Community Resources, In Our Community, Telemental Health Services


Interested in Teletherapy? Text “teletherapy” to (651) 318-0109

or email to

Teletherapy/Tele-Mental Health, or virtual counseling as it’s otherwise known, is the online delivery of therapy services via two-way video conferencing. Sessions are nearly identical to traditional therapy sessions with one major exception. Instead of sitting together in the same room, clients and therapists interact via live secure video conferencing.

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding teletherapy. Teletherapy is a safe and secure method of conducting therapy. There’s a vast array of HIPPA-complaint platforms that allow practitioners to implement tele-mental health for clients with ease. Art of Counseling, LLC offers tele-mental health services that utilizes HIPPA-compliant software.  



Teletherapy/Tele-mental health provides more flexibility when it comes to accessing mental health services.  Scheduling is more convenient and you can have your session in the comfort of your own private space, as long as you have access to a computer (or tablet), internet, and webcam.


Protecting your privacy is very important.  We use HIPPA-compliant clinical software from TheraNest (Electronic Health Record)for scheduling, billing, document sharing, and email. We use Spruce Health for secure video conferencing when we conduct our teletherapy sessions.  Once you decide to begin services with one of our therapists, you will be registered as a client by asking for your email address.  Then, you will receive a secure link to the email address you provided for your TheraNest “Client Portal” of which you will have intake paperwork waiting for you to fill out. When you have completed you intake paperwork you will be assigned a therapist and that therapist will share with you their direct “Practice Link,” for teletherapy, messaging and calling.

Although, we will be using encrypted software, I cannot guarantee total privacy and security.  It is possible for there to be a breach in confidentiality by hackers or if nonsecure devices fall into the wrong hands.  As such, you will be using teletherapy at your own risk.  

We recommended that you take these additional precautions:

Do not use a public computer.

Use a private computer with a firewall to strengthen your privacy and security.

Do not share or authorize other people to use your username and password.


Meet in a private space.

Wear head phones during session.

Place something that creates white noise outside door (fan or sound machine,etc)


It is important to understand that teletherapy is not appropriate for everyone.  Our clinicians will assess your appropriateness and readiness for use of Telemental Health Services. Teletherapy is best suited for people with concerns that can be addressed within a relatively short amount of time (e.g., less than 3 months).  Specifically, teletherapy is most appropriate for people who have some ability to cope with stressors in adaptive ways. 

WIth that said, in the event of illness or transportation issues, as well as inclement weather or other world events that may make it difficult for anyone to physically get to their scheduled appointment, teletherapy is a good short term solution for all patients.


First let’s assess what you have at home, colored pencils, markers, pastels, crayons, watercolors, paper, glue, scissors, etc. When you first meet with your therapist you will discuss art material availability. Art therapy, with a registered Art Therapist, through Telemental Health Services are created by sharing images, written and visual journaling entries that are created during and in between sessions. Art Therapists support a client’s visual expression of therapeutic themes and skills, while honoring appropriate emotional responses through the art making process.


“Telemedicine” means the delivery of health care services or consultations while the patient is at an originating site and the licensed health care provider is at a distant site. A communication between licensed health care providers that consists solely of a telephone conversation, e-mail, or facsimile transmission does not constitute telemedicine consultations or services. A communication between a licensed health care provider and a patient that consists solely of an e-mail or facsimile transmission does not constitute telemedicine consultations or services. Telemedicine may be provided by means of real-time two-way, interactive audio and visual communications, including the application of secure video conferencing or store-and-forward technology to provide or support health care delivery, which facilitate the assessment, diagnosis, consultation, treatment, education, and care management of a patient’s health care. MN Statute Sec 256B.0625, subdivision 8 & 147.033

I understand I have the following rights with respect to teletherapy:

