Shaffer Professional Services offers Virtual Therapy Sessions, also known as Tele-Mental Health Therapy sessions, for Minnesota residents. Phone or video sessions are also available. Tele-Mental Health Sessions are a great option for those clients who struggle to make it in for regular office appointments - for many reasons: busy work schedules, commuting times, shift work and family schedules, weather conditions, or just wanting the convenience of moving forward from the comfort of your own home! Tele-Mental Health allows you to avoid taking time off of work for appointments, finding childcare, commuting to the office, and waiting in waiting rooms.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
We will have a (free) informational phone chat beforehand - we will exchange information before your scheduled appointment. I will contact you at your scheduled time, and sessions are structured the same way as if we were meeting in-person. We will set up a plan beforehand on how we will handle disconnected calls and crisis emergencies during your first appointment. Texting and emailing will also be made available to Tele-Mental Health clients.
I have a legal and ethical duty to ensure your confidentiality, so Tele-Mental Health sessions are typically held (on my end) in a secure, confidential place. Your records are also maintained with the same confidentiality safeguards as the records of clients who are seen in my office.
There’s a federal law called HIPAA that requires us to use an app that complies with HIPAA. This app is called ZOOM and can be downloaded free from your Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Want to meet when you’re at the cabin? If you have a signal, we
can have a session. Most of us who have been exposed to long-term traumas don’t really like going into public - oh, I get that! Our homes are our sanctuaries. Not everyone wants to be seen parked outside of a therapist’s office either. I’m making it a personal goal for mental health care to be taken as seriously as physical health care.
WHAT ABOUT INSURANCE?
Minnesota Health Insurances are recognizing the research that shows Tele-Mental Health sessions are just as, if not more, effective than in-person therapy. MOST Minnesota Insurance companies cover Tele-Mental Health. Check with your provider to make sure, but stay tuned: I’ll make a list of insurance companies that accept and pay for Tele-Mental Health.
IS IT FOR EVERYONE?
Some people LOVE it but for some, it doesn’t have the same effect. If we find that this is not the best fit for you, I can recommend a provider near you that I have personally “vetted”, so you’ll know they will be familiar with our specialized population.