Teletherapy for West Hartford & All of Connecticut
At the Harmony Center for Change of West Hartford, I have always been dedicated to partnering with people who want to feel better and do better. The world is changing at an amazing pace, and with the evolution of technology, I’m now able to work with clients who are right next door and those who are all the way across the state from one West Hartford location, using teletherapy. This online service allows me to host virtual sessions and offer teletherapy for my clients form West Hartford and all of Connecticut. Learn more about this innovative approach to counseling below or reach out to me, Susan Betalleluz, LCSW, to discuss your counseling options.
What is Teletherapy?
You may hear teletherapy referred to by a number of different names, including telehealth, online counseling, or virtual therapy. This can mean many different things, including using email and text messaging applications to stay in touch with a therapist. In most cases, teletherapy is referring to an actual counseling session that takes place using a video chat software. Just like an in-office therapy session, you’ll sit down face to face with your counselor to address this week’s challenges, celebrate your successes, and take steps toward leading your most fulfilling life. Instead of driving into the practice, you’ll just sit down in front of a computer, tablet, or smartphone with a microphone and camera to chat from the comfort of home.
Why Should I Choose Teletherapy?
If Teletherapy is something you’re interested in doing, there are many benefits, including:
- Convenience – choose a quiet, private place in your own home or office. Then, sit down and chat. No need to commute to my practice location or worry about explaining the session to your boss. Telehealth sessions are starting now from wherever you are.
- Comfort – many individuals struggle to feel at ease in the office even though I do my best to provide a relaxed and welcoming environment. Teletherapy sessions give you “homefield” advantage, so you can get comfortable and speak your mind.
- Choices – if you’re lucky enough to live in West Hartford or another metropolitan area, you probably have plenty of therapy options, but if you’ve chosen to live in a smaller community, this is not likely the case. Telehealth platforms allow you to access a wider selection of therapy professionals across the state, so you can find a clinician who is a good fit for your needs.
Is Telehealth Counseling a Good Option During COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place?
While online counseling sessions have been available for several years now, they have certainly increased in popularity with much of Connecticut and the U.S. under orders to shelter-in-place in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Helping my clients stay safe and healthy has always been a priority, and telehealth has allowed me to continue offering uninterrupted therapy services during this unprecedented time. If you’re experiencing stress, anxiety, feelings of isolation, or are generally overwhelmed by the current situation, you are not alone, and you don’t have to get through it alone. We may not be able to sit in the same room to talk, but we can certainly still stay in touch to keep communicating and growing at this challenging time.
How Does an Online Counseling Session Work for Individuals?
Before your first online session, I will provide all the information you need about accessing my secure teletherapy platform. To enter the telehealth session, you’ll need access to the internet and a device (phone, tablet, computer) with a camera, microphone, and speakers. Once we’re both in the virtual therapy session, we’ll simply talk and work together just like we would in the office.
How Does the Telehealth DBT Group Work?
In addition to regular one-on-one therapy sessions, I also host online DBT group sessions. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is an approach to therapy that combines elements of cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness. In most cases, DBT is used during both individual and group therapy sessions. During an individual session, you may discuss and develop understanding of a DBT skill. In group sessions, you can work with peers to apply these new ways of experiencing your own thoughts and emotions and interacting with others.
Just like online sessions for individuals, a DBT group therapy session is accessed using my HIPAA compliant telehealth platform. During these sessions, the group will interact with me and each other, discussing and practicing DBT skills. Currently, I am offering two adult DBT groups and one DBT group that caters to adolescents online.
Are Teletherapy Sessions Safe?
When done right, telehealth sessions are just as private and secure as regular office appointments. I use a HIPAA compliant telehealth platform, so you can rest assured that your private information and everything we discuss during your session will stay just between us. If you’re worried about network security, remember to keep your devices locked, use strong passwords, change your password regularly, log out of accounts before leaving your computer, and clear your browser history, cookies, and cache after every telehealth session.
Does Insurance Cover Teletherapy Sessions?
In some cases, insurance will cover the cost of teletherapy sessions. After the COVID-19 pandemic began, more medical insurers started providing benefits for this therapy option. I am an in-network clinician with Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, Aetna, and Medicaid (Husky) insurance policies, and they all cover telehealth plans. I can also work with out of network insurers to help you receive benefits, so please don’t hesitate to ask.
How do I Get Started?
If you’re interested in learning more about teletherapy sessions from the Harmony Center for Change, I would love to hear from you. Simply contact me by phone or email or complete the information form on the website. I’ll be in touch soon to discuss your options and schedule your first session.