FAQ’s about Online Therapy
Q: Is Telemental Health Counseling an effective form of counseling?
A: There are many studies that show the effectiveness of Telemental Health Counseling. Two examples of such studies are a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, which examined the effectiveness of online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT.) In this particular study, they found that in some cases, CBT therapy provided via online counseling was more effective than CBT therapy provided during face-to-face office sessions. Another study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, looked at whether online therapy was effective in helping new doctors. For young doctors, the stress of working long shifts can sometimes lead to mental health issues such as depression and suicidal thoughts. In this study, they found that doctors who received just 30 minutes of online counseling before starting their residency had fewer suicidal thoughts.
Q: Will my privacy be protected during these sessions?
A: Yes, before each session we will make sure that you are in a private, safe, and secure place before we begin your session. I will be in my private office at work or at home. Outside of the doors of each of my, offices I have noise-canceling machines so that nobody can overhear our conversations. In addition, all sessions are conducted over a HIPAA compliant video platform. The same rules of confidentiality apply to Telemental Health Counseling sessions as if we were meeting face-to-face.
Q: What types of issues do you treat through Telemental Health Counseling?
A: I treat the same issues I would treat if we were meeting face-to-face. Please go to my “Counseling Services” page to see the issues I can address. I do not work face-to-face or online with individuals who are in crisis, have severe or chronic mental health issues, have suicidal/homicidal thoughts or ideation, or who have a history of drug or alcohol addiction.
Q: Will I have my sessions through Facebook, Skype, Zoom or another platform?
A: I use a HIPAA compliant platform called Doxy.me. It is free for you to use and you do not have to download an app.
Q: How much do services cost?
A: If your insurance covers your sessions you would pay your copay (if you have one.) Some individuals have a deductible which means your rates would be higher until you meet your deductible. If your insurance will not cover the sessions then you would pay my regular session rates. For questions about my regular rates, please send me an email.
Q: How frequent will my sessions be?
A: We will decide together how frequently we will have sessions. At the beginning, for most clients, the sessions occur on a weekly basis.
Q: Can I text and e-mail you between sessions?
A: I do not address clinical issues between sessions through e-mail or text. If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment then you are welcome to send me a text or email.
Q: How do I schedule an appointment?
A: To schedule an appointment you can schedule online by going to my “Get Started” page. From there you can scroll down and click either on “Request an Appointment” or “Schedule Your Intake Now.” You can also send me an e-mail. Before you schedule your appointment you will need to complete a screening questionnaire to make sure online counseling will be a good fit for you. If I determine that you are a good fit, then we will keep your scheduled appointment. You would need to complete my intake packet and submit it before your initial session. In addition, you would need to sign the release for Telemental Health Services.
Q: How long will my sessions be?
A: Your initial session will be intake and it will last an hour. Subsequent sessions range from 45 to 50 minutes.
Q: How will I pay for my sessions?
A: I will send you a text message that will require you to put a credit card on file. Your card will be charged after each session.
Q: Do you charge for missed or canceled sessions?
A: Yes, it would be the same as if we were meeting face-to-face.
Q: What equipment do I need for online sessions?
A: You will need a computer, tablet, or cell phone. You will need to have a webcam and a microphone that is built-in or that is external. You will need a reliable internet connection with a bandwidth of at least 10 MBPS.
Q: What internet browser will I need if I use a desktop or laptop computer?
A: You will want to use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari.
Q: What internet browser should I use on my cellphone?
A. For Android, you will want to use Google Chrome. For iOS, you will want to use Safari.
Q: How do I log in for my session:
A: After you go through the appropriate screening and we have your session schedules, you will receive a welcome e-mail with instructions on how to log in to my Doxy.me waiting room for your session. It is simple and easy with a simple link that you will need to click.
Q: What happens if one of us has internet problems or other technical issues?
A: This on occasion will happen. We will do our best to work around whatever technical issues arise. If needed, we can have a phone session if we are unable to meet online. The worst-case scenario would be having to reschedule our session if we have tried everything and can’t get the issue resolved. If that should ever happen then you would not be charged.
Q: Will you be recording my sessions?
A. No, your sessions will never be recorded due to HIPAA privacy concerns.