Interested in Teletherapy? Text “teletherapy” to (651) 318-0109
or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
HOW DOES ART THERAPY WORK IN TELETHERAPY?
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.
INFORMED CONSENT FOR TELETHERAPY/TELE-MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
“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.