Preparing for Your Telehealth Appointment
Written by: Valerie Caleb, LPC
Telehealth therapy sessions were vital at the height of 2019 COVID SARs 2 pandemic, when many were confined to home by mandatory public health orders, work or concerns for their personal health. The popularity of telehealth sessions continues as it serves clients for whom an office visit is not desirable or possible.
Fig Tree Therapy is happy to be able to offer telehealth therapy sessions to our clients. Our telehealth platform uses video conferencing which allow our clients and Therapist to see and hear each other, throughout the therapy session, in a way that is both ethical and confidential.
We are committed to providing our clients with the best possible telehealth therapy experience, and we invite you to enter into this experience with us, as an active participant in a process that is designed for your health and wellbeing; a process that is ethical, respectful, free of distractions, and designed to promote healing and growth. We want our time with you to glorify God, and honor Him as the one who gives all comfort and healing.
Please use the following guideline to help you prepare for your telehealth session:
Our office will provide you with the basic information that you will need to get connected to us online.
- Please remember that it is your responsibility for check to see if your internet is configured to allow for a good online connection.
- The link for your telehealth session will always be in your portal.
- Please notify us as soon as possible, if you do not see the link to your scheduled appointment.
- Remember that the first priority of a cell phone is the phone call, and that if you are using a cell phone for your video call, we may actually lose video and audio connection, if a call comes in during our telehealth session.
- A session without video is a phone call, and not billable to most insurances.
- We suggest that you use your PC or tablet, whenever possible.
- Turn off notifications from your phone and other devices.
- We must be able to see you and hear you, so please enable your camera and video features.
- Sufficient lighting in the room is also so needed for a good video connection. Turn on the lights please.
TIME AND SCHEDULING
We are committed to being on time for you and ask that you are on time for us.
- Please remember that our times are scheduled and usually not flexible to allow for late changes.
- If you are going to court during the day, then schedule your telehealth appointment for the evening. This also applies to late afternoon medical appointments, don’t risk missing your time with us by assuming that you will be done in time to get online.
- Your therapist will wait on line for you for 15 minutes only. If you are 15 minutes late for your session then this will be counted as a session that was missed without a proper cancellation and a charge of $75 may be added to your account for the missed session.
- We are not able to extend your session time when you have left the session to answer phone calls.
- The ending of a session time is sometimes difficult for the client, who may feel that they are not done speaking with the therapist. We ask that you accept that we will sometimes end a session before you feel that you are ready. Ending a session is a being part of the therapy process and not a personal slight.
- If you want to meet with your Therapist by phone, then please ask the office about the fees, and allow us to have a credit card on file to bill your for your phone sessions.
PLACE AND PRIVACY
To be effective therapy requires place that is private and quiet and free of distractions
- Find a place that is quiet and free from background noise, audio and visual distractions.
- Move away from children and others who may be able to hear your session.
- Pets and ESAs can be seen, but must not be heard during the session, be sure to take care of their needs before the start of your session. Do not allow your pets to block the screen.
- If you must do a session from your bed, then plan for co-sleepers (partners, kids, and pets) to sleep elsewhere.
- Do not invite others into the session without first notifying your Therapist. This is for your safety and comfort.
Having this conversation beforehand is a common courtesy and demonstrated respect for the therapeutic relationship and process.
- Do not rely on earbuds in public places to give you privacy, salons, cafes, and cubicles at work are not private.
- Minimize distractions by sitting down for your session, leave multi-tasking and household chores for later
- Pull over and park your car, if you are doing your session from your car. This is for you safety and the safety of others.
RESPECT AND TEAMWORK
Effective telehealth therapy requires that we work together to build a relationship that is mutually respectful
- Please be prepared to be on camera. Put on clothing that covers your chest at minimum.
- Do a few grooming basics i.e. comb hair and take out nighttime dental devices. Put dentures in as this will help us to see and hear you better.
- We accept, without judgment that many people find it difficult to cope with life, without certain chemical, and we ask that you not use THC, nicotine, or alcohol before or during your session.
- Allow us to teach you how to relax and work through any discomfort that you may have during your session.
- Remember, therapy works best when you are able to tell us what you need.
- Accept and respect that therapy is a process and will take time and effort from both the therapist and the client
We are so happy that you have chosen Fig Tree Therapy telehealth for your therapy needs. We look forward to meeting you and helping you as you seek your best life. Welcome!