Distance Therapy in New York State
Online distance therapy meets you where you are located. We lead busy lives but still need to fit therapy into our schedules. “Telemental health,” as it is professionally referred to, has increased in popularity. Psychotherapy is successful either in a traditional in-person setting or online with video technology, which is convenient and offers a sense of comfort. In addition, people in remote areas can access quality therapy without travelling longer in one direction than an actual session. If you feel this option meets your needs, contact me for a consultation.
Some Frequently Asked Questions About Distance Therapy
1. Tell me more about Distance Therapy and how it works.
Video sessions allow you to have a therapy session from the convenience of your home or other private place without having a long commute, traffic, or taking time from work. I use Zoom for online video sessions, which is HIPAA-compliant. You can use it on your phone (Android or Iphone), tablet, or laptop/desktop computer. I simply send you an invitation to connect with you via Zoom. Then, using your device you can log in at your appointment time and we can see and hear each other.
2. What are the benefits of Distance Therapy?
It is important to be in a private place where others cannot hear the conversation but you can be wherever you choose. I’ve had clients have sessions in their office conference room or in a park (wifi is best, but Zoom can handle a cell phone connection). Sometimes access to LGBTQ and gender-affirming care in a rural area is difficult to find. Video therapy also offers the opportunity to present from the privacy of your home, where you might feel the most comfortable.
3. Can I have sessions with you via video or phone?
I strongly prefer the face-to-face interaction that video and in-person therapy affords. I have tried phone therapy, and it does not work as well. I will participate but consider this an “informed consent.” Video and phone therapy is different than being in the same room with your therapist. Since I will not see you in phone therapy, I must be able to verify your identity and have a plan in place for those times when you are feeling at risk. There are times when I may feel it is safer for you to seek in-person therapy. It’s also helpful that you have a basic understanding of the internet and apps on your phone as well.
4. Can I can I do really-long Distance Therapy?
Maybe. If you are out of the country, then possibly, but because of U.S. licensing laws I am unable to provide Distance Therapy across New York state lines. If you are a New York state resident and are located out of state during our session, we would be in violation of licensing laws. However, if you are outside the United States, then I can conduct a session depending on the country’s licensing.
5. Can I use my Insurance for Distance Therapy?
If you have Cigna insurance, I am in-network and they cover the same as in-person psychotherapy. If you use your insurance and reimbursement for out-of-network payment, some plans cover distance therapy via phone or video. I can verify your benefits with a copy of your insurance card.
6. Is it private and secure?
On my end, I ensure both privacy and security as per HIPAA protocol. I contract with Zoom and they encrypt and secure the application to the highest medical standards. I conduct my sessions in private and always use headphones.