Telehealth Therapy – We Are Here
With the growing COVID-19 crisis, our community’s need for counseling has only increased while access to in-person counseling has become nearly unavailable.
Cherry Hill is positioned to respond to this great need for continued clinical care through the use of teletherapy. We are offering teletherapy counseling to existing and new clients while this crisis persists. We are targeting our local and surrounding communities with this service, so when this crisis is over, you will have the option to meet with us in-person at our offices or continue counseling through teletherapy.
What is teletherapy?
Teletherapy, sometimes referred to as virtual therapy, tele-health counseling, e-counseling, tele-mental health and video therapy, is counseling provided through a video platform (or by phone). Teletherapy provides a similar experience to Skype® or Facetime®, but on a more secure, encrypted, and HIPAA complaint video platform.
Testimonials from our Cherry Hill clients
“Using Zoom is a hassle-free solution during these trying times. I am relieved to still have “face-to-face” interaction and continue a personable line of communication with my therapist.”
“My husband and I both were impressed with how we were able to connect with our therapist through Zoom! It felt like we were right in the counseling office from the comfort of our own home. Now more than ever it is so important to stay connected and supported by others! We are so thankful for Cherry Hill’s accommodation during these uncertain times.”
Teletherapy versus In-Person Counseling
Teletherapy is very similar to in-person counseling, but through a different medium. Through teletherapy you will receive the same warm, relational connection with your therapist as you would in the therapist’s office. The physical connection with the therapist such as hand-shakes, shared warm beverages, and some body language are diminished. However, new therapy experiences become possible through the teletherapy platform. The therapist now gets to be virtually “in the home” of the client and can quickly learn a great deal about the client’s family life and interests. Clients, especially children and teens, often show off collections, trophies, and even family pets. Many clients feel more comfortable and disinhibited when sharing personal stories while safely behind a screen – which is well-documented in research on telehealth.
While privacy and confidentiality laws still apply to the teletherapy platform, some clients may find it challenging to find a private and confidential space in their home when other family members are present and near-by. However, most clients, with some creativity and support from others in the home, are able to create a private environment in which they can engage their teletherapy session.
The effectiveness of teletherapy is supported by research and is recognized as a viable and effective form of treatment by state licensing boards, governing bodies, and most insurance companies. Most teletherapy clients are pleasantly surprised by how warm and personal therapy can feel over video.
Is my counseling still private if it’s over video chat?
Cherry Hill provides teletherapy using an upgraded version of Zoom for healthcare providers. This video platform is both encrypted and HIPAA compliant. Your privacy rights are exactly the same with tele-therapy as they are with in-person counseling. The guiding laws for both in-person and tele-health counseling are described by the Illinois Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act (IMHDDCA) and also the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Cherry Hill providers take great care to deliver teletherapy services in a secure and private setting. Information is also available to you to help ensure that your space is as confidential as possible. For more information on protecting your privacy during tele-health, download our “Cheat Sheet for New Teletherapy Clients” below.
Is teletherapy covered by my insurance?
As of March 19, 2020, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has issued an Executive Order that all health insurance companies are required to provide coverage for tele-mental health services, rendered by in-network providers, during the COVID-19 crisis. While we don’t have all the answers in regard to how this applies to every insurance provider, we believe that many, if not most, teletherapy sessions will be covered as if they were provided as in-person visits.
At this time, our research suggests that certain specific business-funded insurance policies may not be subject to the Executive Order. Therefore, we are requesting that if you choose to use your insurance benefits, that you call your health insurance company to ask if tele-mental health counseling is covered under your policy. We have an insurance questionnaire in our downloadable intake paperwork that can help guide you to ask the right questions to your insurance company.
If for some reason your insurance does not cover teletherapy, our team of therapists, during the COVID-19 crisis, will consider fee reductions to help make counseling more available to you and your family.
How to prepare for my first teletherapy session
Cherry Hill has a downloadable form to help you get started with tele-health – a consent to receive treatment by tele-health:
This should be completed and returned to the therapist prior to the start of teletherapy treatment.
You may readily embrace teletherapy, or you may feel unsure about working by video. Either way, we encourage you to give it a try! We anticipate you will be pleasantly surprised by the warmth and personal care that teletherapy can provide.
Testimonials from our Cherry Hill clients
“I am so grateful Cherryhill offers tele-therapy. It is a relief to know I have access to my trusted therapist when I need her. When I had my first session I found the process easy, private, and fulfilling. Being able to visually see her provided me with a significant level of comfort. I am grateful for this technology and I wouldn’t hesitate to book another session this way in the future.”
“Teletherapy has been a great way to keep my much-valued therapy appointments from the comfort of my own home. Being able to see my therapist and have our regular sessions as if we’re in the same room has been invaluable to my mental health.”