Telemental Health Counseling is available for both individual and couples counseling. I offer this alternative to face to face counseling due to an increased number of requests from clients who are single parents, have difficulty getting to the office due to weather conditions, and/or other life circumstances that make it challenging to travel.
PLEASE NOTE: This service is only offered to Vermont residents
Telemental Health Defined: TeleMental Health is a subset of telehealth, that uses technology to provide mental health services from a distance and includes telepsychology and telebehavioral health and consultation.It is the process of providing behavioral therapy or psychotherapy remotely, typically utilizing ** HIPAA-compliant video conferencing, telephone or text-based messaging. Telemental Health facilitates client self-management and support for clients and includes synchronous interactions.
** Please see the COVID-19 section below
Confidentiality and Telemental Health
The laws that protect the confidentiality of your medical/mental health information also apply to telemental health therapy. As such, the information disclosed by you during the course of your therapy or consultation is confidential. However, there are both mandatory and permissive exceptions to confidentiality, which are defined in the Client Agreement/Informed Consent that you will receive. Under no circumstances can telemental health sessions be recorded.
I utilize “Sessions”, a video-conferencing platform provided by Psychology Today. This VC platform is encrypted to the federal standard, HIPAA compatible, and has signed a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA). The BAA means that Psychology Today is willing to attest to HIPAA compliance and assumes responsibility for keeping our VC interaction secure and confidential. If we choose to utilize this technology, I will send you a link that takes you directly to the platform where you will sign in. It is a good idea to join the session a couple of minutes early to ensure we get started promptly.
The HIPAA compliant video conferencing platform requirement is currently being waived due to extraordinary circumstances. Vermont state licensing laws allow for this as well. As such, other non-HIPAA compliant applications such as Facetime, Facebook Messenger or Skype, can be used for video conferencing. Which application we use as a back-up will be predetermined through email or other communication. Once the emergency has passed and the HIPAA compliant requirement is back in place, use of these other platforms are prohibited. Telephone counseling (individual counseling only) is also allowed.
Whichever platform is ultimately used, I strongly suggest that you only communicate through a computer or device that you know is safe (e.g., has a firewall, anti-virus software installed, is password protected, not accessing the internet through a public wireless network, etc.
How to Start the Process
If you decide to try telemental health counseling, you will receive a set of forms electronically. The forms must then be filled out, initial/signed and sent back electronically. Once the forms have been received, we will schedule an initial session, typically 50-55 minutes in length.
A valid credit card must be presented at the beginning of your initial session and will be charged before the session begins. After the initial session, you will only be charged after the session has been completed.
All BCBSVT plans cover telemental health counseling. Copays and deductibles still apply. All other BCBS or Bluecard plans may or may not be covered and prior verification must be made.
Please see the fees/insurance page for more details
If you’d like to schedule an appointment or if you prefer to talk first before scheduling, please use the form provided below and enter your request for a call first. Please make sure your phone number is entered in correctly and add the best times to reach you.