(Scroll down to the bottom for instructions on how to log in to your session)
Our online services (a.k.a., "Teletherapy") were created to deal with this current COVID-19 crisis, but many of our therapists have been using them for several years now. They provide an easy alternative for anyone who cannot make it to the clinic for their appointment.
This could include (but is not limited to):
New moms who can't leave the house easily
Busy professionals who can't get away from the office for an hour
Someone living in a remote community with no local clinic to attend
Poor weather conditions making it difficult or impossible to drive
Clients who wish to consult with a professional with an expertise that isn't available in their area
You travel for work or other reasons and would like to maintain continuity of care
There will always remain circumstances where an in-person visit is preferred - but research shows that online therapy can address and treat the same needs, and to the same level of care, that an in-person session can.
All you need is an internet connection, access to a desktop, laptop, smart phone or tablet, and to follow these instructions:
To ensure a successful appointment please consider the following:
1. Will my insurance pay for telehealth sessions?
Most likely, yes! Many providers already covered these services prior to the COVID-19 crisis, and under the current circumstances, most others have committed to continuing coverage for telehealth services. We recommend that you call your provider directly to confirm if they will reimburse you for telehealth sessions.
2. I'm not comfortable with technology. How can I make this easier?
From a technical standpoint, the clinic and/or your individual therapist will send detailed instructions on how to access your teletherapy session. We highly recommend setting some time aside to test out your equipment prior to your scheduled session to make sure everything works, and to familiarize yourself with the process. If you have any questions about how the technological side works, please do not hesitate to contact your therapist. She will walk you through the steps by phone, if necessary, and you can always fall back on alternative technologies (including the good old-fashioned phone!).
If you are less comfortable with conducting therapy online, we would encourage you to try it at least once. Most clients, while perhaps initially uncomfortable, are surprised to find that they ease into it nicely, and find the sessions equally effective. Body language is somewhat less "readable," but this can be overcome by emphasizing facial expressions, and both therapist and client checking in to make sure they're interpreting each other accurately.
Some people dislike seeing themselves on camera. While it may seem silly, it can be distracting for some and we get that. While this likely relates to body image/self-esteem issues, which is something you can work on with your therapist, a "quick fix" is to put a post-it note over your face on the screen.
If, after having tried it once, you still find it awkard or impersonal, we totally understand that. We can hold off on teletherapy until things go back to normal. If that's the case, we encourage you to have a discussion with your therapist about how to move forward while also protecting your mental health.
4. I'm home with my kids/partner/roommate. How can I ensure privacy or fit this into my busy day?
We get it! Having kids or other people home can be tricky. But if BBC dad can do it and come out alive, so can we! One possibility is finding a lockable room - including the bathroom. These are strange and unusual times, so anything goes. You could also conduct the session in your car. While using a screen as a babysitter isn't ideal, if that will occupy your child(ren) while you have your appointment and ensure a minimum of interruptions, do what you have to do. Older children can look after younger ones, and will understand the need for privacy. Many of us are already working from home and are resorting to whatever methods work. Finally, if your therapist is open to it, you could also schedule your appointment at a time when another adult will be present to care for them, or after they're in bed. Either way, we recommend informing whoever else in the house that you'll be on a private call and not to interrupt you.
5. How secure is online therapy?
As with any online platform, complete security can never be guaranteed. However, we have explored the most common platforms used in telehealth and we are opting to use those that comply with Canadian and American standards (PIPEDA and HIPAA). Our practice management software, Jane, has recently launched a teletherapy feature that complies with these standards and is our preferred method. However, if you have any concerns, please discuss this with your therapist or do your research online to find out what the encryption and privacy standards are for your platform of choice.
6. How should I pay for my teletherapy session?
Normally, we only accept cash and cheque. However, these are unusual times and so we are making an exception and accepting email money transfers as payment. Please forward this payment directly to the email address your therapist has specified.
7. Are there any issues that can't be treated with teletherapy?
Most of the issues that typically bring people to therapy can be effectively treated with teletherapy. Since psychotherapy is already a talk-based service, online platforms provide an easy alternative to traditional in-person sessions. That being said, certain situations are not ideal for teletherapy, and some crisis/emergency situations are not appropriate for traditional psychotherapy anyway. These include but are not limited to the following situations:
Your therapist will inform you if they feel they will not be able to help you and will direct you to appropriate resources in your community.
Below is the current list of the teletherapy platforms being used by our therapists. If using the Jane platform doesn't work for you or your therapist, or you are experiencing other technical difficulties during the session, please select one of the backup platforms offered by our individual therapists below. Be sure to contact your therapist ahead of time if you'd prefer to use one of these alternate platforms. If you'd like your therapist to call or FaceTime you, please be sure that your cell phone number is up-to-date in your Jane profile.
If you are logging in through Jane, our secure practice management software, you can log into your account and click on "Begin" to start your session. You can login by clicking the button below or by clicking on the link inside your appointment reminder/confirmation email. Please note that for the time being, this platform can only be used on a Chrome browser on your computer or laptop.
For instructions on how to log into your account, visit this help page.
To test out your video before your appointment, click here for instructions.
If you are using an iPhone or iPad, use these instructions.
To start your appointment, follow these instructions.