Structure and Cost of Sessions
I offer primarily face-to-face counseling. However, based on your ability to make in-person sessions, I may provide phone, text, email, or video conferencing if your treatment needs determine that TeleMental Health services are appropriate for you. If appropriate, you may engage in either face-to-face sessions, TeleMental Health, or both. We will discuss what is best for you.
The structure and cost of TeleMental Health sessions are exactly the same as face-to-face sessions described in my general "Information, Authorization, and Consent to Treatment" form. Texting and emails (other than just setting up appointments) are billed at my hourly rate for the time I spend reading and responding.
Insurance companies have many rules and requirements specific to certain benefit plans. At the present time, many do not cover TeleMental Health services. Unless otherwise negotiated, it is your responsibility to find out your insurance company’s policies and to file for insurance reimbursement for TeleMental Health services. As stated above, I will be glad to provide you with a statement for your insurance company and to assist you with any questions you may have in this area.
You are also responsible for the cost of any technology you may use at your own location. This includes your computer, cell phone, tablet, internet or phone charges, software, headset, etc.
In the event that you are unable to keep either a face-to-face appointment or a TeleMental Health appointment, you must notify me at least 24 hours in advance. If such advance notice is not received, there will be a $60 missed session fee. Please note that insurance companies do not reimburse for missed sessions.
Limitations of TeleMental Health Therapy Services
TeleMental Health services should not be viewed as a complete substitute for therapy conducted in my office, unless there are extreme circumstances that prevent you from attending therapy in person. It is an alternative form of therapy or adjunct therapy, and it involves limitations. Primarily, there is a risk of misunderstanding one another when communication lacks visual or auditory cues. For example, if video quality is lacking for some reason, I might not see a tear in your eye. Or, if audio quality is lacking, I might not hear the crack in your voice that I could easily pick up if you were in my office. There may also be a disruption to the service (e.g., phone gets cut off or video drops This can be frustrating and interrupt the normal flow of personal interaction. Please know that I have the utmost respect and positive regard for you and your wellbeing. I would never do or say anything intentionally to hurt you in any way, and I strongly encourage you to let me know if something I've done or said has upset you. I invite you to keep our communication open at all times to reduce any possible harm.
If we agree that TeleMental Health services are the primary way we choose to conduct sessions, I require one face-to-face meeting at the onset of treatment. I prefer for this initial meeting to take place in my therapy office. If that is not possible, we can utilize video conferencing as described above. During this initial session, I will require you to show a valid picture ID and another form of identity verification such a credit card in your name. At this time, you will also choose a password, phrase, or number which you will use to identify yourself in all future sessions. This procedure prevents another person from posing as you.
Consent to TeleMental Health Services
In summary, technology is constantly changing, and there are implications to all of the above that we may not realize at this time. Feel free to ask questions, and please know that I am open to any feelings or thoughts you have about these and other modalities of communication and treatment.