Counseling options are changing during COVID-19, and Teletherapy is center stage of it.
As we fight to maintain our physical health, it is important to address the ways COVID-19 is affecting our mental health. For the one in five people who already have mental health condition-or the one in two people who are at risk of developing them, this time can be stressful and overwhelming. It may feel like services can be harder to access than ever.
At Project Connection, we value connection through evidence-based, trauma-informed care and are committed to providing services during this time. Teletherapy or video counseling is therapy done through a live video connection on the phone. Clients can get the same type of counseling they could receive in person, it’s just done through the computer. Many wonder if telehealth can be as effective as traditional therapy. Below are common questions about teletherapy to help you decide if it’s the right option for you.
Is teletherapy private?
Yes. Project Connection and other licensed counselors are ethically and legally bound to the privacy protections under HIPAA. When working with a counselor through teletherapy, we will ask you to use a secure, HIPAA compliant video platform. Your counselor will also be in a private, secure place for the video session with you. It will be important for you to go to a quiet, private space to protect privacy on your end. If you do, your privacy will be protected just as it would in a traditional session.
Does Teletherapy work as well as traditional counseling?
Yes. Research shows that teletherapy is just as helpful as counseling done in person. Teletherapy is also convenient and accessible during this time, which can initiate services and maintain consistency of services during this time. Some people have a strong preference for in-person counseling. In these cases, it is still beneficial to connect with a counselor through teletherapy during the current crisis, and then change to in-person sessions when possible. A counselor will be able to start giving you skills and resources that can help during this difficult time.
Will my insurance cover Teletherapy?
In general, yes. Many insurance plans cover Telehealth as part of their basic coverage. However, due to COVID-19 most insurance companies have expanded services to cover Telehealth, even when it was not a part of basic coverage. Project Connection is able to work with your insurance to confirm eligibility. Project Connection accepts most major insurances as well as Medicaid and self-pay.
What are the risks?
All counseling has risks because the process toward change and recovery can be challenging. Teletherapy carries the same risks of traditional therapy. One additional risk of teletherapy can be failure of technology during a session or between sessions. Project Connection will have a backup plan and can do a phone session in such cases.
Are groups available?
Group therapy can be an effective way for adults and children to connect with others who can provide relatable support in a therapeutic process. Group sessions are available through most insurances.
Does Telehealth work for children?
Yes. In most situations, children can be engaged in telehealth. These sessions can be accommodated by assignments outside the telehealth session, and adjusted session length. Children demonstrate high levels of comfort with technology and do quite well with telehealth sessions.
Where can I find a Telehealth counselor?
Many therapy providers are offering teletherapy due to COVID-19. At Project Connection, we are passionate about making sure our clients stay connected during this time, and are committed to ensuring evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment, personal treatment through telehealth.
To learn more about teletherapy and our other programs, go to www.projectconnection.co or call our intake line at 385-441-4900. We are happy to speak with you about your situation and see if our services are a good fit.
When I started therapeutic work with clients who were suffering from relationship trauma and attachment issues, I turned to attachment theory for guidance. I imagined a magnet board as relationship and pictured each of my clients as a magnet trying to attach to it. I made it a goal to understand why some magnets attached, while others had been "demagnetized."
I knew that damage done in the context of relationship can only be healed in the context of relationship, and the concept of attachment theory, that identifies relationship as the magnet board of early childhood, felt true. However, as I engaged clients in attachment theory, I noticed that the magnet board looked different for clients who were able to move forward in therapy and successfully learn to attach.
It occured to me that the surface of the board, for clients who were learning to "attach," looked less like a magnet board and more a lego board. Those who were able to learn to attach had people on the other side who were reaching out, providing support and who were invested in their wellbeing. These individuals were also willing to create space to receive in the relationship.
So much energy is spent trying to fix or "magnetize" ourselves in order to attach to others, or "magnetize" others so they will attach to us. However, healing and meaning come through connection not fixing, and are found in moments when we are able to offer pieces of ourselves to others while also make space to receive.