Online Therapy Explained for COVID-19 Stress

In the face of the challenges 2020 brought us, with COVID-19, racial tensions, election stress, and work-from-home pressures, it’s understandable if you’re starting to feel hopeless. It can be hard to identify options when you’re under stress, but New York Behavioral Health is here to help you.

Our therapists have temporarily moved from our Manhattan and Rockville Centre, Long Island offices to online therapy, so you can continue to seek the care you need from the comfort of your home.

Online Therapy and Confidentiality

Online therapy is your standard psychotherapy that’s conducted over the internet. You might be used to therapy that’s held in person at an office or clinical setting. The great thing about online therapy is that you can continue meeting with your therapist from the comfort of your own home, without the hassle of traveling or worrying about COVID-19 exposure.

If you’ve been to therapy before, you might remember signing a form describing HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. HIPAA is a federal mandate that outlines regulations designed to maintain privacy and security of personal and protected health information (PHI), and it still applies to online therapy! Compliance with the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule is what determines usability of a video platform for therapy.

Advantages of Online Therapy

Online therapy is useful for a wide variety of people, and especially now. You don’t have to experience any therapy disruptions even in the face of so many changes. Evidence has shown that online therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy. 

Online therapy is also not just useful during these unusual times. You might find that meeting with your therapist from the comfort of your own home might be something you’d like to continue after social distancing requirements ease up. If so, feel free to continue seeking that virtual therapy. New York Behavioral Health will continue providing that option for your convenience.

Logistics of Starting Online Therapy

You’ve learned a bit about online therapy, and it may sound interesting and appealing to you. Now, how to schedule that appointment?

Below are some recommendations for getting started:

  1. Contact your Insurance Provider.
    New York Behavioral Health is an out-of-network provider, which also applies for online therapy. If you intend on pursuing out-of-network benefits, may want to reach out to your insurance provider to gather information about your coverage.
  2. Prioritize Privacy.
    Let those you’re living with know when your sessions are scheduled so they can minimize noise and distractions. If you are concerned about privacy in your home, you may find comfort in playing white noise on your phone or other device to muffle what you’re saying.
  3. Check Your WiFi.
    Internet with a bandwidth of at least 10 mbps is recommended for preventing connection issues for your session. To check your internet connection, you can search “internet speed test” on Google and click on the blue button that says “Run Speed Test.” If your WiFi is under 10mbps, you may want to restart your router or discuss an alternative online therapy option with your therapist, such as a phone call.
  4. Find Space.
    Find a space where you can return to on a regular basis – where you can speak freely and comfortably. This might be your bedroom, kitchen table, or even your car, if you have internet access there.
  5. Prepare Yourself.
    Just like if you were traveling to therapy, it can be useful to give yourself some time to switch gears from family or work time to “therapy time.” Give yourself a moment to collect your thoughts, breathe, and be present for yourself. This is your self-care time.
  6. Post-Therapy Buffer.
    Just as if you were leaving our office and going back home, it can be helpful to allow yourself around 10-15 minutes of space and time after your session.

Change is hard, but you still have options. Online therapy at New York Behavioral Health is here to help.