  • I have the right to withhold or withdraw consent at any time without affecting my right to future care or treatment. 
  • The laws that protect the confidentiality of my personal information also apply to teletherapy. As such, I understand that the information released by me during the course of my therapy sessions is generally confidentially. However, there are both mandatory and permissive exceptions to confidentiality, which are discussed in detail in the general Informed Consent for Psychotherapy and Office Policies I received with this consent. 
  • I understand there are risks and consequences from teletherapy, including, but not limited to, the possibility, despite reasonable efforts on the part of Art of Counseling, PLLC that: the transmission of my information could be interrupted or distorted by technical failures and/or the transmission of my personal information could be interrupted by unauthorized persons. I understand that I am responsible for providing the necessary computer telecommunications equipment and internet access for my teletherapy sessions, the information security on my computer, and arranging a location with sufficient lighting and privacy that is free from distractions or intrusions for my teletherapy session. 
  • In Addition, I understand that teletherapy based services and care may not be as complete as in-person services. I understand that if my therapist believes I would be better served by another form therapeutic services or interventions I will be referred to a professional who can provide such services in my area. I also understand that there are potential risks and benefits associated with any form of psychotherapy, and that despite my efforts and efforts of my therapist, my condition may not improve, or may have the potential to get worse. Finally, I understand that I may benefit from teletherapy, but that results cannot be guaranteed or assured. 
  • I understand I will attend the first session in-person (when at all possible) at Art of Counseling, PLLC in order to gather information, go through paperwork, process, and questions. I understand that I will be asked to periodically attend an in-person session at Art of Counseling, PLLC if so many miles from the office and/or my therapist sees a benefit. 
  • While teletherapy is a great way to get help with many of life’s challenges, overwhelming or potentially dangerous challenges are best met with in-person professional support. I understand that teletherapy is neither a universal substitute, nor the same as, in-person psychotherapy treatment. I accept the distinctions made using teletherapy vs. in-person psychotherapy. In particular, I accept that teletherapy does not provide emergency services. I agree that certain situations including emergencies and crises are inappropriate for teletherapy based psychotherapy services. 
  • During our first session, Art of Counseling will discuss an emergency response plan. If I am experiencing an emergency situation, I understand that I can call 911 or proceed to the nearest hospital emergency room for help. I understand that an emergency situation any include thoughts about hurting or harming myself or others, having uncontrolled psychotic symptoms, if I am in a life threatening or emergency situation, and/or if I am abusing drugs or alcohol and are not safe. If I am having suicidal thoughts or making plans to harm myself, I can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for free 24 hour hotline support. 
  • I understand that while email and phone calls may be used to communicate with Art of Counseling, confidentiality of those communication services cannot be guaranteed. 
  • I understand that I have a right to access my personal information and copies of medical records in accordance with HIPAA privacy rules and applicable state law, discussed in detail in the general Informed Consent for Psychotherapy and Office Policies I received with this consent. 
Community Resources, In Our Community, Other News

ZagZum – Visual art by artists who have a lived experience with a mental or physical disability.


Visual Art Exhibition | Conference | Reception | Sale

Visual art by artists who have a lived experience with a mental or physical disability.

Saturday | September 10, 10:00 AM until 9:00 PM. Admission is Free

Saturday |September 10, 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM, Must RSVP at Eventbrite

Visual art by artists who have a lived experience with a mental or physical disability.
Saturday |
September 10, 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM. Must RSVP at Eventbrite

Minneapolis Convention Center – 1301 2nd Avenue South | The Seasons, Minneapolis, MN 55403


Wednesday | September 7, 9:00 AM until 9:00 PM, Suite 204A 
ZagZum Call for Visual Art Submission Form

Community Resources, In Our Community, Other News

Start by Believing: A Community Dialogue

Ramsey County Hosts –  Start by Believing: A Community Dialogue

Start by believing is a public awareness campaign uniquely focused on the public response to sexual assault.  Because a friend or family member is typically the first person a victim confides in after an assault, each individual’s personal reaction is the first step in a long path toward justice and healing. Knowing how to respond is critical—a negative response can worsen the trauma and foster an environment where perpetrators face zero consequences for their crimes. ….  More local Start by believing office news   Start by believing national office news


Wednesday, April 13, 2016
7-9 p.m


Hamline University Sundin Music Hall
1531 Hewitt Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104

Get directions



Start by Believing Logo2

Art Therapy, Art Therapy for Social Action, Community Resources, In Our Community, Other News

Creative Art Therapies Week, 2016!

