Online Therapy & Counseling in California
Online therapy and counseling can be convenient and effective.
In addition to seeing people in my Sunnyvale office, I also provide online therapy. I use video conferencing (VSee), but I don't do therapy by email or text.
Online therapy can be useful if you are
wanting to learn more coping strategies
wanting help with stress and anxiety
needing help managing and reducing work stress
grieving the loss of a loved one
trying to change a habit (adding healthy habits or stopping unwanted habits)
dealing with life transitions
needing to talk through a particular issue
feeling stuck and wanting to explore potential solutions
wanting to try guided meditations and/or hypnosis
Skype and VSee - Confidentiality
Using Skype or FaceTime is a possibility, but I prefer VSee due to confidentiality. VSee is very similar to Skype, but it is designed to be confidential for telehealth sessions and online counseling.
VSee works with slower internet connections and uses less bandwidth than Skype. You can use it at home or work on a desktop computer. There are also apps available for Android and iOS.
VSee is free to download and use. VSee does offer paid plans, but for online therapy you only need their free plan.
Available Openings for Online Therapy
You can use my scheduling page to see my availability and to schedule a phone consultation or online appointment.
I charge the same fees for online therapy. You can use PayPal or Square to make a payment, or you could send a check if you prefer.
Insurance Reimbursement for Online Therapy
In California, insurance companies often reimburse for online therapy (also known as telehealth therapy sessions). Check with your insurance company to be sure. Insurance usually does not reimburse for phone calls, but they often reimburse for video conferencing.
People pay me directly (usually with PayPal or Square). I can write a receipt (aka superbill), and you can try to get reimbursed by your insurance company. Talk to your insurance company first to fully understand your benefits.
Online Therapy in California
I am licensed in California, so I can only provide therapy for people who are living in California. (Lic # LMFT40414)
When Online Therapy May Not Be Best
If safety is an issue, then it might be better to see a face-to-face therapist. I also would not personally feel comfortable working with severe trauma online, because I think an in-person connection is important when healing from heavy trauma. I also don't have a way to do EMDR therapy online. Also, please research the confidentiality of online therapy using VSee or Skype/FaceTime.
Getting the Best Video Quality
Before the therapy appointment, quit all of the applications that you are not using on your computer. Make sure you quit Skype (not just closing the window). Also, don't run software updates during the therapy session. In addition, close all web browser tabs and windows that you don't need.
This article is written for therapists, but it will give you ideas about how to get the best video quality during online appointments.