COVID-19 and Telehealth Appointments
The global coronavirus pandemic has been unsettling.
It has left many people feeling anxious and out of control of their lives. The need to limit close human contact has also increased feelings of isolation, and the disruption to our lives has caused a range of troubling emotions, from fear, to anger, to hopelessness.
For some people with underlying relationship issues or mental health concerns, the added anxiety and isolation have exacerbated existing conditions. Throughout this pandemic we have recognized the acute need for our services, and so we have intensified our efforts and worked every creative angle to serve those in need, continuing our work with resolve, with hope, and with compassion.
We are here to help
There are both pros and cons to seeing our psychologists online, rather than in-office. Certainly, in this unsettling time, the overwhelming advantage of online therapy is the safety from spreading or contracting the virus.
We have experience with telehealth. Our therapists began offering online appointments long before the coming of COVID-19. Our video-conferencing platform is very easy to use - we send a link to your computer, tablet or phone. You just click on the link - that's all. Our psychologists offer you the same high level of care online that they do in-office.
Is telehealth secure?
At the outset of the pandemic, the federal government temporarily allowed therapists to use non-HIPAA compliant forms of video conferencing, such as Facetime, Zoom, Google Meet, Facebook, etc. But Olympic Psychology Services was set up for telehealth before COVID-19, so our SimplePractice platform is fully encrypted and HIPAA compliant. There's no telling when the government will reinstate HIPAA regulations, but rest assured that our video platform will remain secure.
What if I just want to try it out, or what if I just want to "check in" with a psychologist for one or two sessions?
In response to the pandemic, we have altered our schedules and added additional slots for "short term counseling." These slots are reserved specifically for people impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, who may not have ongoing mental health needs. Adults and adolescents can meet online with one of our clinical psychologists for 1-5 sessions, if they are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, frightened, or depressed by the current crisis. For parents of young children, we have child psychologists you can consult with, in order to help children manage their emotions and make sense of this crisis in an age-appropriate manner. Please contact us regarding the availability of our short-term sessions.
When can I see a psychologist in person?
Regulations have been changing continually. At Olympic Psychology Services, we have decided to allow each individual therapist, and each client, to decide for themselves their level of comfort regarding face-to-face appointments. Some of our psychologists remain online for the time being. Others are seeing some clients face-to-face, depending on circumstances. Please contact us regarding availability.
What about psychological testing and assessments?
Most psychological testing cannot be conducted online, so the months in isolation have created a backlog of appointments for testing. We appreciate your patience as we work through those cases, and we are making every effort to reduce wait times.