If you’re new to therapy, or simply new to teletherapy and thinking about engaging in remote individual treatment, here are some FAQ’s that address the efficacy and practicality of working remotely with a mental health clinician.

Q: What is teletherapy or video therapy?
A: Teletherapy or video therapy is when the patient and the clinician are connected to each
other via a video platform such as Zoom. They are able to see and speak with each other
using their computer or phone screens.

Q: How do I connect remotely with my therapist?
A: Your therapist will generally send you a secure link in an email to your email address. You
will open the email and click on the link, which will connect you with your therapist.

Q: So, technically speaking, it sounds pretty simple. . .
A: Yup. After you click the secure link, your therapist will appear on your screen. And you will
appear on your therapist’s screen. You can adjust the volume and speak normally.

Q: Are there any other ways to connect remotely?
A: Yes. If you prefer, you can connect without the video, using the telephone.

Q: But, wait . . . How does therapy work if we’re not in the same room?
A: Yes, it seems a little counterintuitive. But, once you get past the first, initial weirdness, you
tend to forget about it and begin to focus on why you’re there in the first place.

Q: You mean, I can feel comfortable and connected to my therapist even though we’re
working remotely?
A: Absolutely. Your therapist has probably had some experience with remote work, and will
help you adjust and feel comfortable.

Q: What about my privacy and security when using the internet in this way?
A: Long Island Counseling uses Zoom, a secure, HIPAA-compliant platform when providing
remote teletherapy.

The general requirements of HIPAA Security Standards state that covered entities must:

  • Ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all electronic PHI (personal health information) the covered entity creates, receives, maintains, or transmits.
  • Protect against any reasonably anticipated threats or hazards to the security or integrity of such information
  • Protect against any reasonably anticipated uses or disclosures of such information that are not permitted or required under the privacy regulations.
  • Ensure compliance by its workforce

How Zoom Enables HIPPA Compliance:

According to the HIPAA Compliance Guide of April, l 2020, in the course of providing services to healthcare customers, Zoom does not access PHI. Rather, for purposes of compliance with HIPAA, Zoom models its compliance under the “conduit exception” which applies to entities that transmit PHI but do not have access to the transmitted information. To fall within this exception, Zoom applies mandator account settings to healthcare customers’ accounts, which nearly eliminate a customer’s ability to transmit PHI to Zoom. Zoom does not have access to identifiable PHI and they protect and encrypt all audio, video, and screen sharing data.

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