Why TelePsychology sessions? Isn’t in-person therapy better?
That depends… Most people see psychological services or therapy as face-to-face experience…and historically, that is how this area of health care has been conducted. However, research has been showing us that the outcomes for teletherapy are consistent with the outcomes that we may expect to see through in-person therapy. Here are some other things to consider:
- Ease of online scheduling without the constraints of business hours or phone tag
- Do you have limited time? TelePsychology saves time with automatic scheduling, with less (or no time) fighting the traffic, and without enduring long, inconvenient distances to attend your appointment.
- Environmentally conscious approach to the logistics of care with paperless patient forms
- Reducing your carbon footprint: less driving = less emissions.
- Increased privacy. Do you…
• work in a high profile job?…
• hold a prominent position in your field or community?…
• reside in an area or context?…
….wherein you believe you will struggle to maintain a high level of privacy as you seek help for your concerns? Although the barriers of stigma are falling (and rightly so!) all health information is protected and private until you choose to share. Psychological health care is no different.
- Safety through pandemic, flu season, or other occasional illnesses
- Longer term option for consistency…even after the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 certainly moved health care forward in terms of telehealth options. The PsyPACT legislation for Psychologists to practice interjurisdictional TelePsychology was underway many years before the pandemic. This movement in the field was based on evidence of solid outcomes in TelePsychology through carefully conducted and evaluated research. While healthcare as a whole has taken a leap forward into telehealth modalities, some of the options around telehealth may come to a close following the resolution of the pandemic. These changes may be partial, or for an undetermined amount of time, before being strategically developed and operationalized as the broad standard of care. At that time, access to Psychologists with APIT (Authority to Practice Interjurisdictional TelePsychology) will remain. This modality was planned and developed well before, and apart from, the time-limited expansion of parameters supported through the pandemic.
- Expertise of Psychologist
Psychologists with authority to offer interjurisdictional telepsychology have been carefully screened and approved through a thorough application and review process by the PsyPACT Commission, to ensure that they meet specific requirements (e.g., education, training, credentials/licenses, practice standards, experience, etc.). In addition, these Psychologists have ongoing requirements for specialized, continuing education in TelePsychology.
Do you provide a SuperBill for insurance?
Yes! A superbill is provided upon request. This puts the power of your coverage in your hands.
What is the benefit of self pay instead of insurance coverage?
There are a number of benefits for self pay. Most importantly, self-pay supports maximum contact time in each session and prioritizes your unique needs. Treatment outcomes are better when the focus remains on the patient. In addition:
- Self pay allows for more individualized experiences of treatment, without the constraints associated with insurance regulations.
- Despite the research on empirically supported treatments for a vast number of psychological concerns that humans experience, most insurance companies only support payment for specific diagnoses, and often for only a specific numbers of sessions.
- Use of a superbill with self pay may allow you to continue to work toward your deductible, even if reimbursement is limited.
- Use of insurance is not a guarantee of payment in many situations. Even with insurance coverage, benefit limitations often result in higher co-pays or higher costs for ongoing coverage in subsequent years or plans.
- Use of managed care is a necessary mechanism of access to many aspects of our wellbeing, but the personal information required to utilize insurance coverage may impact benefit options at a later time, through pre-existing condition clauses or additional parameters in fine print and rhetoric that are rarely made clear to consumers. Sometimes this information can be used to deny care in other contexts or situations.
- Many insurance companies produce an electronic or physical paper trail, containing sensitive information that is best held in confidence, rather than by a third party.
Who will learn about my challenges?
Your information is held in confidence. All documentation, including your most basic information is contained in a HIPAA compliant platform using encryption and safety features that are developed specifically for your protection.
You don’t know me…how could you possibly help?
You are right… I may not know you, but one thing I do know: You are the expert on your experience. Your openness to sharing your experiences, combined with the right treatment, is the ideal context for this process to be helpful for you.
Will you talk to my family/friends/other healthcare providers/parents/partner/spouse about me?
No…not without your awareness and informed consent. If coordination of care between healthcare providers is indicated, we will discuss a consent for release of information beforehand.
Yes…if you are a minor, we will speak with your parents consistently. However, nothing discussed with parents or family should take you by surprise. My goal will always be for us to have a solid plan going into group or family conversations. Even as a minor, you are entitled to confidentiality in your sessions.
All healthcare providers are mandated reporters and if there is evidence of abuse or neglect to vulnerable persons (e.g., children, elderly or disabled persons, etc), this would represent a limitation to confidentiality. Otherwise, you are entitled to confidentiality and patient-doctor privilege, and I want you to feel safe and confident as we work together.
Why shouldn’t I just take medication?
Medication can be effective and life-saving, but it cannot solve all issues alone. Sometimes medication is needed in conjunction with other treatment. Our work together is designed to explore and unpack the problems you are experiencing and expand on your strengths that can help you accomplish your personal goals for wellness.
How does it work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each person has different concerns and goals for therapy, your treatment will be tailored to your specific needs. Logistically, you will complete your patient forms online, schedule appointments online, or complete a contact form to request an appointment time, then be available and in my virtual waiting room with a secure connection just a few moments before our session time. Be open and authentic, ready to share, and I’ll help you with the dialogue and the work from there. Click here for a practical session checklist to prepare you for our session/s.
How long will it take?
This varies between persons and situations. It is not possible to determine through FAQs, or without at least an initial evaluation. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them. The length of time in therapy needed to support your direction will be contingent on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that coincide with your decision to seek treatment. If you are concerned about the time commitment, feel free to request a brief consultation here, and we can explore the options together.
What if this doesn’t work?
If you want help and you are ready to create changes, the chances of therapy not working for you are remarkably small. You may hear me repeat this on this site or in sessions, but one can almost count on your concerns or emotions feeling worse before they get better. This is rarely an indication that treatment isn’t going to work. It is often an indication that you are embracing the hard work of change. In the event that treatment is not benefitting you, or if it seems unlikely to benefit you, I will likely be the first to tell you this. If that happens, I will help with resources to aid you in finding the help you need.
I want to get the most out of therapy. How do I make this worth my resources of time, cost, and energy?
If that is what you want for yourself, then you are ready to get the most out of this experience. Your active participation and dedication will be among the greatest influences on the outcome. Click here for a practical session checklist to prepare you for our session/s.