Increasingly, healthcare professionals are using technology as part of their practice, offering telemedicine, telehealth and teletherapy options to patients and clients.
Teletherapy offers expanded access to care for our clients and improves continuity of care. It allows us to provide added convenience, and to be responsive to varying circumstances (practical and clinical) that might warrant remote care. Our therapists provide the same high-quality care via teletherapy for individuals, families, couples, children and adolescents as we do in person.
Consider teletherapy if you do not live close enough to one of our locations to reliably attend in person, or if are concerned about missing appointments due to your schedule, frequent business travel, being housebound, or due to bad weather. Teletherapy is also an option for couples therapy or family therapy sessions when one or more participants is traveling, or schedules and/or geographical distance don’t allow for everyone to be in the same place at the same time.
How does teletherapy work?
- Through your phone, tablet or computer — any device with an internet connection; if you have ever used Skype on your computer or FaceTime on your iPhone, you have used the same type of technology that teletherapy uses.
- The Family Institute uses a HIPAA-compliant version of Zoom.
- Appointments are the same length as your in-person sessions and are scheduled in the same way.
- You choose a quiet, private spot free of distraction, interruptions and background noise and connect with your therapist via a safe, secure online platform.
Is teletherapy covered by insurance?
- BCBS PPO and Medicare cover teletherapy sessions if both video and audio features are used; co-pays and deductibles still apply
- If you are using out-of-network benefits, we encourage you to contact your health insurance provider to learn more about out-of-network benefits for teletherapy
If you are interested in teletherapy, talk with your therapist or call 847-733-4300.
Teletherapy includes unique considerations that are essential to your care and is not a suitable modality for everyone. You and your therapist may determine that in-person therapy services or a hybrid approach — as opposed to 100% teletherapy sessions — might better achieve your treatment goals.
You must have access to technological resources such as a webcam, microphone and speakers on your computer or a smartphone or tablet. You may need to download software to your device to participate in your teletherapy sessions. Adequate internet speed that accommodates videoconferencing is required.
Privacy & Security
We respect your privacy and confidentiality during all sessions with The Family Institute. As such, it is important that you have a private space from which to meet your therapist for teletherapy sessions.
- Arrange for a quiet, private environment for your therapy session. Your therapist will confirm that they are in a private location.
- Due to the sensitive material covered in each session, be alone in the room, unless agreed upon with your therapist.
- Use a secure/private internet connection for your session. You cannot use a public or unsecured wi-fi network.
- Do not video/audio record your session unless directed by your therapist.
- To confirm your identity in your first session, your therapist will ask you and anyone participating in treatment for your date of birth.
- At the beginning of each session, please verify your current location.
Preparing for your Session
Treat your teletherapy sessions as you would a regular appointment at one of our locations.
- Test the link provided for the first session ahead of time to ensure you have the necessary software and updates.
- Be on time. The Family Institute’s late cancelation and no show policy applies.
- Be in a private location. If possible, it helps if the space is well lit, with minimal backlighting.
- Put your device on a solid surface at eye level vs. holding it during the session to reduce distractions. Your entire face, and ideally your body from the chest up, should be visible on camera.
- Wear proper attire.
- Conduct the session sitting upright, in an alert position.
- Refrain from eating or smoking.
- Do not attend sessions while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Do not drive during your sessions. If you are in your car, park in a safe location.
- Do not engage in other activities during sessions (e.g., driving, cooking, cleaning, caring for children or pets, etc.).
- Remove all distractions. Turn off/mute notifications on your phone and computer; turn off televisions, radios and other electronics.
- If a child under 12 years of age is receiving treatment, a parent or legal guardian must be present at the location during every session. Your therapist will let you know when you will be part of the session or not.
- If a child is participating in treatment, help them to prepare for the session by reviewing expectations with them.
- Choose a quiet, private setting
- Make sure that your computer, tablet or phone has a camera and reliable internet connection
- Test your camera and audio before your session begins; ensure that both your camera and microphone are “on”
- Make your Zoom window “full screen”
- Be “present” for your session as if you were in your therapist’s office; turn off device notifications and minimize distractions
If you need immediate assistance, call 911 or go to the closest Emergency Department.
Additionally, you may call the National Suicide Prevention toll-free hotline number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You will be immediately connected with a qualified and caring provider who can help.
Hours vary depending on the availability of individual therapists.
The teletherapy option is extremely helpful! As a working mom of three, I had a hard time committing to live appointments because of the time it took to get there and back. Teletherapy is working well and has contributed to my ability to seek help.