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Online Counseling or Telehealth

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Online Counseling or Telehealth

March 19, 2020

What is online counseling or telehealth?

Telehealth sessions are therapy sessions conducted virtually, meaning, through the use of a computer, tablet or smart phone instead of in person. There are many different ways to conduct telehealth sessions, but at Life Insight we use Simple Practice, which is our practice management software. This platform is HIPAA compliant and relatively easy to set up and use. It is run just like a normal session in that you have an appointment time with your therapist – you just show up online instead of in the offices.

  • What do I need to do to use telehealth?

You can access our virtual therapy room using a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone. Prior to your session, you’ll receive a link via email to enter our virtual waiting room. In order to use a smartphone, you will need to download an app prior to your session. We encourage you to have a private space to do your session or headphones/ear buds. This is still a therapy session and we want you to be able to focus on your session without your family hanging around – dogs on the other hand are just fine!

  • How long has telehealth been around?

Telehealth sessions have been around for a number of years and people in all industries have been “meeting” online for a long time too. It’s a great, convenient way to bring people together when in-person meetings aren’t possible either due to geography, scheduling, or in times like this when we are being asked to practice social distancing. We have been using this specific platform for over two years in our practice.

  • Is it the same as in-person therapy?

It’s not exactly the same as face to face contact, but it’s a very good substitute, and more effective than phone because it allows us to see one another.

  • What if I’m uncomfortable seeing myself on video?

Everyone takes some getting used to seeing themselves on video, but after awhile, like anything new, it becomes no big deal. Remember, the point of using it is to continue with your schedule and support during a time when we’re being encouraged to stay home.

  • Is telehealth safe?

Telehealth is safe for starting new sessions or continuing with existing sessions unless there is a safety concern like suicidality or active substance abuse. In our practice, we are not able to conduct Telehealth sessions under these circumstances and encourage you to go to the ER.

  • Do you accept telehealth sessions for new appointments?

Yes, in most circumstances we are able to see new clients via telehealth, no problem. Our Office Manager, Emily, will still do an initial phone intake, and set you up in our client portal and schedule your first appointment in our virtual office.

  • What if I have questions?

Call us! We are happy to walk you through the process, show you the app or demonstrate how it works. For some, it just takes some time getting used to doing things a new way, but we’ve got you!

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What a week for our world. As everyone tries to adapt to a new sense of normal amidst an ever-changing landscape, we've all been asked to do things differently. And humans do not like change! We crave the familiar, the predictable, the known. One of the ways we are encouraging our community to stay healthy during this time is to keep as much routine and consistency as possible, including self-care and support.

We understand the anxiety and worries that are in the world right now, we also understand the importance of connection and care and healing. We are moving all of our appointments to Telehealth sessions as of Monday, March 23rd. While this may be a different way of doing things for some of you, it allows us to be a consistent source of support for our community.

Our practice has been using telehealth for over two years, and we have a HIPAA compliant platform in place that is really quite simple to use for our sessions. All of our therapists are able to walk you through getting used to your first telehealth session and not much will be different other than you'll show up online instead of at the offices.

In fact, we're still taking new clients during this time, so if you are feeling like you'd like to talk to someone or know of someone in need of extra support right now, let them know that we are here to help. You can call or text our offices at: 630-563-0044 or sign up online via the "Book Appointment Online" button on our website. 

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