To watch Alyssa Najera’s short video on online counseling follow this link to our IGTV page.
What is “Online Counseling” also known as “Telehealth”?
Telehealth has been coined many names including:
- Online Counseling
- Online Therapy
- Video Counseling
- Mobile Therapy
- And more
Telehealth (or online counseling as we like to call it) is the process of receiving mental health services via audio or video through the use of your phone, computer, or tablet. In fact, if you have ever completed a video conference call on your phone or computer, or Apple iPhone’s Facetime feature, you have experienced the feel of telehealth.
What to Expect with Online Counseling Services in CA (Telehealth)
Upon scheduling your intake, you will be requested to create a free Client Portal account with our office. The Client Portal allows you to send secure messaging, upload your intake paperwork, see upcoming appointment, pay invoices and more.
You will also be provided with a one-touch link to your appointment. If you plan to use a smartphone, you will receive instructions on where to download the mobile app and how to access your appointment.
Benefits to Online Counseling in CA (Telehealth)
While some people are a little nervous to explore Telehealth, as traditional psychotherapy is often provided in-person inside an office, there are many benefits to online counseling. Benefits include:
- Telehealth helps mental health and counseling services be more accessible and convenient for clients.
- Telehealth allows clients to receive counseling services from the privacy of their own home.
- Telehealth increases accessibility for individuals with physical limitations
Limitations of Online Counseling in CA (Telehealth)
It is also important to be aware of the risks and limitations of Telehealth services. Should you be scheduled for an intake, your provider will review these in detail with you. However, here is a brief summary of limitations:
- Telehealth is generally not appropriate for high risk behaviors including self-harm or active suicidality
- Given our providers are licensed in California or under the clinical supervision of a mental health provider whom is licensed in California, our office may only provide Telehealth services to current residents of California (proof of residence will be requested at intake)
- Some insurances will not cover Telehealth. Please note we are primarily an out-of-network provider and can provide monthly superbills at your request. If you have any questions regarding your health insurance’s coverage of Telehealth services, please consult with your insurance provider directly. (*ALSO NOTE: Due to COVID-19, many insurances are working to eliminate barriers to Telehealth in effort increase accessibility to services. Please consult with your insurance provider directly.)
Notes regarding Online Counseling (Telehealth) services with Small Town Counseling
- Our Telehealth services are offered through a secure video platform hosted by RingCentral.
- Due to limitations of Telehealth, our staff will complete a brief phone screening to ensure Telehealth is an appropriate form of treatment delivery for your needs.
Additional Resources on Virtual Therapy
For more information, read our featured article What to Expect with Virtual Therapy and is it Right for Me?