My practice is offering teletherapy sessions, for individuals and couples during the coronavirus pandemic while social distancing remains important both locally and globally. My practice will remain virtual while the Oregon Health Authority mask mandate for mental health medical settings remains in place.
During this disrupted and shifting time, teletherapy has been a useful way to meet current mental health needs in the community and provide continuity of care.
Teletherapy means using computers (or smart phones) and secure interactive videoconferencing platforms to provide psychological services remotely (meaning at a distance). It can feel different to those unused to connecting with others using the internet in more authentic, deeper ways and I can help you access more of the benefits pf this format. I meet in ongoing peer supervision groups with far-flung members remotely, as well as often practicing therapy remotely for established clients with busy travel schedules. I have standing teletherapy procedures in place, using a HIPAA-compliant electronic health record with a secure client portal. Using robust and private wifi fosters more positive therapeutic outcomes with this medium as well. The client portal platform sends the client a link that allows access to a ‘virtual waiting room’ where we meet. There are also two backup teletherapy options in the rare event that one system is strained by overuse.
Please keep in mind that any form of telehealth is not the right fit for you right now if any of the following is true:
- You have uncontrollable thoughts and behaviours of hurting yourself or others
- You are in an urgent crisis or an emergency situation
- You have been diagnosed with a severe mental illness
- You were required to undergo therapy (by court order or other authority)
- You do not have a device that can connect to the Internet or you do not have a reliable Internet connection
If any of the above is true for you, a higher level of care is probably more appropriate. The Multnomah County Crisis Line is a very useful resource for connecting with helpful clinics (800-716-9769). Take as good of care of yourself as you can and call 911 in the case of an emergency or find your nearest emergency room.