All you need is a computer, webcam, and high speed internet connection. Our sessions will be conducted via Breakthrough.com, the technology is similar to facetime or skype with one important exception it is confidential. You simply set up an account on Breakthrough, and then you can send me messages and schedule appointments securely on their site.
In most cases yes. Since Breakthrough allows for face to face, real time sessions, very similar to a traditional therapy setting, both the client and therapist still receive most of the benefits of an in person interaction i.e. tone, facial expression, etc. Online therapy can be especially useful if you: have a busy schedule, don’t have a sitter for young children/or struggle to get your child to therapy appointments, live in an area with few mental health providers, are housebound, lack transportation to appointments, travel often, or are a college student who moves back and forth. It is also entirely private since you do not have to walk into an office. Online therapy is not appropriate for someone who is in crisis-actively thinking about hurting themselves or someone else. If you are in crisis please keep safe by going to the nearest hospital emergency room or call: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or visit: suicideprevention.org/
We will begin with a free 15min. consultation, this meeting gives us both a chance to see if there is a good fit and to determine whether online therapy will best meet your particular needs. Our first session will be about listening to your story, your concerns, symptoms, problems you would like to address in therapy. By the second or third session together we will identify some realistic/ achievable goals for therapy and formulate a treatment plan that will help guide our work. The way we work together in therapy will be based on your strengths and your perspective. Therapy can involve learning and building new skills to manage stress and difficult emotions, incorporating art, music, writing (if interested), increasing insight, completing “assignments”, and finding new ways to address current concerns. Most importantly, therapy is a collaborative effort to bring about positive change for you.
The goals that are identified in the treatment plan we create will guide our work in therapy; in this sense therapy can continue until we have made measurable progress towards these goals. The length of therapy can vary quite a bit depending on what your concerns and needs are. If you have a small specific issue, therapy may be brief and solution focused. If your concerns run deeper and/or broader, therapy will take longer. In some cases sessions can start out weekly, but once some progress has been made can be reduced to 1-2 times per month. Therapy is voluntary and the decision to participate remains yours.
Psychologists generally have a doctorate (PsyD or PhD) in psychology. They are able to administer, score and interpret psychological tests and conduct various types of evaluations in addition to providing therapy. Psychiatrists are medical doctors (MD) that have training in psychology; generally they prescribe medication for mental health concerns, but usually do not provide therapy. Therapists have Masters degrees in social work or marriage and family therapy (LICSW, MSW, LMFT) and provide therapy and case management. Counselors have Masters degrees in mental health or professional counseling (LMHC, LPC) and provide therapy. *The term therapist or counselor is often used more generally to refer to any one of the above professionals working in the field of mental health.
You entrust me with sensitive, difficult, and personal information and it is my duty to ensure that it remains confidential and I take that responsibility seriously. There are some specific circumstances in which I am ethically and legally mandated to disclose some information. If you are in imminent danger of hurting yourself or someone else, I would need to help you take steps to stay safe. If I hear about child or elder abuse or neglect and the person is still in danger, I would be obligated to report this to make sure he/she does not continue to be harmed. Aside from this, there may be times when I discuss situations that arise in therapy with colleagues or a supervisor, however no identifying information is used in these conversations. For any other disclosures of confidential information, i.e. communication with a doctor, teacher, etc. you would sign a release of information form authorizing communication.
*All of my services are by appointment only for non-emergency situations. If you are in crisis - actively thinking about harming yourself or others at this time, please keep safe by going to the nearest hospital emergency room or call: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or visit: suicideprevention.org