On-line therapy is an effective, legal, and ethical way to obtain confidential and HIPAA compliant counseling
Here’s What I know about Online Counseling
- Online therapy is ethical
- Online therapy is legal
- Online therapy is HIPAA compliant
- Not everyone is appropriate for teletherapy
- Online tele-sessions and in person sessions are structured very similarly.
What you will Gain from Online Counseling
- Confidential therapy right from your home
- Convenience of not having to travel
- Finding yourself, your strength, and meeting your goals. In fact, many of my clients have opted for online therapy and found more benefit from it than in person therapy.
What to Expect
Step 1: The initial call
When you make the initial call, before we talk about anything else, I will ask you what you are looking to achieve through therapy to ensure I am the right therapist to help you with what you are looking for. This is where our relationship begins. If we agree that I am the right therapist for you, we will then talk about payment, what treatment will look like and schedule our first session.
Step 2: The first session
The first session tends to be about an hour and a half to make sure I fully explain treatment and fully understand you and your needs.
When you come for your first session, we will go over the necessary paperwork, take care of payment, I will explain the course of treatment and the format of sessions, and we will begin the assessment so I can better understand you and how to help you achieve your goal(s). At the end of the session, we will document our session together so you know what is in your record, and schedule our next session.
Step 3: Development of a treatment plan/course of treatment
As we continue with our next session, we will review our last session and develop a treatment plan/course of treatment. We will discuss what modality of treatment will work best for you.
Step 4: Action on the treatment plan
This is where we get into the treatment and where you will start to see results. We will review the treatment plan throughout this step as well to ensure we are on the right track.
Step 5: Termination
We will have decided how you will know you are ready to terminate therapy with me during the development of the treatment plan. This step will include tips on how to help you stay feeling well.
Frequently asked Questions
Q: Is online mental health treatment legal?
A: Yes! In fact many insurance companies are starting to pay for it as well. It is important to make sure you utilize a therapist who has been trained in telemental health and that your on-line video platform is HIPAA compliant to ensure your confidentiality as best as possible.
Q: Is online mental health treatment secure?
A: It depends. Cell phones tend not to be encrypted well enough to be secure, so if you are texting with your therapist, be aware of this. Also many email domains are not secure. Many audio-video sites (google and Skype for example) are not secure enough either. When you go to the therapist’s on-line platform, make sure it clearly states it is HIPAA compliant to know that it is well encrypted and secure.
Q: Is online mental health treatment covered by insurance?
A: Many insurance companies are starting to cover on-line therapy sessions. It is important to talk with your therapist before you begin an on-line session to learn whether your session will be covered by insurance.
Q: What technology do I need to use?
A: It depends on what you and your therapist use. I use Doxy.me which I explain above. Generally, you will need a computer with a web-cam with audio.
Q: Are providers licensed?
A: There are many on-line and telephone providers of therapy these days. It is crucial that you know that your therapist is licensed and not just someone claiming to be a therapist. Just as you want to have a web platform that is HIPAA compliant for your confidentiality, you want a therapist who is verified to be licensed. Look them up – you should be able to find out whether your therapist is licensed by going to your state’s website and looking up a person by professional license (each state will display this differently).
Q: How are providers paid?
A: Again this depends on the platform you and your therapist use. To pay me, you will pay through pay-pal prior to our meeting on Doxy.me.
Q: Can I have a therapist outside my state?
A: Generally the answer is no unless they are licensed in the state you reside as well as their own state. The therapist you have must be licensed to practice in the state in which you reside. There are some exceptions such as a college student out of state, but check with the therapist (and licensing board if you need) to know the regulations on this.