Mental Health, Technology, Telehealth, Therapy

How to Prepare for a Telehealth Therapy Appointment 

How to Prepare for a Telehealth Therapy Appointment

Before the current pandemic, it was uncommon for health practices to facilitate virtual telehealth. However, many practices now request patients to set appointments via the internet now. Many mental health services have also transitioned to primarily virtual therapy through telemedicine services. 

Due to this new change, it may be difficult for many individuals to understand how therapy can be provided over a virtual space. Many individuals may fear confidentiality risks, discomfort utilizing technology, and how to prepare.

What is Telehealth?

What is Telehealth?

First it is important to understand what telehealth is:

Telehealth is a method of delivery for medical practices to serve patients at a distance with utilization of video and audio telecommunication. It can help individuals get services that are inaccessible due to barriers such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Other barriers may include distance, time, and lack of mobility. 

Telehealth can be used to in multiple settings such as at home, medical offices, schools, hospitals, residences, and nursing home facilities. Telehealth is used for initial appointments, follow-up visits, medication management, psychotherapy services, and general test results or health questions.

It is important to know that due to the current precedent times, your insurance providers must offer telehealth coverages. All states with Medicare or Medicaid programs must offer access to secure telehealth services. If you have any questions, please call your insurance provider for more information.

Finally, all telehealth services are secure, private and confidential. A provider’s #1 priority is to provide a secure platform to protect any individual’s identity and privacy in accordance with HIPPA guidelines. Only you and your provider will have access to a telehealth link via Zoom, Google Meets, or other platforms that with have factors in place to secure the appointment.

Your First Telehealth Appointment

Your First Telehealth Appointment

To help ease any discomfort here is how you can prepare for your first telehealth appointment for mental health services:

  1. Complete initial assessment paperwork: Your mental health provider needs to know the mental health issues you are coming for to treat you properly. The initial assessment will include several measures of common mental health issues, psychiatric history, social history, developmental history, suicide assessments, etc. This paperwork must be filled out for a provider to be able to meet confidentiality requirements and get to know you.
  2. Request and assistive technology or programs you may need: If you need any accommodations for technology assistance, please let someone know before. Some accommodations include screen readers, closed captioning, translation, or audio assist,
  3. Write it down: Write down the important information you want to mention in your first telehealth session. Some important information that would be helpful to keep at hand are lists of psychiatric medications, contact information for your psychiatrist and/or therapist, symptoms, and questions you may have.
  4. Find a safe space: It is important to find a secure, separate, space for therapy. This space must be private and away from others.
  5. Internet access: Make sure your internet connection is stable and take active measures to secure it.
  6. Close all other applications: This will help secure privacy and confidentiality, but also reduce distractions.
  7. Check your email for instructions before the appointment: Review any information received from your mental health provider before the first day of therapy. This information will come from a secure form of communication such as an email.
  8. Access video/audio system: Set your computer or other device on a flat surface, and play around with your camera and microphone system to make sure it is working,
  9. Be comfortable: Wear something comfortable, eat before you come, and relax.
  10. Stay focused: Make your virtual appointment a reality; avoid driving, running errands, and cleaning during your appointment.

To schedule your telehealth appointment with a mental health provider, please visit the Clarity Clinic website, or follow the link below, and schedule your appointment today.

Written By: Khadija Manzoor, LPC

Clarity Clinic

At Clarity Clinic, we have highly trained staff who specialize in therapy and psychiatry services. To learn more about how we can support your mental health, call Clarity Clinic on (312) 815-9660 or schedule an appointment today.

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