you.
Of course, there are standard exceptions to confidentiality, just as there are for any in-person counseling sessions: if minors are involved, if you are a risk of harm to yourself or others, if there is abuse of vulnerable populations or if we are issued a subpoena. You will also find these on our Informed Consent document, and feel free to inquire for more details.
WAYS YOU CAN IMPROVE YOUR TELEHEALTH EXPERIENCE
Test your internet connection, your camera or webcam, and your sound quality to ensure that you can see and hear us and yourself.
- Find a quiet nook in your home (or car, we won’t judge!) to make sure that you are as free from distractions as you can be.
- Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, cozy up in your favorite chair and settle in!
WHAT DO I NEED TO ACCESS TELEHEALTH SESSIONS?
All you need to be able to access Telehealth sessions is a computer, laptop, tablet or even your phone and an internet connection. Some individuals choose to use a microphone to enhance voice sound, or headphones to help with reducing background noise and ‘squeals’ that sometimes occur with being online, and headphones have the added benefit of providing more confidentiality if others may be near. However, neither a microphone or headphones are requirements for having a good experience with Telehealth.