Sometimes coming in to an office every week is not a good option. We want to make our services as accessible as possible. Teletherapy might be a good option if you are a caregiver, have physical disabilities that make travel difficult, or if you live in a remote part of Washington. We offer teletherapy counseling sessions through a HIPAA-compliant service similar to Skype.
We offer individual, family, and relationship counseling through teletherapy. Please note that all participants must be in Washington State at the time of the session.
Teletherapy is often a great alternative to coming for in person counseling. Our office manager works with you to complete paperwork and answer any logistical questions so you are ready to go for your first appointment with your therapist. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions:
So if I do want to try video sessions, what do I need to do to get ready?
Not much, actually! Here is some direction:
1. For our sessions, we use a HIPAA-compliant telehealth application, TeleHealth by SimplePractice, which is designed exactly for online therapy and works great. We'll send you an email that has a link you click from your computer, phone, or tablet to start your online therapy session. A reminder email will also be sent to you 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment, which also has the link for your session.
2. If you are doing your session from a computer: All you do is click the link contained in the email sent to you, or the reminder email, when your session is scheduled to start. The rest of the prompts from that point on are self-explanatory and easy. Your computer must have a microphone and a camera.
3. If you are doing your session from a smart phone or tablet: Ahead of your first session, do a one-time download of the Telehealth by SimplePractice (for iOS or Android) app from either the app store or the Google Play store. Then, just like when joining from a computer (mentioned above), just click the link contained in the email sent to you, or the reminder email you receive 10 minutes before your session.
Here are some common questions you may find helpful:
Q. Is telehealth private?
Just like our face-to-face appointments, your telehealth visit will be private and confidential.
Q. Does health insurance cover teletherapy?
Most insurances do cover teletherapy, sometimes even with a reduced co-pay. In response to the virus, more and more insurances are offering telehealth coverage. Please contact us an we are happy to check your benefits.
Q. Where is the best place to do a video session?
Try to choose a place that is private and away from household members, coworkers, pets, and other potential distractions. Try to be somewhere that is well-lit (moving a lamp to behind your computer/phone can do it) and relatively quiet (using headphones helps, as does shutting doors & windows).
Q. Can we do couples or family therapy in the online format?
Absolutely! You can choose to both be in the same room together using the same computer/phone/tablet - that is usually the easiest option. If multiple participants need to be in separate places and log in on different computers, we can use a different platform (Zoom) for that. Your therapist will help you get set up.
That's all there is to it
Please don't hesitate to call or email your therapist with any other questions, as we welcome demystifying this online therapy process for you, or troubleshooting if there is a particular challenge. You'll likely soon discover what most folks do when doing therapy online for the first time: it feels a little weird at the beginning of your first session but you soon settle into it, perhaps similarly to when you first started in-person therapy.
An added bonus of teletherapy: you're welcome to have your sessions while comfortably in pajamas. :)