“Sharing Discoveries” Analog Instant Film, 2014 ©Heather Matson

In honor of Creative Art Therapies Week, March 13-19, 2016, I would like to spotlight Art of Counseling, pllc, whose mission is to create a unique specialty using Creative Art Therapies to foster emotional healing, encourage internal resiliency, enhance personal relationships and give a unique perspective to human storytelling and expression. Art of Counseling is a psychotherapy group practice located in Saint Paul, Minnesota that provides mental health services to clients in the metro area.  We have clinicians that are Registered Art Therapists (ATR & ATR-BC); trained in movement, play and poetry therapies; licensed or on track for Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) or Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC); trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and intertwines a trauma-informed therapy model in our clinicians’ individual theoretic model of therapy.

Clients that have been attracted to our unique approach have been those who struggle with feeling stuck, depressed mood, anxious, nightmares and sleep issues, trauma, dissociation, self-harm and risk taking, shame and guilt, childhood issues, anger, addictive behavior, eating and body image issues, sex and sexuality, cultural exploration, blended family situations, couples and marriage counseling, abandonment, grief and loss, etc.  Even though we in-network for some insurances, Art of Counseling is proud to say that our clinicians’ dedicate a percentage of their case load to individuals on a sliding-fee-scale or pro bono, to help bridge the gap for affordable mental health services.  We recognize Creative Art Therapies Week honors the importance of how the arts can heal, enhance and help us all to grow.

Art Therapy, Community Resources

Art Therapy: What is it?

Art Therapy: It’s Not Just an Art Project

Art therapy, in all cases, is a purposeful, relational intervention.

Cathy Malchiodi PhD, LPCC, LPAT

image for blog
Source: © 2015 Photograph by Cathy Malchiodi, PhD

In “Art Therapy’s Achilles Heel” [April 2014], I explained that it is not surprising that uses of art making for self-help, self-regulation and self-exploration are ubiquitous. In part, this reflects the natural inclination of humankind to find reparation through creative expression throughout history not only in the form of visual arts, but also through movement and dance, music and sound, dramatic enactment and performance and imaginative play. But this aspect of human evolutionary biology also brings up the question, “Are there circumstances where art itself is the proverbial ‘therapist?’ This is a question that continues to rankle the profession called “art therapist” as well as those who are trying to establish a clearly defined scope of practice for the field. This question magnifies what is a painful and somewhat glaring vulnerability within the profession—that unless there is a clear, unified definition of “what is art therapy,” it is difficult at best to articulate a profession as separate from what is a widely used self-help approach.

According to this longstanding definition, art therapy consists of a continuum of practice, with “art as therapy” at one end and “art psychotherapy” at the other end. Despite the existence of this and other similar definitions, one does not have to look very far into current social media to see how easily art therapy has been morphed into just about any “feel-good” art project on the grid. A good example of what is currently being called “art therapy” is the adult coloring book phenomenon. Coloring book fanatics proclaim that filling in pre-made designs is even a form of mindfulness and meditation that brings about benefits far beyond mere relaxation or diversion. While coloring books are not mindfulness practices in the true sense of the word, the responses [and millions of coloring book sales] anecdotally reflect that many people do “feel better” when coloring in pre-made designs.

Yes, it is important to “feel-good” and as a professional, that is what I want for each and every child, adult, family or group I see in my expressive arts therapy practice. I want each and every client to be able to use creative expression to feel better [aka resolve challenges] on a regular basis and hopefully not need my services ever again. However, the deeper experience of “art therapy” is not only based in pleasurable creative expression, it is grounded two basic concepts. First, it involves the application of a purposeful, meaningful art-based intervention in contrast to an art activity or art “project.” While some think the idea of “intervention” is not part of the art therapeutic relationship, intervention is the necessary specific, focused action that is taken to achieve or support change within any therapy of any kind. Applying interventions is a central component of any helping professional’s role and is predicated on the second aspect– relationship. It is the right-hemisphere-to-right-hemisphere, attuned, interpersonal qualities of the art therapy relationship that support art’s reparative powers. Ultimately, humans as a species have always repaired, recovered and healed within relationships, whether through social support or community or through relationships found in the formal services of a mental health or healthcare professional. So while art expression may bring about a sense of wellness in some sense, it’s the relational aspects that are at the center of reparation and recovery through well-targeted interventions– this is what defines and differentiates “art therapy.”

