FAQ's about Teletherapy and TelePlayTherapy
What is teletherapy?
Teletherapy is providing therapy through a live video connection, over the internet. You are getting the same treatment as you would in person, it's just done through a computer! If you've ever used Skype on your computer or FaceTime on your iPhone, you've used the same type of technology teletherapy uses, except we have special HIPAA compliant hosting so that you're session is as secure as it can be. It is ideal in these quarantine times, so that you can continue your sessions, or so you can start therapy as well.
What is telePlaytherapy?
Tele-Playtherapy is a way to connect with children and their parents over a live video connection. There are many ways to implement play and connection via video technology. Your therapist will choose between setting up the sessions for the parent & child together, just the child & therapist, just therapist & parent, OR a combination of these. Together you all will decide what will work best for you and your family. The therapist can teach the parent(s) how to implement play therapy themselves at home using Filial parent training modules, or simply use supportive listening to understand what you need and provide customized support. The therapist can start a relationship with a child using rapport building playful techniques, and then assess their emotional capabilities to then create a treatment plan for continuing tele-Playtherapy. Your therapist will get to know you and your needs as a family before creating a treatment plan and goals using electronic assessments and other data collection tools. When your therapist works together with parent and child online, she may suggest you engage together in guided play and then watch and coach you towards attunement, for example. As play therapists, we are CREATIVE and understand how to connect with children, so this emerging need of online play therapy has proven to be FUN and EFFECTIVE.
What does the first session look like?
After parents or client fills out the electronic intake paperwork and signs consents to our policies electronically, your therapist will send you a link to click at your session time and voila, you can start your session. Our technology is simply and easy to use. you DO NOT have to be tech savvy to start teletherapy or telePlaytherapy. Your therapist will chat and engage with you the same way she would do in an in-person session. The only difference is the physical distance, and the fact that you can wear pajama bottoms and no one will know :)
What if there are technical difficulties or I don't understand technology very well?
You do need a computer, iPad/tablet, or smart phone to engage in session. But technology is on our side these days, because you can use whatever source you are most comfortable with you to do your session. You can prop up your phone or tablet and get cozy, or sit at your desk with your computer as well. You do not need to understand anything more than knowing how to open your email and click the link to open the session.
Does therapy work when you are over a screen rather than in person?
YES, it works tremendously well and some people even prefer the physical distance while they are emotionally vulnerable in therapy to feel safer. There are some reports of clients that have stated they feel more comfortable on a screen while they are sharing vulnerable moments. Others have reported that the time saved in commute has been beneficial to their productivity and/or family time. Your therapist will assess and get to know you before deciding on a treatment plan and goals, so during these first few sessions, if it doesn't feel right for you, then you may decide to wait until you're able to visit the office, and that is okay too.
Since the session are online, is privacy a concern?
We have been trained and apply to all HIPAA guidelines, and our software is HIPAA compliant as well. Our therapists ensure their time is private, and we ask the same from you as well to ensure your confidentiality. We ask that you do not take pictures or video the sessions, and we comply with that as well to ensure privacy.
Does insurance cover teletherapy and tele-Playtherapy?
Yes, there have been legislative orders since COVID 19 that have lifted any regulations on teletherapy according to your insurance policies, and they are reimbursed and categorized the same as in person sessions for mental health. If you have specific questions, please submit your insurance information here, and we can let you know about your benefits and coverage.