HOPE. STRENGTH. GROWTH.Suffolk Health Psychology Services, PLLC
Serving children, adolescents, and adults in New York State
eTherapyOffered to all patients in New York State
What is eTherapy?
eTherapy (or telepsychology, or telemental health) is behavioral and/or mental health care that uses technology instead of traditional face-to-face methods. Rather than travel to an office, you go online to receive your treatment.
How do I know if eTherapy is right for me?
Ask yourself these questions to help you decide if eTherapy may be the right choice your you. (More “yes” responses increases your likelihood!)
- Do I think that it would work for me?
- Do I think that I will I feel connected to my psychologist?
- Will using eTherapy make me feel less (or more) isolated?
- Do I feel comfortable using technology to receive services?
- Do I have the technology?
- Can I access the technology?
- Am I certain that I feel comfortable with seeing another professional in an emergency?
How do I sign up for eTherapy?
Former patients interested in eTherapy may go to the new secure, HIPAA/HITECH-compliant patient portal here to register, update their financial policies and other forms, and schedule an appointment.
New patients may register online using the secure, HIPAA/HITECH-compliant appointment scheduler for the practice. Your first appointment will help to determine whether eTherapy is right for you.
You will be required to pay in advance (or register your credit card) to reserve your eTherapy appointment time(s). The most convenient way to do so is via your secure patient portal. Your card will be charged within 24 hours of (typically just before) your scheduled eTherapy appointment.
Why would I want to use eTherapy?
- Increased access to therapy for individuals with physical, medical and/or mobility disabilities.
- Increased access to psychologists with specialty training & experience (e.g., Health Psychology; Prolonged Exposure treatment for PTSD; working with children and adolescents).
- Increased access to therapy for individuals who may have difficulty attending therapy on-site (e.g., those with post-traumatic stress disorder or agoraphobia).
- More time to collect information about thoughts, feelings and behaviors outside of the sessions.
- Flexible scheduling.
- Ability to receive services from the comfort and privacy of your own home.
- For families with busy schedules, no need to hire a sitter or coordinate child care.
- Peace of mind during in climate weather, as there is no need to worry about poor road conditions
What are the advantages of eTherapy?
- Accessibility – you can access services if you live far away or if you can’t be away from home (e.g., if you feel sick, or if you need to stay home to take care of a sick child); if you have mobility or transportation challenges; when road conditions are bad; or when you are traveling.
- Privacy – no need to wait in a waiting room for your appointment. The video flowing across the Internet is encrypted.
- Convenience – you can access services from the comfort of your own home, avoiding commuting time, including traffic and other hassles.
- Time and cost savings – travel time and fuel expenses are eliminated, no need to arrange for costly child-care services.
What are the limitations of eTherapy?
- Your health insurance may not reimburse you for eTherapy services. Please check with your health insurance company if you’d like to get reimbursed. Ask if they reimburse for “*GT code add-on” for psychotherapy.
- You need to be physically located within New York State in order to receive eTherapy.
- Reliability issues can occur around the quality of your video or audio connection.
- Video conferencing is not right for everyone. Your initial appointment will help to determine whether it might be right for you.
What do I need for eTherapy?
- Private computer (or iPhone; iTouch, iPad, or other Smart device) with web camera and microphone
- Highly recommended: Headset or earbuds with built in microphone
- High speed internet connection
- Good lighting
- You will not need to install any special videoconferencing software, as you will log into your secure patient portal via the practice website. (The practice uses Counsol.com).
- However, some patients have downloaded and installed VSee – a free app) as a back-up.
Where do I need to be, for my appointments?
All patients may attend their appointments at any place that has internet access and provides privacy. Your home, your car, your office. As long as you are physically in New York State, you can attend your appointments online.
How should I prepare for my first eTherapy appointment?
It is a good idea to practice using your video camera and microphone with a friend or family member prior to your first appointment. You can test your bandwidth at www.speedtest.net. You will be able to test your connection from your secure patient portal as well.
What should I do, right befeore my eTherapy appointment?
Ten minutes before your scheduled session:
- Close all other programs and/or windows on your computer to reduce delay and choppiness
- Make sure your camera and microphone (or microphone equipped headset) are plugged in and working properly
- Make sure you have your phone nearby in case of technical difficulties
Five minutes before your scheduled session:
- Open the application and make sure it is working.
- Connect at your scheduled appointment time.
- If you have any trouble connecting, you may send a secure email via your secure patient portal.
What happens if I get disconnected during my eTherapy appointment?
You will not be disconnected without being told first. If you become unexpectedly disconnected, it is likely due to technical difficulties. If you experience any problems with your connection during the session, you will continue your session via secure chat (via your secure patient portal) until the problem is resolved.
Denise Dixon, Ph.D.
Dr. Dixon is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in New York State. She sees children, adolescents, and adults; and specializes in evidenced-based treatments of depression, anxiety, & PTSD, among others. She is dedicated to helping people to find hope; discover their inner strength; and maximize their personal growth.
Schedule my appointment
Visit the patient portal to set up your HIPAA-compliant private account. You may then complete your new patient paperwork, enter payment information, and schedule your first appointment – all from the privacy and convenience of your own home!