Does online therapy work, is it as effective as in-person?
YES. Online therapy has actually been around for a while! It has only become more popular/available in the last few years due to changes in state health insurance laws that requires health insurance companies to reimburse at the same rate as in person sessions. A published review of the research to date in 2013 found that online therapy is as effective and comparable to in-person sessions. It also found that certain groups of people such as teenagers and young adults actually find it preferable to in-person sessions.
How does online therapy work?
Our psychologists use a specialized software called Clocktree designed for just this purpose. Your visit will take place inside a secure Clocktree 'appointment' using your webcam for video and your computer's audio (or phone) for sound. You will be able to see and hear your therapist, almost as if you were together in the office.
Is it private and secure?
YES. This is the primary reason our psychologists are utilizing this software and require it for all online sessions. It is private and confidential according to the regulations set out by the HIPAA law. In addition to this, it is important that you find a space in your home to connect to the session that has 4 walls and a door you can close, where other people will not be located or able to hear you during the call.
Do I have to use this service?
You are in no way required or obligated to use online therapy services. However due to the ongoing pandemic worldwide, this is the only method of therapy that we are currently able to provide for the safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff.
How much will it cost?
An online therapy visit will be considered exactly the same as a regular in-person visit. That means you will be responsible for whatever copay, coinsurance, or out-of-pocket fee you usually pay.
Will my insurance cover it?
Based on new state and federal legislation, this should now be covered as the equivalent of a regular visit. However we do recommend that you call your insurance company and check whether your plan reimburses for telemedicine visits as regular visits. Our billing assistant can help you with this.
How often can I use online therapy instead of in person sessions?
Online therapy sessions are offered at the same frequency as your previous in office sessions. If you are a new patient they will happen weekly to begin with (or more frequently if discussed with your therapist). Online therapy sessions will take place on the same day and at the same time as your usual in person session.
Do I need to be in New York state?
According to licensure regulations psychologists are only permitted to practice in the state in which they are licensed. For telemedicine sessions this pertains to where the patient and psychologist are located at the time of the telemedicine session (i.e. their home or school address). Dr Riggs is only licensed in the states of New York and New Jersey. However at this time some states have issues emergency orders over-riding these rules, allowing us to see some patients out of state. Please tell reception which state you are located in currently and we will work with the state licensing board to determine if online therapy with a psychologist licensed out of state is permitted at this time.
How do I utilize online therapy sessions?
You will need to sign up for a Clocktree account (free), your therapist will send you an invite to this platform. You will also need to sign an additional consent form for receiving this mode of treatment which you will receive in your packet from reception.. Finally at the beginning of each session you will need to fill out a secure questionnaire about how you have been feeling in the last week. As some information is lost during telemedicine sessions, we make up for this by filling out this extra questionnaire before each session. This will also be sent to you by your therapist.
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NYC CBTp is an abbreviation for NYC Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Psychology Practice PLLC