Telepsych (or Telehealth) is the delivery of counseling by mental health professionals via secure video chat. Clients can meet with clinicians from the comfort of their own home. Why would someone choose to use Telepsych?
- Safety- During the COVID-19 crisis, Telepsych provides an ideal opportunity to start (or continue) counseling services.
- Convenience– No more scrambling to get to a therapist’s office. No travel time also means there’s no problem fitting an appointment into your busy day.
- Effectiveness- Many studies have demonstrated that online counseling can be just as effective as in-person counseling.
- Privacy- There’s no chance of running into anyone in the waiting room when you’re meeting your therapist online.
Is Telepsych effective?
Yes, studies from leading institutions have shown similar treatment outcomes when comparing Telepsych with face-to-face counseling. Click here for a sample list of effectiveness studies.
Is Telepsych secure?
Yes, Family Counseling Associates uses a premium video chat platform with 256-bit encryption. Our system is HIPAA complaint and all video and audio streams are encrypted. This means that clients can enter a session securely, and participants can only join a video chat session if they are invited and approved. Please Note: For your security, we strongly recommend that you do not engage in Telepsych on public computers.
Is Telepsych counseling covered by insurance?
Yes, Telepsych is covered by most health plans in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. During the current COVID-19 crisis many insurers are covering the client portion of payments such as copays or deductible payments. Please check with your healthcare insurance company for more details.
Is Telepsych “legal”?
Yes, Telepsych is recognized and regulated by state licensing boards, including the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Boards of Allied Mental Health and Psychology.
How can I know if Telepsych is for me?
Telepsych has many benefits. If you have ever done video chat with family and friends on public systems like Skype or Facetime, you know that you can have a meaningful interpersonal conversation. Video chat allows therapists to see clients emotional reactions and non-verbal cues during sessions. Although FCA’s Telepsych system is very easy to use, if you describe yourself as “technologically challenged” you may need to take the time to practice video chatting with a friend or family member first.
Telepsych is not appropriate for clients with chronic mental illness, or for clients who are experiencing acute symptoms. If you need more information, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
What technology do I need for Telepsych?
At a minimum you will need a high speed internet connection and a computer that is preferably no more that 5 years old. You should have a web camera and a headset with a microphone is recommended. To learn more about the factors which impact video/chat quality, and the equipment needed to improve connections, Click here.