Online Therapy & Telehealth in Fort Lauderdale
Online Therapy & Telehealth in Fort Lauderdale
Wherever you are, we’re here for you
The Psychology Group Fort Lauderdale is pleased to offer our services via online, secure video conferencing and telephone. Although no digital service will ever completely substitute traditional face-to-face therapy sessions, we need to be able to care for our mental health when leaving our home is difficult, limited or outright impossible.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth goes by many names (see below) and is a convenient way to participate in therapy via a virtual, online platform. No matter what you call it, virtual psychotherapy is still a very effective way to obtain the high-quality counseling experience our TPG clients are accustomed to receiving.
Telehealth Synonyms (just to name a few):
- Virtual Therapy
- Telemental health
- Online therapy
- Telebehavioral health
- Online counseling
The American Psychological Association defines Telepsychology or telemental health as “the provision of behavioral and/or mental health care services using technological modalities in lieu of, or in addition to, traditional face-to-face methods (e.g., provision of therapy using the phone, diagnostic interviewing via teleconferencing, use of applications to track mood states, consultations via email).” In layman's terms, telehealth is simply therapy that you receive by way of technology.
These services can be provided through mobile devices (i.e. laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, etc.), videoconferencing, telephone, email, text, among others. It is important to note that direct psychological services typically involve the use of videoconferencing or telephone; whereas indirect services (i.e. scheduling, sending appointment reminders) are typically performed through text messages or email. Moreover, most insurance companies require the use of live videoconferencing sessions for reimbursement (although this varies from state-to-state and insurance company).
Why Telehealth is Helpful During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Many of us are practicing social distancing as a mitigation strategy to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While we make this great sacrifice for our community, tending to our health cannot and shouldn’t stop. Please do not forego your mental health and self-care during this very challenging time.
Telehealth is a convenient and effective way to begin or continue mental health therapy while staying home. We’re here for you, while you stay home for them.
Other reasons why online counseling is a great option during the coronavirus pandemic:
- If you or your therapist aren’t feeling well (but feel well enough to have a therapy session), you don’t have to cancel
- It’s a great alternative for our First Responders and helping professionals (or anyone else) who may have come in contact with COVID-19 and need to self-quarantine
- When you don’t have childcare, you can still keep appointments while staying home without struggling to find accommodations
How does Online Therapy Work?
Participating in online therapy with a therapist at The Psychology Group Fort Lauderdale is easy peasy! Our clinicians employ a very easy-to-use platform that doesn’t require downloading any software or advanced techy stuff. To participate in Telehealth with one of our therapists here’s what you need to do:
- Tell your therapist you’re interested in Telehealth
- Your therapist will provide you with a Telehealth Informed Consent form to complete. This form will outline any risks, benefits, and logistics
- You’ll receive directions on how to log on for your appointment. For many clients it will simply require you clicking a link to the video chat platform, entering your name, and following the prompts to activate your microphone and camera
- The therapist will join the video chat at the time of the appointment
- And that’s it! Easy peasy.
How telehealth looks:
What Are the Benefits of Telehealth?
Telehealth and online therapy has many benefits such as accessibility and flexibility.
- Increased access to services. This may be particularly helpful for:
- People who live far away or in rural areas where access to mental health services is limited
- Individuals who lack access to regular transportation
- People who have physical or mobility disabilities
- Safety/health-related concerns (e.g. pandemics, people who are immunocompromised, etc.)
- Facilitates the ability of finding a therapist that provides treatment in your preferred language
- Facilitates access to specialists
- Provides flexibility for both the therapist and the client
- It can allow space to focus on your mental health when you have a busy lifestyle or schedule
- Therapists may also opt to provide treatment during non-traditional hours
Who is Eligible for Telemental Health?
Not every client will be a good fit for Telehealth/Online Therapy. Discuss your unique situation with your counselor (or reach out to us to learn more about your options (954) 488-2933) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Generally speaking, Telehealth is NOT the best option for the following persons or situations:
- Individuals who are currently experiencing a crisis
- Clients that have thoughts of hurting themselves or others
- Minors or individuals under the care of a legal guardian
- Patients who have been diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness. These individuals are better served by comprehensive, in-person treatment
- Court-ordered therapy or individuals whose case might involve court proceedings
- Individuals who do not have Internet or a device (tablet, computer, smartphone)
- Anyone outside of the state of Florida. Otherwise, we are happy and able to offer telehealth to anyone in the entire state of Florida
Common Myths About Online Therapy, Debunked
- Online therapy doesn’t work
- Although telemental health is not a complete substitute for face-to-face treatment, there is robust research that backups its use as an acceptable/effective alternative. You can access the Telebehavioral Health Institute’s list of diverse telemental health and behavioral telehealth research studies in bibliography format here.
- Text therapy is enough
- Although providing feedback via text messaging may be more accessible, it limits vital communication cues (i.e. visual and sound cues) that can impact the therapist’s capacity to provide a thorough assessment of the client, and therefore, their ability to provide adequate interventions
- This, of course, may apply differently on a case-to-case basis
- Online therapy is not as valuable or not worth the same amount of money as in-person therapy
- Although accessibility to different online platforms offer different price ranges, the professional’s credentials, education, training, and experience is valuable
- Trained clinicians do their due diligence of being informed of and following APA’s guidelines for the practice of telepsychology and also ensure they act according to the ethical principles/standards of their profession, as well as their state licensing laws
- Trained professionals will use their skills to navigate any telemental health-related nuances, assess your presenting complaints/symptoms, and ensure appropriate interventions
- Although it may feel more casual, a qualified, ethical professional will maintain appropriate boundaries and emphasize that the nature of the relationship is strictly professional and not personal
- They will also assess the appropriateness of treatment using this format (this is an ongoing process) and work with the client to ensure they receive optimal services that meet their needs
- Online therapy is not secure
- Our team uses a secure, HIPAA compliant platform (Doxy.me) to provide telepsychology services and we offer information on how to safeguard client’s confidentiality and privacy
- Technology is overwhelming
- We are using a simple platform that does not require any downloads
- Clients simply click a link, type their name, and follow prompts to set their microphone and camera
- Therapists also offer assistance in navigating concerns or difficulties accessing the platform or dealing with potential glitches or interruptions
TPG's Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
Our hearts go out to the individuals and families who are negatively impacted by the coronavirus public health emergency. Mental health is not a luxury, yet we understand sometimes the financial commitment can make it feel that way. The Psychology Group is pleased to offer financial assistance for those significantly impacted by COVID-19. Please do not forego your mental health needs due to financial limitations. If you require reduced fee therapy options, please call us to inquire about our services and complete this application for a reduced rate.