Distance Counseling, also know as TeleMental Health, is a service provided to individuals who may live in rural areas where the supply of counselors may be low and the need for services high. I other words people may not be able to get in to see a counselor for several weeks and so Distance Counseling can be a viable option. Distance Counseling is defined as counseling which takes place in two separate locations, like a person's home or place of business and the counselor's office or home office. Other reasons someone may seek out Distance Counseling include: lack of mobility or are home-bound; lack of reliable transportation or have temporarily lost driving privileges; those who seek to save on travel time or have scheduling changes; those who do not want others to know they are seeking counseling; and, those who simply prefer to utilize technology based methods, to mention a few.
Distance Counseling works much like in-person counseling with regard to personal privacy and informed consent. HIPAA rules and regulations are adhered to just like in the actual counselor's office. There will be forms to sign and agreements to make prior to the start of any counseling session. The Distance Counselor will also want to know if the client is a "good fit" for distance counseling, and so an array of questions will be asked to determine that. An individual may also be asked to supply the name and phone number of an emergency contact, for obvious reasons.
The primary modes of distance counseling are video and phone by way of encrypted platforms. Email and chat platforms can also be utilized so long as HIPAA compliance is the premise from which both counselor and client operate.
Distance Counselors are more in demand today as technology increases and therapy services become harder to access due to population growth and the vast amount of people seeking services. Distant Counselors ought to acquire specific training and credentialing in this expanding field of TeleMental Health.
Wayne Hansen, MS has his Distance Counselor Credential (DCC) and will provide you with information on exactly how the process works and whether or not the process can benefit you and the current situation you are trying to manage. As an example, if you have lost your driving privileges and cannot get to your required counseling sessions - those sessions can take place, under certain guidelines in your home or office thereby meeting the specific requirements of the state of New Hampshire.
New Hampshire is TeleMental Health State and insurance companies that service people in NH are required to pay benefits for TeleMental Health services just like they would do for in-person counseling services. There is also a sliding scale fee arrangement available for those who may be without adequate insurance benefits.
Please contact us if you believe Distance Counseling can be of service to you,
and as always,
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