Telemental Health is a therapist or counselor providing psychological counseling and support over the internet through video conferencing. There are potential benefits and risks of video-conferencing (e.g. limits to client confidentiality) that differ from in-person sessions.
- What is needed for Telemental Health?
A secure internet connection rather than public/free Wi-Fi, computer with a web camera or a phone, iPhone can use face time and Android phones can use google hangout or Google Duo. Your Counselor will discuss with you the best platform to use. A back-up plan is important (e.g., phone number where you can be reached) to restart the session or to reschedule it, in the event of technical problems. Make sure to turn off all other nearby devices and to close out all browsers on your computer to help get a better connection. We encourage you to get on your device 5-10 minutes prior to when your session begins. You can mute your phone or video until it’s time for your session to begin.
- Where should I do it?
You will need to find a quiet, confidential, private space that is away from family or friends and free of distractions; preferably in a room where you can close the door. Finding a space that can give you privacy from others overhearing your conversations is important. You can use earphones to help with the sound quality.
- Who Can do Telemental Health?
Anyone can do Telemental Health. Adults, families and Teens/Tweens can benefit the most from Telemental Health. Although not ideal for younger children but with parent guidance and support they can also use Telemental Health. If you are not an adult, we need the permission of your parent or legal guardian (and their contact information) for you to participate in tele-health sessions.
- Is Telemental Health Confidential?
Confidentiality still applies for Telemental health services, and nobody will record the session without the permission from the others person(s).
- How do you do Play/Expressive therapies over Telemental Health?
According to Play Therapist, Rachel Alvatar, Psy.D., RPT-S, The premise of play therapy is to meet children where they are and to speak their language. Technology is the modern facilitator of that language. Meeting a child in a digital world is comfortable and familiar to them and aids in strengthening rapport and gaining greater insight into their world. Ultimately, while the work is slightly modified virtually, the therapeutic effects of having a space to process all that is presently occurring for them is invaluable. Maintaining a sense of normalcy during uncertainty aids in resilience and improved mental health overall.
Your counselor will email instructions of items to have available for planned activities in your home. For example, blocks, Legos, paper and crayons. Or they might email you worksheets for you to print and have available for your child. The counselor may also read a book with your child and discuss themes or suggestions that apply to your child.
- How do you handle Emergencies?
We need a safety plan that includes at least one emergency contact and the closest Emergency Room to your location, in the event of a crisis situation. We may determine that due to certain circumstances, Telemental Health services are no longer appropriate and that we should resume our sessions in-person.
- Is Telemental Health covered by my insurance?
Check your individual insurance policy. Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic most insurances are providing exemptions to cover Telemental Health at this time.
- Canceling Sessions?
If you need to cancel or change your Telemental Health-appointment, you must notify your counselor in advance by phone or email 24 hours in advance. If you do not you will be charged a missed session fee.