At Be You Psychology & Counselling we believe in making mental health support affordable and accessible. These values also extend to the current COVID-19 pandemic and this is why we will now be offering online counselling Telehealth services.
Prioritising your psychology and counselling appointments and taking care of your mental health during this period is vital. We know that chronic stress does compromise the immune system. When we are stressed, our body releases cortisol into the blood stream, and over time, higher levels of cortisol lead to compromised immunity.
We therefore want to reassure you that during this period, we will endeavour to continue making our psychology and counselling services accessible through online counselling Telehealth by offering both video and phone counselling services. We will offer counselling sessions through the Zoom platform.
Online Counselling / Telehealth therapy FAQ:
What if I feel awkward during my online therapy / Telehealth counselling session?
If you have been seeing your psychologist face-to-face, you may be feeling a bit hesitant about transitioning temporarily to online therapy or Telehealth counselling, so we want to give you some information and suggestions around this.
When you first started therapy, you may have felt anxious about sitting in front of a complete stranger and talking about your life, but you did it! As with most things in life, once you try it, it’s not as bad as you initially think it’s going to be.
During online counselling, you may feel a little strange at first, however, after a few minutes, you will naturally adjust to speaking to your therapist through the screen or over the phone and it will most-likely feel the same as a usual counselling session. You therapist can also work with you to manage any difficult feelings that arise, initially.
The important thing to remember is that no matter the format the session takes, your psychologist will continue to provide a safe, non-judgemental and confidential space for you to work through your mental health concerns.
If you’re feeling a bit worried about it, we encourage you to try one session initially just see how it goes and then make an assessment about it whether it is right for you after that.
What technology do I need to access online therapy and Telehealth Counselling?
You will need an internet connection and either a phone, iPad, laptop or computer with webcam capabilities. We use the Zoom video conference software platform for our online therapy Telehealth counselling sessions, however, you do not need to download or set anything up on your end as we arrange this all for you.
How do I book in the online therapy Telehealth video or phone counselling session?
If you are an existing client, please contact us at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled appointment to discuss your individual needs and whether you are eligible to access this service. Once your Zoom video counselling session is booked in, we will email you with a Zoom invitation. It will have a direct link which you can click on begin your session.
If you are a new client, please contact us by phone or fill in our contact form to arrange your initial consultation.
How do I ensure my confidentiality if I elect to do a Telehealth counselling, phone or video session?
Zoom offers a setting called “end-to-end encryption” which allows a user to enable this setting to ensure their calls secure.
If you live with others at home, it may be tricky to find a time and space where you can have a counselling session in private. Some ideas that may help:
- You may want to consider sitting in your car or going into a room that is quiet and/or you can lock the door to ensure no one disturbs you during your session.
- If appropriate, you may also wish to let other members of your household know that you are going to be on a private call.
What if the Internet connection drops out during my Telehealth counselling session?
We understand that there are currently additional demands placed on the telecommunication and internet networks. If, for whatever reason, the internet connection drops out or interrupts your video counselling session, we will contact you to continue the session by phone, if needed.
Is online therapy and Telehealth counselling effective and evidence-based?
Yes, online therapy Telehealth counselling was found to be comparable to in-person care, it is is effective and increases access to care.
What if I haven’t seen you before? Are you accepting new clients for Telehealth counselling?
Yes, we are accepting new clients for online therapy / Telehealth counselling.
We acknowledge that establishing rapport without physical presence can be challenging for both client and psychologist. It is completely normal and natural for you to experience some feelings of hesitation or discomfort about meeting your psychologist for the first time via phone or video. Keep in mind that these feelings are also likely to come up when you meet your psychologist for the first time in person, too. We do encourage you to try it for a few sessions and then make an assessment about whether it has been helpful or effective for you.
As always, our approach to therapy is non-judgmental and collaborative. Likewise, our approach to online therapy and Telehealth counselling is not “one-size-fits all”, so we do encourage you to speak openly and honestly with your psychologist about any issues related to the communication medium (video or phone) and work collaboratively with them to discuss a plan to make it work for you.
Please note: Due to a chronic health condition (asthma), Kerry is now working from home and offering bulk-billed COVID-19 online therapy Telehealth video and telephone counselling for ALL her clients with a valid Mental Health care Plan (zero out-of-pocket fees).
If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss. Please also see our current policy & procedures regarding COVID-19. You may also wish to have a look through our resources, ideas and strategies for managing anxiety related to COVID-19.