Online Therapy…What is it?
Online therapy is when the therapist and client meet through via video or phone-based technologies. Given the advantages it provides, it is becoming a more popular avenue for people to get the help they need. For pastors in particular, we believe it can be an excellent way for them to get help that could otherwise be difficult to access.
Why Online Therapy?
Travel times to see a therapist can take up a big chunk of time, especially if you are driving in a busy suburban or urban area. Online therapy can save a lot of time, and provide the convenience of meeting wherever you have privacy, such as in the comfort and convenience of your own home. For pastors and other Christian leaders in particular, a major challenge they can face is: how do I find someone who specializes in working with pastors who is nearby? Online therapy removes what would likely be lengthy trip and gives you the chance to work with someone who understands your world very well.
One of the real hurdles pastors can face in going to a local therapist, is that you don’t want to bump into someone from your congregation. It can be hard enough to reach out for help, but the thought of being seen and gossiped about can stop us from getting the help we need. Since you can do online therapy over the phone or through a video connection from the privacy of your own home or office, there is no fear of being seen.
What about confidentiality?
We use encrypted technology that ensures confidentiality and is HIPPA compliant so you don’t have to worry about your privacy being violated.
How does it work?
For a phone based connection, it’s as simple as calling in when the session starts. For video based work, all you need is some kind of technology, such as a cell phone, tablet or laptop with a camera that has an internet connection. You will be provided with a link to click on to begin the session at the appointed time.
Is it as good as in person?
There is no denying that seeing someone in person is nearly always the preferred choice. Yet, for the above reasons, online therapy can even be the preferred method because of the privacy and convenience it offers. Further, as some studies have shown, people can be more comfortable sharing personal material because of the greater sense of freedom, safety or privacy the technology provides.
What about insurance? Is it covered?
Gratefully, online therapy is covered by most Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance plans for Illinois residents. If you live outside of Illinois, licensure laws and insurance coverage varies. Please contact us to see if you can be seen through our practice.
What if I don’t have insurance?
If you don’t have insurance, we encourage you to reach out to us, and we can discuss rates, and see if it is possible to work with what you can afford. While we can’t guarantee anything, we will do our best to accommodate your needs.