What Is Teletherapy?

Teletherapy, also known as telehealth, is online therapy that occurs remotely through a video platform. Teletherapy allows us to connect through audio and video over the internet using your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

If you have ever used FaceTime or Skype, it is essentially the same thing except more secure with an encrypted service with password protection.

How Does Teletherapy Work?

Teletherapy sessions work much in the same way as traditional, in-person therapy sessions with one significant difference – we are not in the same room. With teletherapy, we are able to connect with you and provide the same treatment as we normally would during an in-person therapy session. During teletherapy sessions, we can see, hear, and interact with each other in real-time.

At your designated therapy appointment time, you will access the secure video platform by using a unique link. This link will be sent to you via email. Each session will have a unique password to get into your session waiting room. Once the session starts, the meeting is locked.

How Much Does Teletherapy Cost?

You can find my fees and insurance coverage information here: Insurance and Fees Page

Why Use Teletherapy?

As we continue to experience physical distancing due to COVID-19, teletherapy sessions are being offered to protect the safety of clients and the greater community. Teletherapy is a great option if you are unable to drive to an office, if you do not have childcare, or if you experience chronic illness. Teletherapy also allows me to work with clients who live in Idaho who might not be able to engage in services locally or who simply prefer the digital climate as opposed to a face-to-face setting.

Teletherapy can provide many of the same benefits of in-person therapy without some of the hassles.

* Since you do not have to be physically present in the same room with your therapist, teletherapy offers greater flexibility and is able accommodate your scheduling needs better.

* It is more convenient as it removes time barriers to physically attend an appointment. There is no need to worry about travel times and transportation. This may lower your stress levels and allow you to better focus on your session.

* You are generally able to have sessions from somewhere that you are comfortable. The safety and security of being in your own space may make it easier to open up emotionally.

* Other potential benefits of teletherapy include anonymity and privacy, fewer barriers to engaging in therapy sessions, increased client empowerment and control, and adaptability of services.

What Is The Downside To Teletherapy?

Although there are many benefits to teletherapy, there are also some risks and challenges that come along with engaging in online therapy in a space that is not my office. For example, sometimes technology is not cooperative and there may be issues that arise that can interrupt the session. Or, there are risks inherent to utilizing technology for communication. Distractions may also be present in the environment where you are having your teletherapy session that can be disruptive, such as pets and children.

Is Teletherapy Private?

Yes, just like in-person therapy sessions, your information will be kept private and confidential. Sessions are guarded with encryption, passwords and are locked.

How Does This Work And What Is Zoom Meeting?

Prior to your meeting you will receive an email with your scheduled date and time. The email will also include a link and unique password for your online Teletherapy session. Clicking on this link and entering your password will get you started and ready for your meeting. Once the meeting starts, your therapist will lock the meeting for an additional level of privacy.

INTRA Teletherapy uses the Zoom Conferencing platform to conduct Teletherapy sessions. Zoom is a web-based video conferencing tool with a local, desktop client and a mobile app that allows users to meet online, with or without video. Zoom is HIPAA compliant and secure. You can read more about their security and compliance here.

Because teletherapy sessions take place outside of the typical office setting, communications may be compromised and there is potential for other people to overhear sessions if you are not in a private place during the session. Your therapist will take reasonable steps to ensure the privacy and security of your information and it is important for you to review your own security measures and ensure that they are adequate to protect information on your end.

Your therapist will be in a private and secure room before engaging in any teletherapy sessions to ensure that our sessions are private and confidential. There are also some things that you can do to protect your privacy. Much like your therapist, we would encourage you to consider where you are conducting your teletherapy sessions. We recommend positioning yourself in a quiet space where you can be alone and where others cannot hear you. We also suggest using headphones if others are nearby to prevent audio from being projected.

Please do not be driving while in session or out in a public place. This will result in the appointment being cancelled.

Preparing For Your Online Therapy Session

What Equipment Do I Need?

You will need a smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, or laptop computer that has a microphone and a camera, as well as an internet connection and a quiet space to have your teletherapy session. You may also want headphones, but they are not necessary.

How Should I Prepare For My Teletherapy Session?

We recommend giving yourself a few moments of quiet time before your session, just as if you were sitting in a waiting room. This will give you a chance to make the shift from your life into therapy and help you prepare mentally and emotionally for your session.

Preparing Your Space

Pick A Quiet, Private Space. Identify a suitable room that is quiet, private, and free of distractions. This may be in a bedroom, home office, basement, or even in your parked car.

Minimize Background Noise. To keep background noise to a minimum, make sure you close any doors, shut windows, turn off the television, and keep loud pets in another room, if possible.

Limit Interruptions. If you live with others, ask that they don’t disturb you during your session time or consider hanging a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door to prevent interruptions. You may also want to silence your devices, turn them off completely, or turn on the “Do Not Disturb” mode.

Make Sure You Have Good Lighting. Choose a space that is well-lit and adjust your lighting. If your space has natural light, make sure your light source is in front of your face and not behind you. We also recommend that you try placing a lamp behind your monitor or device, pointed toward you, to brighten up your face.

Preparing Your Technology

Before your first teletherapy session, we encourage you to get your technology ready in advance. You may also want to join the video appointment a few minutes early to test your settings and make sure everything is operating properly.

To gauge the quality of your internet connection, try using other applications that require internet speed. if you can hold a conversation on FaceTime or Skype, play a YouTube video, or stream Netflix, that’s a good sign that you have a good internet connection speed.

Find The Best Spot For WiFi

It might be helpful to move around with your device to see where you get the best reception to maintain an hour-long video call. If you experience issues when using WiFi, we suggest moving closer to your router to see if that helps.

Keep Your Computer Updated

We recommend that you keep your software and operating system up to date. This may mean installing recommended updates only from sources you trust, or restarting your computer for it to run as efficiently as possible.

Close Other Programs

Try closing any unnecessary programs and applications on your device before joining the video call. If you have several programs running in the background, closing them will improve the quality of the call as they are likely taking away from resources needed for your device to run efficiently. Also, make sure you’re not downloading any large files.

Turn Off Your Video Stream

When your video camera is turned on, there is more strain on your internet connection and this can impact the audio quality during a teletherapy session. If your audio becomes choppy, your connection may not be strong enough to support a live video stream. Turning off your camera may help to improve the audio quality of the call.

Use Wired Ethernet Instead Of WiFi Whenever Possible

WiFi will work, but you may experience a lag and interference, which can make your video and audio choppy. Using a wired internet will give you a much smoother, more consistent experience.

What If Technology Issues Happen During My Teletherapy Session?

It is important to remember that technology can be inconsistent at times and issues may arise. We would anticipate having some connection challenges during the first session or two. Sometimes you need to figure out where you get the best reception to maintain an hour-long video call or experiment with different web browsers to see what works best.

If your teletherapy session is interrupted, we will call you on your preferred telephone number and we will work together to reconnect to the teletherapy platform. In the event that technology issues persist, we will adjust as needed.

It May Be Time For

Psychological Support

This is an office that specializes in the treatment of women. There are times in life when a woman can feel off balance and can’t seem to snap out of it. When our own natural support system just isn’t enough, it may be time to reach out to a professional counselor to start the process of therapy.

Our new office in Portland provides effective and reliable Teletherapy services for women. It has proven to be a very viable way to meet with clients.  During our sessions, we meet face-to-face, utilize the whiteboard and share important visual materials with you.  We recognize the importance of a good therapeutic relationship and strive to build a positive rapport, treating each client with respect and dignity.  This office now accepts Medicaid clients.