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What is telemental health? 

Telemental health is a way to offer psychotherapy sessions who cannot come into the office via video.  You may also request a session by phone. Long before COVID-19, Refresh has offered telemental health services during times of inclement weather, illness, medical leave, and for the purpose of convenience.  


Will my insurance cover telemental health?

For a long time, only some insurance companies honored video visits. However, in the wake of COVID-19, video visits must be treated the same as office visits. 


Are video visits private? 

We offer video visits via several HIPAA-compliant video platforms.  In the event that such technology is not working, you may have your session through another platform, such as FaceTime or Google Hangouts.  Please know that while it is highly unlikely that anyone will try to hack into your therapy session, we do want to know that we cannot guarantee privacy.  We highly suggest password-protecting your WiFi connection.  At the start of your visit, your therapist will verify your current location as well as a “privacy word”. Should another person enter the room, you will speak the privacy word and your therapist will know to stop talking until you say it is okay to resume. 


Is a video visit similar to an office visit?

Essentially, yes.  You will be in your own home rather than in our offices on your therapist’s couch.  Your session will otherwise take shape like it would in-person.  Sometimes there may be technology problems due to so many providers now using video technology to confer with patients. 


I live outside of New York City.  What are some of the benefits of seeing a NYC therapist?

Therapists in NYC gain a lot of experiential knowledge within their first few years of training.  We’ve seen everything from serious and persistent mental illness, to social issues such as foster care, substance abuse, and trauma. Furthermore, we know that parts of rural New York State are lacking in quality mental health services and many providers and clinics have waiting lists.  Using video technology, we can bring New Yorkers the quality care that they deserve. 


Can I see my therapist in the office once shelter-in-place ends?

Potentially.  This will depend on your therapist’s office hours.  Some of our therapists have both office days and remote work days.  


Can I continue my video visits rather than come into the office once shelter-in-place ends?

Yes, please discuss this with your therapist.