What is Telehealth Counseling?
Telehealth counseling is also called internet counseling, online therapy, telemedicine, or distance counseling. Telehealth is counseling conducted via videoconference or telephone in lieu of face-to-face in-office counseling. It is confidential and HIPAA secure using a video conferencing platform specifically designed for therapy. Many people prefer Telehealth counseling because it is generally less expensive than traditional therapy, saves time by not having to commute, and can be done in the privacy or your own home. Of course, if you prefer sessions by telephone, that is an option also.
How Does Online Counseling Work?
With our videoconferencing platform, there is no downloading of a program and no sign-up required by the client. Your therapist will send you their personal online therapy link (you can also text our mainline for the link, just specify who your therapist is – 619-558-0001 ). At the time of the scheduled appointment, you will click on the link, type in your first name and then you are in your therapist’s “virtual waiting room.” Your therapist will then begin your session at the scheduled appointment time!
Is it confidential?
Yes! Online therapy is confidential. Depending on your home circumstances, you may want to take measures such as using headphones or playing music outside the room during your session. If you live with others, you can ask them to plan their grocery trip or go for a walk during your therapy time for extra privacy. Therapists are taking every precaution to ensure your confidentiality during the online sessions. Only you and your therapist will have access to the video session.
Maybe I should wait until I can go in person…
Yes, therapy online is going to feel a bit different than therapy in person. But the longer you put off starting – or continuing – therapy, the longer you are putting off improving yourself, your relationship, and your life. Whatever is driving you to seek therapy is not just going to go away. In fact, with the ongoing outside stressors, things can become more difficult without help. Life during a pandemic isn’t easy. Gaining the tools now will help you work through whatever issues are present in your life. In addition, seeking online therapy now will help you navigate through any future obstacles you may face. In 2019 the American Journal of Managed Care found that the majority (87%) of patients who received Telehealth services would recommend it to family and friends. Additionally, there was no perceived loss of communication due to using video services. (You can read about the study here.)
Perks of online therapy
- With online therapy, there is no commute. You don’t need to drive or Uber to an office – saving you time and money.
- Online therapy is accessible from anywhere. This means you can still have your therapy session if you go out of town.
- Online therapy allows for more flexibility. Not only is it easier to fit online therapy into your schedule – but you can also see a therapist who might otherwise be too far of a drive for you.
- Online therapy allows for social distancing. While we take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety in the therapy office, there is no guarantee. Therapy offices, like ours, are more often than not located in public buildings. We have no control over who else is in the lobby, elevator, or hallways of the building.
What Kind of Clients Can Utilize Telehealth Counseling?
All clients can engage in Telehealth counseling, whether you are looking for individual or marriage counseling. If a client is having thoughts of suicide, or their functioning is seriously impaired by symptoms, Telehealth is not appropriate. A referral to an in-office therapist and psychiatrist would be provided in lieu of Telehealth counseling. If you are unsure whether you are a good fit for Telehealth services, we would be happy to speak with you to help determine this.
How Do I Get Started?
If you are interested in setting up an appointment or finding out more about our Telehealth services, please call us at 619-558-0001 or email us! We would be happy to answer any questions you have. You can also check out the National Telehealth Resource Center.
Don’t wait. Whether you are facing anxiety, depression, chronic pain, loss, grief, trauma, body image issues, stress, life transitions, or contemplating spirituality we are here for you. If you and your partner need help improving communication, connection, or intimacy, repairing after an affair, premarital counseling, or guidance navigating co-parenting – give us a call or set up an appointment online.