As long as this pandemic persists, I will no longer be keeping appointments in person in my office. So, don’t go there. Instead, I have contracted with a secure, HIPAA compliant telehealth platform, Doxy.me, that gives me video conferencing capabilities.
Frequently Asked Questions about Video Counseling:
What is Video Counseling?
If you have ever Skyped, or used Facetime or Zoom, you have video conferenced. I see you, you see me, and we can hear each other. Once you are used to it, it feels like you and I are in the same room and have all connection experienced in an in-person session.
Can we use Video Counseling for any kind of counseling?
Video Counseling is not a complete replacement for face-to-face therapy, but when circumstances dictate, it’s a viable alternative.
If you are suicidal, it is important that you seek professional help immediately through other channels that have the resources to help you in person if need be. Call 1-800-784-2433 or 911 for immediate assistance.
What do I need for Video Counseling?
You will need a smart phone, a tablet, or a webcam on your computer and to be familiar with using it. You will need a quiet place to talk, where you cannot be overheard. Don’t try to do video counseling in a cafe.
How do I pay you?
You will have to pay by credit card on the patient portal. If you are new to me, I ask that you pay a $60 deposit before our first session.
Will insurance pay for it?
Insurance companies in New York State are required by law to cover both video and phone counseling. I can’t comment on other states.
Is Video Counseling confidential?
I will treat the things you say in video counseling sessions with the same confidentiality as if you spoke in face-to-face sessions. I am still required to report to local authorities if there are safety concerns. However, I do not have the same level of control over your privacy that I have when you are in my office. You will have to ensure that no one is able to overhear us.
The folks at Doxy.me say that no one has access to our sessions and no recording is made. Your contact, demographic, and billing information is kept in their secure servers. Everything is said to comply with HIPAA.
What do I do if I get disconnected?
If we get disconnected, please don’t take it personally, it was probably the technology. Just try to return and see if the problem has gone away. Poor bandwidth (upload speed) is generally the cause. You can try moving closer to a window if you are on a mobile service, or closer to the router if you are on WiFi. If that doesn’t work, then call me and we will finish the session by phone.
Can we do video counseling across state or national lines?
I am licensed to do mental health counseling in the State of New York. That does not necessarily mean I cannot do counseling elsewhere, but some states and countries have expressly forbidden outside counselors to work within their borders.
From a consumer’s point of view, the issue is that of how to settle disputes. If you live in, say, the Australian outback, technology enables you to work with a New York State counselor; but if you had a dispute with your counselor and wanted a governmental body to settle it, it would not be clear what jurisdiction would do so.
For these reasons, if you are a new client from outside New York State, are an established client and plan to move elsewhere, or wish to continue counseling during trips, then we would have to research the applicable laws before we begin.
How do I get started?
Set up an appointment by clicking here and then leave me a message on that same site, saying you’d like to have the appointment by video.
At the time of the appointment, or a few minutes before, put the below link into your browser:
You will enter a virtual waiting room. Sorry, I have no magazines. When I am ready, I will see you are there and start.
If, for some reason this doesn’t work for you, we can keep our appointment by phone. Just call me at 585-732-1970.