How do I see my psychotherapist during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Here in Ottawa, Canada, your psychotherapist, social worker or psychologist have probably moved your in person psychotherapy sessions to Phone or Video on-line Therapy. Here at Family-Therapy, we’re offering online video therapy or phone counselling session to help our clients receive continued help and support during the Covid-19 pandemic. While our physical office is closed for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, our psychotherapists and social workers continue to be available to offer you individual, couples or family therapy.
Family-Therapy can still offer you connect face-to-face sessions via the internet, so you see and talk to your psychotherapist or social worker, through a virtual therapy session. Please ask your psychotherapist or social worker for more information if after you read this article you still have additional questions.
1) What is Phone or Video on-lineTherapy?
Online video therapy or phone counselling session are also called Teletherapy therapy. Online video therapy or phone counselling session provided over a computer or phone that uses audio and/or video. If you and your therapist are doing video-conference session, your therapist will ensure that the web program used is compliant with all the privacy laws for Canada (PHIPA and PIPEDA). The web program or mobile app should provide provides secure online video or talk counselling for individuals and their families struggling with mental health issues.
2) How do I know Phone or Video on-lineTherapy is safe and secure setting?
Your therapist will provide you to a website link that is a safe and secure way for you to communicate and to access therapy. The information is transmitted and stored in secure ways. Your personal health information is encrypted and transmitted over secure HTTP protocol similar to online banking. Any digital information that is recorded are sent and stored on a secure server which is also encrypted. Your therapist does not record your session without your written consent. Your identifying information on the server is only available to your assigned therapist.
3) What equipment do I need?
For online video counselling, you need:
-a computer or mobile device with a webcam and built-in microphone;
-access to a secure internet line that requires a login id and password;
-speakers or earphone (usually included with laptops, tablets and smart phones; and
-a private location/room where you won’t be interrupted for the length of time you will be speaking to your therapist or overheard by other people
For telephone counselling you need:
-access to a private phone and phone line; and
-a private location where you won’t be interrupted for the length of time you will be speaking to your therapist or overheard by other people
4) Is my browser compatible?
Most video conference programs used to Telehealth are brewer-based and support browsers for Windows or Mac users. If you’re not sure, please contact your therapist and set up a time to test the compatibility of the program.
5) How do I connect to my online therapy session?
Most therapist will provide you with a link, via email, a few minutes in advance of your appointment. Please check with your therapist for more information regarding the specific program that they use.
6) Is telephone or online video therapy private and secure?
Yes both telephone or online video conferencing therapy are both private and secure. Your privacy is very important to your therapist. Your information will not be stored electronically and will be secured in accordance with the requirements of your therapist’s professional governing body/college. Only your therapist will have access to your information. Companies providing web conference programs that are used for health services in Canada cannot reveal client information to any external organization unless authorized by you through signed consent, or by limitations of confidentiality, as already discussed between you and your therapist
Your therapist should have reviewed the safeguards built into the website and the servers’ operating system on which it runs. Most healthcare programs ensures protected end-to-end encryption across all devices and all communication and registration information on the website is encrypted using SSL/TLS and encryption technology, similar to online banking in Canada.
7) How do I pay for my psychotherapy sessions since we are not meeting in person?
Check with your individual therapist. Most therapist accept electronic transfers; however each therapist will make arrangement based on individual requirements.
8) How do I get my receipt for my sessions?
Check with your individual therapist. Most therapist can provide electronic copies attached to an email, however you can make alternative arrangements with your therapist based on your individual requirements.
9) How can I further protect the privacy of my information?
-Use your home computer instead of a computer in a shared spaced (e.g., library or office), if possible.
-Do not share your login information with anyone. If your therapist uses a program that needs a password, do not use a password that is easily guessed by others. Your therapist will never ask for your password.
-In the event, you are contacted by anyone and asked for your password, contact the police immediately to report this.
-Always log out before leaving your computer.
-To further increase security, you can enable “privacy” modes within your web browser. Once in this mode, your interactions are not saved to the browser history.
Please ask your therapist if you have any additional questions regarding telephone or video therapy.
We’re here to listen