We offer services both in-person and via telehealth, if telehealth is clinically appropriate. We require that clients live within 30 minutes of the office where their therapist works, so that they can attend in-person when needed and in case of a crisis or emergency.
Below are answers to questions you might have about telehealth and information about how our telehealth platform works.
What exactly is telehealth?
Telehealth is simply a way of providing health care services, including psychotherapy. Instead of meeting face-to-face in the office, we meet by video or by phone.
Is telehealth private?
Yes. We use a secure, HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform that is integrated into our office’s record-keeping system. Your therapist will be in a private location when you meet.
However, it is your responsibility to make sure things are private on your end. If the client is a child, a caregiver will need to make sure the child has privacy. Ways to enhance privacy include:
- meeting in a room with a closed door, without other family members nearby
- using headphones/earbuds or placing a radio outside the door so others cannot overhear the session.
- using a secure, password protected internet connection (do not to use public or unsecured wi-fi for your appointment)
What do you mean “if telehealth is clinically appropriate”?
We want therapy to be accessible, but it is also important services are provided in the most beneficial way. Your therapist will assess whether telehealth is a good option for you, taking into account your preference. Therapists consider factors such as the client’s age, client ability to participate effectively over video (compared to in-person sessions), parent willingness to participate (for young children), access to a private setting without family members nearby, and technology such as quality of internet connection.
Can therapy for kids be done over telehealth?
Absolutely! Therapists have found many creative ways to engage even very young clients over video. This often includes increasing parent involvement in therapy appointments, reading books or playing games over video, using an interactive whiteboard on-line, and other activities to help children work toward their therapy goals. A parent or other responsible adult must be available during the telehealth appointment, in case the therapist needs to speak with them. For young children, a parent must be present throughout the appointment and should plan to be an active participant.
Quick tip for making the most of telehealth for kids & teens: Try not to schedule your child’s session in the middle of a fun activity or playdate. Children (including teens) are less likely to focus on a therapy session when a friend is in the other room.
What do I need for a video session?
In order to utilize video sessions, you will need:
- High-speed internet (at least 10 Mbps)
- A device with both camera and microphone
- If you are using a mobile device, download the Telehealth for Simple Practice app for iOS or Android prior to the appointment.
- If you are on a laptop or PC, the session will open in your internet browser. You will need to use Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
What if I don’t have good internet/video?
If you do not have access to strong internet or a device with video capabilities, please let us know. Telehealth may not be an option. Depending on your insurance, phone sessions may be a possibility, or you may need to come to the office.
How does this work, exactly?
Great question! Our system is very user-friendly. We will need permission to communicate with you electronically, either by email, text, or secure messaging in our Client Portal, so that we can send you the link for your video session. This is a unique link and will be different for every appointment. Make sure you have downloaded the Telehealth for Simple Practice app, if you are using a mobile device. We also encourage you to do the Internet Connection test before your appointment.
When it is time for your appointment:
- close out any other programs that are open on your mobile device or computer
- turn off alerts from other programs, to reduce disruptions
- open the link you have been provided and follow the steps
- disable Bluetooth, to make sure your device does not accidentally connect to another device
You might also want to watch this 1-minute YouTube video demonstration.
If your session is by phone, your therapist will call you at the number you provide.
What if I have technical issues?
This Telehealth FAQ from Simple Practice is a great resource for trouble-shooting problems. And of course your therapist will be happy to help as well!
Will insurance pay for therapy delivered via telehealth?
Most insurance plans cover telehealth sessions, as long as they are done using an audio/video platform. Some will cover phone sessions, if video is not possible. You are responsible for checking with your insurance plan to confirm that telehealth is covered. We have put together a list of questions you can ask when you call them. If your plan does not cover telehealth, you will be billed the contracted rate for your insurance and your card-on-file will be charged.
Are there risks associated with telehealth?
Like any health service, there are of course risks and benefits. These are outlined in more detail on our Consent form. The biggest risk is around confidentiality. When you come to the office, you come to a private, confidential location for therapy. When receiving therapy remotely, you have greater responsibility for ensuring your privacy. There is also the chance that technology doesn’t cooperate and your appointment gets interrupted as a result. We encourage you to read the Telehealth Consent Form carefully and ask any questions you might have.