Sandhill Counseling and Consultation is pleased to offer telehealth services for situations that may prevent an in-person therapy session related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Circumstances that may lead to engaging in telehealth services includeCOVID-19 symptoms, exposure or other health risks associated with the pandemic.
WHAT IS TELEHEALTH?
Telehealth is the use of telecommunications technology, such as computers and mobile devices, that allows our clinicians to provide professional counseling and consulting services remotely. The goal of telehealth is to make these services more readily available for those who are unable to attend an in-therapy session. This service provides a convenient and effective way to stay engaged in treatment, leading to symptom relief and successful outcomes.
Talk about the possibility of telehealth services with your mental health provider and to schedule an on-line session. No software needs to be downloaded and there is no registration needed. We care about patient privacy and confidentiality and therefore have chosen a platform called Doxy.me to connect clients and clinicians using video-conferencing on-line. This system is HIPAA compliant and secure (encrypted).
STEPS TO CONNECT
Chances are you already have all the equipment you need to engage in a telehealth visit. HERE ARE THE BASICS NEEDED:
Computer or smartphone or tablet
Microphone (if not included in the mobile device or computer)
Webcam (if not included in the mobile device or computer)
A few minutes before your session click on the link, which will take you to the "online waiting room"
Type in your name and click check in
Allow your browser to use your webcam and microphone
Your therapist will start your visit
TIPS FOR A GREAT TELEHEALTH EXPERIENCE
Restart your computer before a call. Other software might be using computer power or interfere with your video or microphone. Restarting your computer will assure your computer is ready for video.
Use fast internet. Video quality adapts to internet speed, so the faster your internet connection, the better the video quality you will experience. Ethernet cable often provides the best results, however, wifi connection will suffice.
Use a newer computer with plenty of speed. Sending and receiving video takes a lot of computer power. Old or slow computers will have a harder time processing the video, which can cause choppiness.
Use low resolution. If you are experience poor quality, try lowering the resolution. By doing this it requires less bandwidth and computer power, resulting in less choppiness during your call.
Use headphones. Typically, your computer will automatically eliminate echo or audio feedback, so you don't hear yourself talking. But if it happens, have headphones on standby and ready to use.
Design your space. Create a space that is therapeutic.
Consider sound – a quiet and private environment is important so both therapist and client can speak openly and freely. Close the door and put a “do not disturb” sign on it if possible.
Front lighting is helpful to see one another easily (avoid sitting in front of a window – no backlight)
Supply yourself with a drink and a tissue box
If using a smartphone to connect, consider getting a stand so that you don’t have to hold it for the entire session. Your arm getting tired may be an annoyance and distraction to doing great therapeutic work as well as it can dampen the intimacy of therapy.
Try to look at each other and not the screen. This creates real connection. Consider putting a post-it note over your face so you are not distracted by your own image. (People tend to want to look at themselves.)