LACFLA – Telehealth

Can’t come to the LACFLA office? We are now offering options available such as telephone and/or video conferencing for people who want to have appointments with their mental health professionals.

telehealth

Telehealth

Variously deemed online therapy, internet therapy, e-therapy, distance therapy, teletherapy, or telemedicine, “telehealth” can be defined as using electronic transmission to offer real-time, interactive, remote mental health services, which includes education, guidance, coaching, psychotherapy, counseling, treatment planning, diagnosis, assessment, consultation, as well as transfer of medical data with a skilled psychotherapist.  It may involve both audio and video communication forms, through the telephone or internet.  Telehealth services don’t include email or texting.

 Disadvantages and Advantages

The benefit of telehealth is that it may flexibly offer continuity of care when a face-to-face treatment appointment can’t be performed in the office.  Similar to a routine one-on-one therapy appointment, telehealth by videoconference permits both non-verbal and verbal communication.

Telehealth isn’t a universal substitute, nor the same as, face-to-face psychological service.  Some folks report that telehealth services don’t offer the same comfort level and might not seem as complete while discussing private and personal matters.  Misunderstandings may more easily occur.  It might affect the professional therapeutic relationship.  Like with one-on-one psychotherapy, telehealth services never are guaranteed.

 Prerequisites

Telehealth might work better when one-on-one appointments have formed the start of our relationship.

This type of health technology requires reasonable comfort with such technology. Telehealth is better for augmenting in-person services as a client does not have the ability to enter the physical office location because of temporary limits, like medical conditions restricting physical mobility, distance because of travel, as well as scheduling conflicts. Ideally, it’s suggested that we meet in-person inside the office to offer optimal care. 

In extreme cases in which services reasonably shouldn’t be offered remotely, your psychotherapist might suggest coming to the office, waiting ‘til you’re able to come to the office, or referring you to a psychotherapist who is able to offer these types of services on a local basis.

Professional services are now being offered underneath a license issued by and restricted to practice inside the state of California.  Thereby, the client affirms that he or she is in California during the time of such services.

 Emergencies

Telehealth isn’t advised for a psychological emergency. If the psychotherapist thinks you’d be better served by one-on-one appointments, and the therapist does not have the ability to achieve that together, you’ll be referred to a psychotherapist inside your locality who is able to offer these types of services.

Like with in-person visits, if an emergency occurs during the telehealth session, your psychotherapist might consider taking any measures needed to ensure the safety of a client or of other people.

 Confidentiality

Laws protecting the confidentiality of your medical data in the office additionally apply to telehealth appointments, which includes permissive and mandatory exceptions to confidentiality. The psychotherapist and client both concur to keep the same privacy protection as within an in-person appointment.  The environment ought to be free of unauthorized or unexpected disruptions or intrusions to our communication.  There’s a risk of being overheard by a 3rd party close to you if you don’t perform the session inside an enclosed private room that has reasonable sound barriers, and with nobody else observing or present.

The psychotherapist and client both concur to not record the sessions without previous consent of both parties.

 Phone

Telehealth may include phone sessions.  While using the phone, keep in mind to be inside an area you feel at-ease discussing private and personal matters.  If you’re using a cellular phone, bear in mind that not all telephones or calls are 100% secure and might be compromised by a variety of detection devices.  Landlines are preferable because they’re more reliable, more secure, and frequently offer clearer quality of audio.

 Video Conferencing

A client is responsible for her/his own software and hardware, video and audio peripherals, and bandwidth and connectivity considerations.

During the time of the appointment, it’s your job to have your video conferencing software launched, your electronic device on, and be prepared to begin the appointment during the time of the scheduled session.

Before the initial session, a test phone call, up to ten minutes ahead of time, may be arranged to ensure that the technology is properly functioning.

If the video session gets blocked after multiple attempts, be open to having a phone appointment for that time.

For more information on our Telehealth services please feel free to get in touch with LACFLA (Los Angeles Collaborative Family Law Association) today at (818) 933-4505.


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