Telehealth FAQs

Telehealth FAQs

What is Telemental Health?

Telemental health is the provision of remote mental health services by a secure video and audio platform. Telemental health is also commonly referred to as online counseling, cyber counseling, online therapy, e-therapy and telebehavioral health.

Research has shown that telemental health services are just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy. The added benefits of telemental health include: maximum privacy every time (not running into other clients within a location), improved efficiency of time (no travel time), and streamlined communication (scheduling, reminders, billing  and direct access to clinician through client portal).

You can meet with me for your individual or couples sessions from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device (iOS or Android) – it’s your choice!

Telemental health allows us to connect anywhere with secure and convenient appointments that save you time and reduces stress.

What equipment do I need?

To participate in Telemental health appointments from your home, you will need one of the following devices:

  • Smartphone with at least iOS 10 or Android 6.0
    (Note: To use a smartphone, you must first download Telehealth by SimplePractice – available for iOS or Android in the app store.) OR
  • Tablet device with built-in webcam and speakers, OR
  • Laptop computer with built-in webcam and speakers, a 2.5 GHz processor, and 4 GB of RAM OR
  • Desktop computer with a webcam, speakers, a 2.5 GHz processor, and 4 GB of RAM AND
  • You will also need an internet connection that is at least 10mbps. For optimal results, a reliable, high-speed internet connection with a bandwidth of at least 10 mbps will minimize connection issues and provide the best quality.

How To Join On A Smartphone or Tablet

If you plan to use a mobile device, here are the steps to join:

  • Download Telehealth by SimplePractice (for iOS or Android) in the app store. Approximately 10 minutes before your appointment, you should receive an email appointment reminder.
  • Open the reminder on your mobile device and click the unique link. This will open the Telehealth by SimplePractice
  • If I have already joined the call, you will see my face on the screen. If I have not, you will see yourself.
  • When you are ready, click Join Video Call. This will take you straight into the video call.

How To Join On A Desktop Or Laptop Computer

If you plan to use a desktop or laptop, there is nothing to download prior to your appointment. Here are the steps to join:

  • Approximately 10 minutes before your appointment, you should receive a reminder.
    • Note: If you have already consented to receiving text and/or email reminders, you will continue to receive them for Telehealth appointments as well. For new clients, make sure you have provided your email and or mobile phone number so that I can enable email or text reminders.
  • Click the unique link embedded in the reminder. (Note: You may have to copy and paste the link into your web browser.) Your video call screen will now open in a new tab.
  • If I have already joined the call, you will see my face on the screen. If I have not, you will see yourself, as shown below.
  • You will also see the Welcome prompt. Click Play test sound to test your camera and microphone settings.
  • When you are ready, click Join Video Call. This will take you straight into the video call.

Tip: For information about enabling camera and microphone access, please see: How to enable camera and microphone access for Telehealth.

Other Helpful Tips

  • I recommend joining the video appointment a few minutes early to test your settings.
  • There may be a slight delay for me to join the appointment if I am finishing with a previous appointment. Please be patient and I will join momentarily.
  • If you can connect to the Internet, but are having trouble joining the video, you can use our recommended Pre-call Tool.
  • To use a smartphone to join a video chat, you must first download the Telehealth by SimplePractice app available in the app store for iOS or Android.
  • If you need to cancel or have questions about the appointment, please contact me.

What should I do if I didn’t get the reminder with the link?

Contact me if you did not get the link so I can send it to you via email or secure messaging.

What is SimplePractice?

SimplePractice, LLC is my practice management software for scheduling, billing, telemental health, and therapy notes. SimplePractice, LLC, uses a HIPAA compliant software so your information will be securely kept.

What can I do to improve the quality of the connection?

If you live in an area with slow internet, this can really affect the speed of your connection. Here are some basic steps that can improve the overall quality:

  • Use wired Ethernet instead of Wi-Fi whenever possible. Wi-Fi will work, but you may experience a lag and interference, which can make your video and audio choppy. If you experience a lag or interference while using Wi-Fi, we recommend moving closer to your router. However, wired internet will give you a much smoother, more consistent experience.
  • Test your internet connection speed. Google provides an easy way to test your internet connection directly from the google homepage. Simply search: internet speed test. Click the blue button that says Run Speed Test. If it is under 10mbps and you are using Wi-Fi, try using a wired internet connection or restarting your router.
  • Close other programs. If you have several programs running in the background, closing them will almost certainly improve the quality.  Also, make sure you’re not downloading any large files.

If you are unable to connect, please contact me as soon as possible to see if I can help you troubleshoot.

How should I prepare my space for a Telehealth appointment?

  • Identify a suitable room that is quiet, private, and free of distractions.
  • To keep background noise to a minimum, make sure to close any doors, shut windows, turn off the television, and keep loud pets in another room if possible.
  • Consider hanging a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door to avoid interruptions.

Is Telehealth private?

Just like a face-to-face appointment, your Telehealth visit will be private and confidential. You may also want to use a headset or ear buds privacy in your setting.

Will the appointments be recorded?

None of our appointments will ever be recorded or stored.