These are uncertain times, and honestly, kind of scary. Fortunately, we have the technology to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic. I'm able to offer online counseling to Illinois residents where I am licensed as a Clinical Psychologist.
The whole idea of online therapy is a little intimidating; I know I found it all a bit overwhelming and strange, to say the least. I have provided in-person psychological services to children and families since 1994.
The thought of using video to do the work I've always done brought up a lot of strong feelings for me. Then we were hit with a pandemic, and voila; I'm providing online counseling. I'm a helper at heart, so, what choice did I have?
And, I have to say, it's been one of the easiest changes I've ever made. You can make the change, too.
Maybe you are looking for someone to talk to during this time of isolation, or you'd like a longer commitment, online therapy can meet your needs. I offer flexible hours and a super easy online therapy platform that is private, HIPAA compliant and secure, which means that sessions are not recorded and your information is not given to anyone.
Whether you call it: telehealth, teletherapy, online counseling, eTherapy, FaceTime therapy, Skype counseling, online therapy, Facebook therapy, online psychotherapy, e-counseling or virtual therapy, online sessions offer therapy in the comfort of your home.
Here are a few steps you need to take in order to have an online counseling session.
1. Schedule and appointment.
2. Complete consent for telehealth.
3. Download app for phone and tablet users.
Computer users need only click the link.
4. Click on link to join your online therapy session.
Easy pea-sy! Here are some tips to help you along the way:
Find a Private Area in your Home
This could be your bedroom, guest room, laundry room or basement. I've heard that when privacy is difficult, people have had sessions in their car (please don't drive or sit in a running car in a garage), on the back porch or even in the bathroom with the toilet seat covered and the vent fan running for added privacy.
Ensure Added Privacy
If you're worried about privacy and others hearing you talk during your online counseling session, using a fan can help! It's just like the sound screen on the floor by my office door. That is all a sound screen is, a small, but powerful fan. I keep my sound screen outside my office to block others from hearing what is being said in the room. And it works! If you can place a fan outside your door, it will block the sound so that no one else can hear you talking during your online therapy. Playing music or running the tv outside the room you are in can help as well. So far, none of my clients have been overheard during their online counseling sessions, but some have been worried about it. I mean, who wants their parents, spouse or child to hear what they are saying, right?! I want you to feel safe and secure during online counseling appointments; plug in a fan, put a movie on for older kids or surprise your wife with her favorite music, and then we can get started.
Connecting for Online Counseling
If you have connection issues try using Wifi on your computer or tablet. See if others in your home can stay off of Wifi during your online therapy time, or limit their use of video applications (Netflix, YouTube, FaceTime, gaming sites, etc.). If you are using a phone, make sure you are in the area with the best reception. Connection issues during online counseling sessions can sometimes be fixed by leaving the session and entering again.
Consent for Teletherapy
Please make sure that you log in to my client portal and sign the telehealth consent form. The email with the link to your online therapy appointment can't generate until this step is complete. If you don't receive an email with the link 10 minutes before your session, please text me and I'll send it.
You can find all of the tools you'll need to get started right here:
I can't wait to meet you online soon!