Whether you are looking for Individual Therapy, Child/Teen Therapy, or Couples Counseling -- we are here for you! And now you can connect with your MCFS provider from the comfort of your own home -- or anywhere you are in Washington State!
Telehealth eliminates you having to deal with travel time, traffic, and parking. Now, you can simply log on with your home computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone at the time of your counseling appointment.
While most Washington State insurance policies cover telehealth just like in-office therapy, MCFS checks your insurance benefit before your first appointment. We make the technology part easy to get you started.
Counseling via video counseling has been proven to be just as effective as in-person therapy. You just need to find a private area in your home or outside for your sessions. If the therapy is for a younger child, our therapists are creative in engaging your child, and can provide parent consultation and support as well.
If you are already an MCFS client, and are interested in whether telehealth may be a good fit for you, simply talk with your therapist about it.
If you are new to MCFS and want to explore an ultra-convenient way to get the counseling support you need, just give us a call so we can get this arranged for you. Our MCFS Care Coordinators can be reached at 425.357.9111, ext. 1.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT TELEHEALTH (FAQ's)
We know that online therapy can bring up understandable hesitations and questions. We are happy to put your mind at ease and provide further information about what to expect.
How does it work?
For current clients, contact your therapist as you normally would to make an appointment. Your provider will send you an email link, which you can click to join in a virtual therapy session over Google Meet. You can use your phone, computer or tablet to participate and you do not need to download any software or subscribe to any service. You can talk to your provider as you normally would --- it’s that easy!
For new clients, simply call our Client Care Team at 425.357.9111, ext. 1 -- and they will get you all you need to get connected.
Is it confidential?
Absolutely. Our therapists maintain strict confidentiality standards for your protection. This means your sessions cannot be recorded. During this time of social distancing, our therapists are exclusively providing counseling via video from their MCFS office, or from areas of their home that have privacy. Now we can’t completely promise that your provider’s cat or dog won’t briefly stop in to say hello - but don’t worry, they have been fully trained in our HIPAA protocols!
Will it be covered by my insurance?
Most healthcare plans provide coverage for telehealth just like in-office therapy. While this is often at your regular copay, coinsurance and/or deductible, there are some variations depending on your specific policy. If you and your therapist are not sure about your benefits, please reach out to our Billing Department at 425-357-9111 ext 3 or [email protected]. If you run into any coverage issues we are happy to work with you on payment options during this crisis. Even if you think you don’t have coverage for telehealth, or can’t afford payment, please give us a call -- we continue to get updates from insurance plans that are expanding telehealth benefits as our culture adapts to the developing needs.
I’m home with my family and don’t know if I have a private space to talk -- any advice?
We appreciate that can be a tricky dynamic. Some of our clients meet for virtual sessions while on a walk, sitting in their car, or from their backyard. Often our therapists can adjust their schedules to connect with you during less busy times for your household -- such as providing sessions on different days and earlier or later than usual. You can also try using headphones and if necessary -- or, you can be on the screen but communicating with your therapist by the chat feature, in which you and your therapist can type back and forth.
I’m still not sure telehealth is right for me - maybe I should wait until I can see a therapist in person?
It's understandable to want to have or continue an in-person therapy. However, in these very unpredictable times, it is unclear how long this will be our new normal. There are a variety of estimated time frames suggested for social distancing measures lasting from 6 weeks to 18 months. Connecting with a counselor via video is an easy way to get started with care -- or avoid disrupting your care -- and to receive consistent support toward your goals. This can become even more important during these stressful times.
The number of people reaching out for services at MCFS continues to be high -- with our community experiencing mounting anxieties and losses during this global health crisis. To meet this need, we have increased our capacity. We are able to make prompt appointments for clients when needed, and we are maintaining extended hours of service daily. We want you to be well prepared to face the challenges ahead, whatever they might be.
Have telehealth therapy sessions been proven to be effective?
Yes. There have been numerous studies conducted showing that telehealth is just as effective as in-person counseling.
The American Psychiatric Association(APA) published a physician reviewed article in 2017 that notes the following:
“There is substantial evidence of the effectiveness of telepsychiatry and research has found satisfaction to be high among patients, psychiatrists and other professionals. Telepsychiatry is equivalent to in-person care in diagnostic accuracy, treatment effectiveness, quality of care and patient satisfaction. Patient privacy and confidentiality are equivalent to in-person care.” https://www.psychiatry.org/pat...
According to a 2016 article in the World Journal of Psychiatry:
“...telepsychiatry is comparable to face-to-face services in terms of reliability of clinical assessments and treatment outcomes . . . telepsychiatry performed as well as, if not better than face-to-face delivery of mental health services.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4919267/
*Note when seeing the word Telepsychiatry, it is defined by the following --a subset of telemedicine, can involve providing a range of services including psychiatric evaluations, therapy (individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy), patient education and medication management. (APA, 2017)
Other helpful information about telehealth care:
How to Make the Most out of Teletherapy Right Now:
Can’t See Your Therapist Because of COVID-19? The new world of virtual psychotherapy is brighter than you think.
ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS? We welcome the opportunity to discuss these with you! Contact your therapist or our Client Care Team at 425.357.9111, ext. 1.
WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ONLINE SOON!