Now you can work with a DC VA Counseling Psychotherapy, LLC therapist from the comfort, convenience, and safety of home! With online counseling, you can choose to work with your therapist, or coach over the phone or via videoconference.
If you choose phone counseling; your provider will call you at the time of your session.
If you choose videoconference; we’ll provide you a simple HIPAA-compliant web link to join your therapist for a face-to-face session.
Our online services (a.k.a., “Teletherapy”) were created to deal with this current COVID-19 crisis, but many of our therapists have been using them for several years now. They provide an easy alternative for anyone who cannot make it to the office for an appointment.
Most major insurance companies will cover online counseling therapy!
Who does teletherapy work for?
This could include (but is not limited to):
- New moms who can’t leave the house easily
- Busy professionals who can’t get away from the office for an hour
- Someone living in a remote community with no local clinic to attend
- Poor weather conditions making it difficult or impossible to drive
- Clients who wish to consult with a professional with an expertise that isn’t available in their area
- You travel for work or other reasons and would like to maintain continuity of care.
Online counseling offers clients:
- Quick scheduling
You might also find that opening up to your therapist, or discussing difficult subjects is easier to do with online counseling, compared to in-person sessions.
In sum, online counseling is a flexible and convenient option that allows you to meet with your therapist from a distance. Our online counselors will help you with a variety of life issues including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, low self-esteem, trauma, and other mental health concerns.
You can always schedule a consultation and see what works best for you. If your schedule, distance and preference allow you for in person, you are always welcome!
When is Teletherapy NOT recommended:
We also want you to know that there are certain situations are not ideal for teletherapy, and some crisis/emergency situations are not appropriate for traditional psychotherapy anyway. These include but are not limited to the following situations:
Suicidality: your therapist will be able to conduct a risk assessment with you, but as in the case of in-person sessions, if an imminent risk is clear, emergency services will be contacted.
Domestic violence: given the directives for social distancing and quarantining, many victims of domestic violence are isolated with their abusers, which increases the frequency and potentially the severity of the ongoing abuse. Conducting sessions inside the home with an abuser increases the risk of confidentiality being breached, with possible consequences for the victim. Discuss alternatives and a safety plan with your therapist to mitigate this risk.
Other psychiatric emergencies: severe anxiety or depression, psychosis or other mental health conditions that would normally necessitate a hospital visit should not be treated with a teletherapy session, other than to arrange plans for seeking emergency care.
Your therapist will inform you if they feel they will not be able to help you and will direct you to appropriate resources in your community.
Five important things to know about Online Therapy:
• Telehealth therapy is used with all ages. Starting at about age 3, tele-play therapy is used to help children process feelings, including fears and worries, as well as improve behavior concerns. It works just like play therapy in the office, using art, puppets, sensory play and other play therapy materials. The therapist will provide a play therapy take-home kit or send parents a list of things to have on hand. Parents can choose to be involved in some of the play therapy activities to help their child feel supported and connected during these stressful times. For teens and adults, telehealth therapy sessions are much like sessions in person, and the therapist will provide any needed materials before the session.
• Telehealth therapy is being covered by health insurances during the COVID-19 pandemic in the same way that in-person sessions are covered. Some insurers are even waiving co-pays to encourage use of mental health coverage, because so many people have elevated feelings of stress and uncertainty right now. For those without health insurance, some therapists offer reduced fees or no fee telehealth services for those needing them.
• Telehealth can be used for couples or families who want to work on their relationship but are in different locations. With the ability to have everyone in the telehealth session from wherever they are, there’s no need to wait until everyone can get together in a therapist’s office. Online therapy can also help build connection and keep relationships strong when people are physically apart.
• You can join your session from a desktop or laptop computer, iPad or smartphone. All you need is a private place where you feel comfortable talking. The convenience can’t be beat; you can talk from your couch, car or anywhere else. Teens especially like the virtual session, since they can hang out in their room or anywhere else they want, while they talk with their therapist.
• You might think it’s harder to open up to someone in video chat than in the therapist’s office, or worry your therapist will see if your house is messy, or will see that you’re in your worn-out but comfy sweatpants, but the reality is that most people find they quickly get comfortable with the format, can share easily with the therapist, and that the therapist doesn’t care about anything but the focus of the therapy session.
How can online therapy help you through Covid19:
· you can freely unburden your thoughts and concerns
· you can process, manage and accept feelings like anger, fear, sadness and loneliness in the face of all the changes that the Coronavirus has brought to your life
· receive help to handle any conflicts you may have with the people you need to get along with the most right now
· can help you find a way forward, even in this moment when it feels like everything has stopped.