For those already familiar with the process, here is a quick link to my video-conference call waiting room.
As a rule, I provide services by meeting in person with clients. Even so, if meeting in person isn’t feasible, and depending on a client’s particular concerns, I am sometimes able to provide treatment through online video-conference calls. Charges for telehealth sessions are the same as for regular sessions. Also, in California insurance plans are required to cover video-conference sessions in the same way that they cover regular sessions. Although telehealth allows for the possibility of providing treatment across state lines, I am only licensed to practice in California.
Telehealth or in person? Although there is convincing empirical evidence supporting the efficacy of psychotherapy provided through telehealth, many clients prefer meeting with psychotherapists in person. Actually sitting in the same room with a therapist often affords a sense of connection and security that isn’t readily attained through computer monitors or smartphone screens. If at all possible, I encourage new clients to attend at least a few sessions in person before considering telehealth, so that they can make an informed decision about which modality may work best for them.
Steps for telehealth.
- Although the online Therapy Portal I use for client scheduling offers its own platform for telehealth services, I prefer to use a reliable, secure, HIPAA compliant platform offered by Doxy.me. Here is a brief “how to” video.
- In order for video-conferencing to work well, it’s important to have a direct internet connection or strong WiFi.
- Clients should use a quiet, private room and earbuds or a headset for the video-conference calls.
- Clients can use any computer, tablet, or smartphone equipped with a camera and microphone for the video-calls.
- Before participating in a video-conference call, clients might visit my Doxy.me waiting room in advance and click on the Pre-call test button; Doxy.me will then evaluate the set-up and connection and, if necessary, offer suggestions. Clients might also check these tips for improving the quality of video-conference calls.
- I will receive an alert when clients check into the waiting room, and will initiate the video-conference session at the appointment time.
- In the event of any technical issues with the video-conference call, clients should be prepared to use a regular telephone call as back-up.