The pandemic brought us one positive change: an increased awareness of the value, convenience, and effectiveness of telehealth, or online counseling.
With all that has been going on, everyone is feeling more stressed and anxious…not just you. In times like these, you may benefit from the support and guidance offered by a trained mental health or counseling professional.
Right now, you’re thinking, how could I possibly find time for counseling? How could I put one more thing on my schedule? When could I possibly do that?
Yet, if you need help, you need help. You deserve to get the support you need to attend to your well-being, so that you can then better care for others in your life.
Teletherapy (online counseling) could be just the solution. You can focus on your well-being and mental health and get the counseling you need–easily and conveniently–from the comfort of your own home, office, or other location.
Many people are going online for their counseling sessions. It’s an easy, fun, and convenient way to connect with someone outside who can provide you with some perspective on your life, help you gain insight into yourself and relationships, and help you cope better with the stress and anxiety you might be feeling right now.
You may be seeing online therapy provided by large corporate entities, or major drugstore chains. With online counseling at Life Counseling Institute, you’re getting a vetted, trained, skilled local professional who will be available to you within in your community, should you chose to do sessions in person at a later date.
We can help with all sorts of issues:
- Relationships struggles (via individual and yes, even online couples counseling)
- Parenting stress: kids causing stress? Call us, we can help
- Anxiety. Who is not anxious right now?
- OCD. We offer online exposure and response prevention (ERP)
- Stress management
- Life transition issues (divorce, job loss, career change, illness)
Online, we can help:
- And yes, children! Play therapy and child-parent relationship training are possible online. We also have a three-session Behavior Management Training program for parents. We can help your child with anxiety, behavior issues, relationship issues, and more.
Common Questions about Telehealth
How does it work?
Contact your therapist as you normally would to make an appointment. Your provider will send you an email link, which you can click to join in a virtual therapy session over Google Meet. You can use your computer or tablet to participate and you do not need to download any software or subscribe to any service. If you use your smartphone you will just need to download the Google Meet app. You can talk to your counselor as you normally would — it’s that easy!
Is it confidential?
Absolutely. Our therapists maintain strict confidentiality standards for your protection. This means your sessions cannot be recorded — this has been administratively removed as an option on our Google Meet platform. During this time of social distancing, our therapists are providing counseling via video from their office here or private home office.
Now we can’t completely promise that your provider’s cat or dog won’t briefly stop in to say hello – but don’t worry, they have been fully trained in our HIPAA protocols!
Will it be covered by my insurance?
Most healthcare plans provide coverage for telehealth just like in-office therapy. In addition, on most plans, in-network insurance is now required to cover your sessions. There may be some variations depending on your specific policy. If you and your therapist are not sure about your benefits, please reach out to our Practice Manager Richelle Anderson at (630) 206-4491. If you run into any coverage issues we are happy to work with you on payment options. Even if you think you don’t have coverage for telehealth, or can’t afford payment, please give us a call — we continue to get updates from insurance plans that are expanding telehealth benefits as our culture adapts to the developing needs.
I’m home with my family and don’t know if I have a private space to talk — any advice?
We appreciate that finding privacy can be challenging. Some of our clients meet for virtual sessions while on a walk, sitting in their parked car, or from their backyard. Often our therapists can adjust their schedules to connect with you during less busy times for your household — such as providing sessions on different days and earlier or later than usual. You can also try using headphones and have a sound machine in the room or a white noise app running on your phone near the door.
I’m still not sure telehealth is right for me – maybe I should wait until I can see a counselor in person?
Depending on your therapist, you may be able to do telehealth sessions, in-person sessions, or a combination of both. We’d like to see you get the help you need sooner rather than later, and we think you’ll be surprised at just how pleasant and convenient telehealth sessions are!
The number of people reaching out for counseling services at LCI continues to be high — with our community experiencing mounting anxieties and losses during these challenging times.
If you are hesitant to try telehealth we encourage you to try at least one session to see what it’s like.
Have teletherapy sessions been proven to be effective?
Yes. There have been numerous studies conducted showing that telehealth is just as effective as in-person counseling.
The American Psychiatric Association(APA) published a physician reviewed article in 2017 that notes the following:
“There is substantial evidence of the effectiveness of telepsychiatry and research has found satisfaction to be high among patients, psychiatrists and other professionals. Telepsychiatry is equivalent to in-person care in diagnostic accuracy, treatment effectiveness, quality of care and patient satisfaction. Patient privacy and confidentiality are equivalent to in-person care.” https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/what-is-telepsychiatry
According to a 2016 article in the World Journal of Psychiatry,
“Telepsychiatry is comparable to face-to-face services in terms of reliability of clinical assessments and treatment outcomes . . . telepsychiatry performed as well as, if not better than face-to-face delivery of mental health services.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4919267/
Note that “telepsychiatry” may include a range of services including individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy (APA, 2017)
Other helpful information about telehealth care:
How to Make the Most out of Teletherapy Right Now:
Can’t See Your Therapist Because of COVID-19? The new world of virtual psychotherapy is brighter than you think.
Other Questions or Concerns?
We welcome the opportunity to discuss these with you! For more information, contact our Client Care Coordinator Richelle Anderson at (630) 206-4491.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ONLINE SOON!