Q: Do you provide online and in-person counseling?
A: The Refinery is an entirely virtual practice. All of our counseling services are conducted online via a secure and easy-to-use telehealth platform. Having specialized in the use of technology to provide counseling for many years, we have also taken extra steps to earn our Board Certification as Telemental Health specialists, ensuring that we are well educated on both clinical and technological best practices when working with you.
Q: Why online counseling?
A: There are many advantages of online counseling! As we live through this pandemic, the most obvious benefit is health safety, virtual sessions ensure appropriate distancing while still getting quality care. Other benefits include that you can participate in your session from the location of your convenience and comfort. This means no need to worry about fighting traffic. Online sessions offer increased choice and access to culturally competent care. Remote sessions are also a great option for those with limited mobility, transportation challenges or who may live far away from therapists who meet their preferred demographic or required expertise.
Q: Does online counseling work as well as traditional counseling?
A: It sure does! There have been countless studies supporting that online therapy is just as effective as traditional therapy in treating mental health concerns. That said, we are aware that it may not be the right choice for everyone. Online counseling is best for those who have access to/are comfortable using technology, have a quiet, private place to have their sessions and are not an immediate danger to themselves or others.
Q: Are there downsides to online therapy or situations when it isn’t appropriate?
A: Yes, some clients prefer the intimate feel of a traditional therapy setting. Without adequate training, therapists may have a more challenging time intuiting body language over a screen. These discrepancies may negatively affect the therapeutic relationship.
With online therapy, you are also responsible for ensuring you have a quiet and confidential space for your sessions. If you live with others, it may be important to let them know to avoid interrupting you.
Online therapy isn’t suitable for people in acute psychiatric or medical emergencies. It’s not typically appropriate for clients with severe substance use disorders or eating disorders. Furthermore, if you feel suicidal, psychotic, or you’re seriously self-harming, you may need a referral for a higher level of care.
Q: How is my privacy protected?
A: Our practice utilizes HIPAA compliant technology and operations with one thing in mind: protecting your privacy and safeguarding the information you provide. Our client portal puts much of the control at your fingertips allowing you to control your communication preferences, scheduling, billing and how you receive your secure link to each session. Our privacy and confidentiality standards meet and exceed what is required by law or regulations, so you can feel safe and comfortable. In our initial sessions, we go the extra mile to educate you on how you can safeguard your privacy during our sessions too!
Q: What forms of payment are accepted?
A: When scheduling your first counseling session, you will be asked to put a credit card on file for easy and convenient payment. Following your session, you will receive detailed receipts for each visit. Additionally, a HSA card or FSA account can also be used.
Q: What technical equipment will I need for my sessions?
A: You need an internet-connected electronic device like a computer, phone, or tablet with a microphone and video access to meet with your therapist. Some clients also prefer using headphones during their sessions.
Q: How long will I have to be in therapy?
A: Well, you don’t have to do anything! But if you want to make meaningful changes in your life and relationships, the length of treatment is based on your needs and what you want counseling to help with. Some clients come for a few sessions, follow through with recommendations in between sessions, meet their goals and move on. Others return back to treatment as needed, or stay on longer to work on more complex issues. It’s difficult to predict how long therapy will take, but we won’t keep you any longer than needed.
Q: Do you accept insurance?
A: We do not accept insurance at this time. If you have an insurance plan and want to submit a claim for out-of-network reimbursement, we can provide a superbill to help facilitate any reimbursement you may be entitled to.
Please note that submitting an insurance claim means we will need to give you a mental health diagnosis.
Q: How best can I prepare for my first online therapy session?
A: In advance of your session, check your device and ensure that you are connected to the internet. Also, think about what you hope to gain from therapy.
Do you want to improve your self-esteem?
Do you want to improve the quality of your relationships?
Do you want skills to manage your depression or anxiety?
Even if you aren’t sure how to prioritize your concerns, having a general idea of what you’d like to address is important.
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