My education included 26 hours of training to obtain a certificate in TeleMental Health & Digital Ethics in order to provide online counseling services that comply with ethical and legal standards. As a result, I am a qualified provider of HIPAA-compliant phone, video, and secure messaging options for psychotherapy services so that you can receive the support that you need without leaving your home.
What are distance sessions?
Distance sessions (sometimes called online therapy or included under the umbrella terms telehealth, telepsychology, telemental health, or telechoaching) are when services are delivered remotely through telecommunications technologies such as video conferencing or telephone.
Distance sessions have many benefits and can:
Make it easier to find a nearby provider with the expertise you need.
Give you more freedom by removing commute times to and from the office.
Allow another option for meeting if you are not feeling well enough to come to the office.
Remove the stress of searching for and paying for parking at the office.
Ensure continuity of care if either of us move or travel to a different location within California.
Solve the problem of missing sessions due to lack of transportation.
Address the worry about being seen entering a psychotherapist's office or recognized in a shared waiting room, especially for public figures.
Does distance psychotherapy work?
Yes! Many people can benefit from psychotherapy delivered remotely. Dealing with anxiety and depression, navigating life transitions, resolving career questions, and working through relationship issues can all be accomplished utilizing phone and video technology. Sometimes in-person check-ins will be needed, especially during times of high stress. If I determine that continuing to work in this way is no longer appropriate, we will discuss it and create a new plan of action.
What about distance coaching?
Coaching work adapts easily to telephone and video conferencing. By keeping the scope narrow, there are fewer issues that may arise from working remotely with coaching clients than there are with psychotherapy clients. There may be some times where in-person check-ins may help facilitate the work, and, as with distance psychotherapy, if I have any concerns about my ability to effectively help you meet your coaching goals by utilizing distance sessions, we will discuss it and take appropriate action.
Are distance session right for me?
Distance sessions may not be a good option for people who are unable to regularly keep themselves safe or provide for their own care as in the case of people with dementia, psychosis, and severe substance abuse. People who have a low tolerance for distress, who struggle to manage how intensely and how long they feel negative emotions like anger, hurt, fear, or sadness, or who have active suicidal urges may also not be appropriate for this type of work.
As a clinical psychologist licensed in California, I am only able to provide distance sessions to people who are currently in California.
Do I need special software or equipment?
In addition to the option of conducting sessions by phone, distance sessions may also utilize a video conferencing platform that allows us to see one another while we work. I use a service called doxy.me, which is HIPAA-compliant and does not require anything more than a web browser and camera. Sessions are not downloaded or saved to your computer or mine, and you do not need to sign up for a service or download anything to use it. You can obtain more information about the service and test your technology at https://doxy.me/patients.
If you are interested in learning more about phone and video options for psychotherapy or coaching, please complete a phone consultation request, and I'll be in touch soon.