(Scroll down to the bottom for instructions on how to log in to your session)
Who does teletherapy work for?
Our online services (a.k.a., “Teletherapy”) are available and offered by many of our therapists. 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.
How It Works
All you need is an internet connection, access to a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet, and to follow these instructions:
- Book your initial session online by clicking on the BOOK AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page.
- Complete your intake forms. They will be emailed to you as soon as you book your appointment. Please take the time to complete these prior to your appointment as they provide valuable information for your therapist to review at the first appointment.
- You can join your telehealth appointment using either a smartphone/tablet or a desktop computer/laptop. Please arrive to your appointment a few minutes early so that you can test out your device.
- When your therapist is ready, they will contact you directly using the platform you have agreed upon.
To ensure a successful appointment please consider the following:
- Set up your camera in a location that is well-lit and allows you to be seen clearly.
- Make sure you have clear audio – you may want to consider using a headset for clearer sound and to maintain more privacy.
- Have a private space free of distraction so you can focus on what you need. If you do not have a quiet, lockable or otherwise private space in your home or workplace, consider conducting your session in your car, or in another space you have access to.
Commonly Asked Questions
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?
We accept email money transfers as payment. Please forward this payment directly to the email address in your appointment confirmation email.
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:
- Suicidality: your therapist will be able to conduct a risk assessment with you, but as in the case of in-person sessions, if an imminent risk is clear, emergency services will be contacted.
- Domestic violence: given the directives for social distancing and quarantining, many victims of domestic violence are isolated with their abusers, which increases the frequency and potentially the severity of the ongoing abuse. Conducting sessions inside the home with an abuser increases the risk of confidentiality being breached, with possible consequences for the victim. Discuss alternatives and a safety plan with your therapist to mitigate this risk.
- Other psychiatric emergencies: severe anxiety or depression, psychosis or other mental health conditions that would normally necessitate a hospital visit should not be treated with a teletherapy session, other than to arrange plans for seeking emergency care.
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.
Logging Into Your Session
Jane is our preferred platform due to ease of use and privacy concerns. If using the Jane platform doesn’t work for you or your therapist, or you are experiencing other technical difficulties during the session, you can use an alternate platform like Skype, FaceTime or Zoom. 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 log in by clicking the button below or by clicking on the link inside your appointment reminder/confirmation email. Please note that this platform works best 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.