FAQ ABOUT VIRTUAL THERAPY AND BARIATRIC ASSESSMENTS/COUNSELING
WHAT IS VIRTUAL THERAPY?
Online therapy, also known as e-therapy, e-counseling, tele-therapy, virtual therapy or cyber-counseling provides psychological advice and support over the internet. Recently, there have been studies which have shown the effectiveness of online counseling. It has been shown to be just as effective as office-based counseling, which is what most people use. However, not everyone has access to a licensed professional counselor where they live. Some people live in places where very few mental health professionals exist, while others just like the convenience of sessions from the comfort of their own home.
I utilize a telehealth platform that is easily accessed through a personalized and private client portal that is also HIPAA compliant.
BENEFITS OF VIRTUAL THERAPY?
- Accessibility to individuals who are disabled or housebound.
- Convenience as you can attend therapy sessions online in the comfort of your own home, you can often schedule your therapy sessions for times that are the most convenient for you.
- Flexibility in scheduling
- Saving time from commuting to and from appointments
- Eliminates fears of running into known others in waiting area of therapy office
- Potentially feeling more comfortable in a familiar setting, enhancing vulnerability and disclosure
HOW LONG DOES EACH THERAPY SESSION TAKE?
Enter the answer to your question here. Be thoughtful with your answer, write clearly, and consider adding examples. This can help your visitors get the help they need quickly and easily.
WHEN SHOULD I SEEK TRADITIONAL MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT RATHER THAN INTERNET THERAPY?
1. If you are in an abusive or violent relationship.
2. If you have been seriously depressed.
3. If you have serious substance abuse dependence.
4. If you are a minor (under 18 years old) and your parent is not present during all sessions.
5. If you are having thoughts of harming yourself (e.g. suicidal thoughts), someone is harming you (e.g. abuse), harming someone else (e.g. violent thoughts toward others) or psychotic symptoms either proceeded immediately to your nearest emergency room, call 911. You can also utilize 24-hour crisis hotlines to speak with trained counselors at:
National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE
Crisis Link: 800-273-TALK or 703-527-4077
Text to 741-741
**********I do not have the ability to provide 24-hr emergency contact. If you believe that your situation will require a therapist that has a 24-hr support, please discuss this with me as soon as possible. **********
WHY IS IS REQUIRED TO HAVE A PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT?
Not only does insurance require the assessment, but your medical team need it to help you optimize your success. Bariatric surgery is a physical intervention, which comes with it psychological adjustment and many changes. The assessment is vital in your quality of care; it would be unethical not to explore the psychological side of this process. It would be akin to your surgeon not evaluating your physical health.
IS THE PURPOSE OF THE ASSESSMENT TO PREVENT ME FROM HAVING SURGERY?
Quite the opposite. The purpose of the assessment is to explore your history, expectations for surgery, strengths, areas where you might need support, and to explore your overall readiness and ability to undergo the surgical process and to manage the adjustments thereafter.
IF I AM TAKING MEDICATION FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL CONCERNS OR I HAVE BEEN IN THERAPY, WILL THIS EXCLUDE ME FROM HAVING SURGERY?
The use of medication and therapy suggests that you are being proactive about your mental health and well being, and you will be encouraged to continue this throughout the process. There is no particular personality pattern that predicts success after surgery; however, there can behaviors that you might need help changing in order to move forward in the surgical process or optimize your success post-surgery. It is common for people to have experienced anxiety and depression, for example, at some point in their lives. Bariatric surgical candidates are no exception.
WHAT DOES THE ASSESSMENT CONSIST OF?
First you will call to make an appointment. Next you will be asked to fill out the initial paperwork necessary for the assessment. (See "paperwork" on the website). We will have 2 appointments which will include exploring the topics discussed above, gathering information, and discussing the conclusion of the assessment.
Out of the office, I will then take all of the information gathered, (including the questionnaires you completed before the appointment), generate a full report, and send it to your surgeon.
DOES INSURANCE COVER THE ASSESSMENT AND REPORT?
Please note the insurance companies I am in network with. If I am not in network with your insurance company, you will pay for the services out of pocket and I will provide you with a receipt to send to your insurance company for their rate of reimbursement.
Your appointments (2 appointments) will be billed to insurance. The scoring, analysis, interpretation, and formulation of the report will also be billed to your insurance. However, if you have not met your deductible or if your insurance did not cover any aspect of the report/analysis, you will be responsible for the remaining fees.
Have a question that was left unanswered? Get in touch with me today.