Telehealth and Video Therapy FAQ

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FAQs About Telehealth or Video Therapy at Palo Alto Therapy

For current clients, contact your therapist as you normally would to make an appointment. Your provider will send you an email link, which you can click to join in a virtual therapy session over Google Meet. You can use your phone, computer or tablet to participate and you do not need to download any software or subscribe to any service. You can talk to your provider as you normally would — it’s that easy!

For new clients, simply call our Care Coordinators at (650) 461-9026 — and they will get you all you need to get connected.

Absolutely. Our therapists maintain strict confidentiality standards for your protection. During this time of social distancing, our therapists are exclusively providing counseling via video from their areas of their home that have privacy.

Most healthcare plans provide coverage for telehealth just like in-office therapy. While Palo Alto Therapy is Out-of Network with most insurances, we are able to submit your claims to insurance electronically for you.

We appreciate that can be a tricky dynamic. Some of our clients meet for virtual sessions while on a walk, sitting in their car, or from their backyard. Often our therapists can adjust their schedules to connect with you during less busy times for your household — such as providing sessions on different days and earlier or later than usual. You can also try using headphones and if necessary — or, you can be on the screen but communicating with your therapist by the chat feature, in which you and your therapist can type back and forth.

It’s understandable to want to have or continue with in-person therapy. However, in these very unpredictable times, it is unclear how long this will be our new normal. There are a variety of estimated time frames suggested for social distancing measures lasting from 6 weeks to 18 months. Connecting with a counselor via video is an easy way to get started with care — or avoid disrupting your care — and to receive consistent support toward your goals. This can become even more important during these stressful times.

People are continuing to reach out for services at Palo Alto Therapy — with our community experiencing mounting anxieties and losses during this global health crisis. To meet this need, we have increased our capacity. We are able to make prompt appointments for clients when needed, and we are maintaining extended hours of service daily. We want you to be well prepared to face the challenges ahead, whatever they might be.

Yes. There have been numerous studies conducted showing that telehealth is just as effective as in-person counseling.

The American Psychiatric Association(APA) published a physician reviewed article in 2017 that notes the following:

“There is substantial evidence of the effectiveness of telepsychiatry and research has found satisfaction to be high among patients, psychiatrists and other professionals. Telepsychiatry is equivalent to in-person care in diagnostic accuracy, treatment effectiveness, quality of care and patient satisfaction. Patient privacy and confidentiality are equivalent to in-person care.”

According to a 2016 article in the World Journal of Psychiatry:

“…telepsychiatry is comparable to face-to-face services in terms of reliability of clinical assessments and treatment outcomes . . . telepsychiatry performed as well as, if not better than face-to-face delivery of mental health services.”

*Note when seeing the word Telepsychiatry, it is defined by the following –a subset of telemedicine, can involve providing a range of services including psychiatric evaluations, therapy (individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy), patient education and medication management. (APA, 2017)

How to Make the Most out of Teletherapy Right Now:

Can’t See Your Therapist Because of COVID-19? The new world of virtual psychotherapy is brighter than you think.