Granted, there will always be those who find art’s healing forces on their own, often in times of trauma, crisis or loss, or simply as a means to reduce stress. Most who are passionate about art therapy “the profession” discovered our calling because we have had our own transformative experiences with art. But without both the clear articulation of purposeful art-based interventions and specific relational dynamics that support these interventions, “art as therapy” and “art psychotherapy” are explanations without traction– leaving the public to come to its own conclusions about “what is art therapy” and defaulting to “it’s an art project” as the definition.

Be well,

Cathy Malchiodi, PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT

© 2015 Cathy Malchiodi

Community Resources, In Our Community, Other News

World Suicide Prevention Day 9/10


It’s World Suicide Prevention Day, Take 5 to Save Lives. Join the movement by visiting and updating your status with this message.

Join the virtual Facebook event as your Pledge to Take 5 to Save Lives on World Suicide Prevention Day. Invite others to join!

Community Resources

Open Paths Psychotherapy Collective – low cost mental health options


We just joined the Open Path Psychotherapy Collective in an effort to bridge the gap for affordable mental health services.  Check it out!  Heather’s profile is complete and offering 4 spots with 3 of 4 spots currently available.  Keep on the look out for other therapist’s from Art of Counseling on Open Paths.

“What Is Open Path?

Open Path is a collective of therapists who have generously agreed to provide in-office treatment for $30 to $50 a session. Open Path clients pay a one-time membership fee to work with an Open Path therapist at a significantly reduced rate. Because the rate is so low, clients gain back their membership fee after just one session. Open Path is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Many of our therapists also provide sessions online. Begin your search today.”

Community Resources

NAMI | Advance Directives

Advance Directives

by Ronald S. Honberg
National Director for Policy and Legal Affairs

Jane, a 36-year-old woman suffering from schizoaffective disorder, is very frightened. In the past, her experiences in public psychiatric hospitals have been very traumatic. The last time she was hospitalized, the psychiatrist responsible for her treatment could hardly speak English. When she tried to explain that she didn’t want to take certain medications because they exacerbated her tardive dyskinesia, he either didn’t understand her or dismissed her as someone who was not capable of speaking in her own behalf. He prescribed Haldol to her, which, in fact, was one of the medications she didn’t want to take. She describes her hospitalizations as terrifying, dehumanizing experiences. “It’s not that I’m opposed to psychiatric treatment”, she says. “I know that I need treatment for my brain disorder. But, I’m not willing to accept treatment when I am given no say in how I am going to be treated. I would rather go to jail or become homeless again than to have to go back to the hospital.”

Mr. and Mrs. Smith have seen this happen so many times before. Their son, John, who suffers from schizophrenia, has stopped taking his medication. This, they know, will lead to gradual decompensation, with potentially horrendous consequences. Each time, they must stand by and watch their son deteriorate until he becomes so ill that he meets the state’s criteria for involuntary commitment and forced treatment. Each time, they worry that their son may not survive this episode. They worry that he will commit suicide or will be hurt by someone else because of bizarre and unpredictable behaviors stemming from his untreated severe mental illness. They also hate having to go to court to involuntarily commit their son. These periods of decompensation are particularly agonizing because their son, when he is doing well, has expressed on numerous occasions his understanding of his need for treatment and his appreciation of his parents for intervening when he is helpless and unable to help himself. Yet, when he goes off medications, he shuns his family, denies his illness and his need for treatment. “There must be a better way,” Mrs. Smith sighs. “I can’t bear to stand by and watch John suffer this way.”

These vignettes describe two scenarios quite familiar to persons with severe mental illnesses and their families. Consumers frequently experience situations in which they are given little control over important treatment decisions. Families just as frequently are frustrated by having to stand by and watch their loved ones deteriorate and suffer.

Psychiatric advance directives have recently emerged as potentially helpful tools in resolving these problems. There are essentially two types of advance directives. Instruction directives”, such as living wills, provide specific information about treatment and related wishes of individuals drafting them (declarants) should they lose capacity to make these decisions on their own. “Proxy directives” assign “health proxies” or “health care powers of attorney” to individuals entrusted to act as substitute decisionmakers should declarants lose capacity to make their own decisions. Frequently, advance directives combine both of these forms, blending specific instructions about healthcare preferences with identification of individuals assigned “health proxies.”

Continue reading….

NAMI | Advance Directives.