Unfortunately we are not accepting new clients at this time.
Distance counseling is private, as long as the client and therapist take appropriate precautions. Therapy sessions should only be conducted in a private area, free from distractions and interruptions. Clients are in control of their environment during session so precautions should be taken to ensure privacy and sessions should never occur over a public connection or device. Your Branches therapist will only communicate through a secure portal when conducting a video session, will not store any information on unprotected devices, and will only e-mail using HIPAA compliant e-mail.
However, even when taking every precaution risks remain.
Most computers and smart phones purchased within the last five (5) years meet minimum requirements. The client will need a camera and microphone for video sessions (many are built in) and a reliable internet connection. Phone sessions require a strong, consistent, phone signal.
Technical specifications include: Resolution 640x360 at 30 frames per second with a minimum of 384 Kbps upload/download. Speed tests can be conducted online.
The best internet connection will be from a wired, or LAN, connection. While WiFi connections may be used they are not as reliable as a wired connection. If a WiFi connection must be used a dynamic wireless connection is preferred because it changes bandwidth to identify the best connection (nearly standard).
Your therapist will not use non-secure platforms to meet in session with you. There are multiple platforms that meet HIPAA regulations, are proven secure for confidential information, work on all platforms, and handle all session needs, including billing. This allows for reduced session fees for you, while also providing peace of mind. We are currently using AmWell for sessions (mobile bit URL: https://bit.ly/2HzKM3N ).
Emergencies should always be handled by calling 9-1-1, or by going to your local hospital. However, your Branches therapist would appreciate knowing about any emergencies and may suggest scheduling a brief session to go over what happened.
Not generally. Your therapist will be assigned to you and all scheduled sessions will be between you and your therapist.
However, if an emergency session is needed but your therapist isn't available (vacation, illness, etc.) you may be offered the option of seeing a different (Branches approved) therapist.
Keep in mind you're using distance counseling! If possible or necessary, your therapist can use their smart phone or tablet to meet with you.
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