- Login to your client portal and schedule a telehealth appointment.
- Before your appointment, set up your computer, mobile device, Internet connection, camera, headphones, microphone, and Internet browser. (Most newer devices have these built in. No fancy apps or equipment required.)
- Find a private place where you can do your session. (DO NOT USE YOUR CAR SPEAKERS if you are in your car. They are often louder than you realize and will broadcast your session to anyone near your car.)
- Click on the telehealth link in the appointment reminder sent to you (or click on the link in the Current Clients menu on this website).
- Relax and wait patiently for your session to start.
- If you have any problems, we can switch to phone for the remainder of the session.
If you are a new client, go to the New Clients: Getting Started page and follow the instructions. Once you become a client, you can schedule telehealth counseling using your client portal.
What Is Telehealth?
Telehealth uses the Internet to allow professional healthcare providers, including counselors, and clients/patients to attend healthcare appointments electronically. This is typically done with video conferencing, which allows clients and clinicians to see and hear each other using desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Sometimes an online session will also include text messages (using a secured message service) and phone calls.
In many cases, you can attend a telehealth session from home, at work (in a private room), or even in your car (parked in a safe location).
Who Can Get Online Counseling from Gresham Counseling and Therapy LLC?
Issues and Mental Health Diagnoses for Telehealth Services
Telehealth counseling is often a good fit for client’s who are not in crisis and have technical skills to use video conferencing or can receive assistance from a helper or caregiver.
Many clients who successfully use online counseling are focused on issues related to personal growth, family dynamics, school, work, romantic partnerships, changing habits, depression, anxiety, low-moderate severity obsessions and compulsions, trauma healing, skill development, spiritual issues, and problem-solving.
Telehealth counseling with Gresham Counseling and Therapy is available to new and existing clients in Oregon. (You must be within the state boundaries of Oregon during your telehealth session.)
It is often best to find a counselor who is near your local area, so they will know about the community resources for your area and understand how your local environment may affect your growth. Gresham Counseling and Therapy LLC is located in Gresham and is best for client in or near Oregon’s Portland Metro area, specifically Multnomah County, Clackamas County, and Washington County. Services are available to people in other areas of Oregon but may not provide you with the community information and resources that you need.
Why Using Telehealth for Online Counseling is an Excellent Idea
Reducing the Spread of Infections (e.g. Germs, Viruses, Bacteria, Fungi, etc.)
COVID-19 is real, and it is dangerous. Reducing possible exposure to COVID-19 is an important part of reducing the pandemic. The more we can do online or through no-contact services, the more we can avoid spreading this infection.
If you have a compromised immune systems or frequently interact with people who have compromised immune systems (e.g. caretakers, living with an elderly family member, etc.), it may be dangerous to be in public or in a confined room where other people have been.
Telehealth is an ideal way to attend counseling sessions without putting yourself or others at risk.
Reducing Allergen Exposure
For people with severe allergies, it can be difficult to be outside or to go to places where allergy symptoms may be triggered by off-gassing products (e.g. perfumes, lotions, disinfectants, traffic pollution, etc.). Telehealth makes it possible to receive the counseling care they need without triggering allergy symptoms.
Reducing Safety Issues
If you need to walk through areas that you believe are unsafe, aren’t able to attend counseling due to restrictions from controlling family members, have to use unsafe methods of transportation (e.g. a car that needs repairs to be safe), etc., then going to a counseling session in-person can seem impossible. Telehealth allows you to get counseling without putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
As a bonus, the fewer cars there are on the road, the fewer car accidents there tends to be, so telehealth is good for community safety too.
More Access for Parents and Caregivers
Some parents have a really difficult time finding or affording trustworthy childcare. Likewise, it may be difficult for caregivers to leave their loved ones alone. This is true even for people who are taking care of sick or injured pets. With telehealth, you can check in on your loved ones frequently (or have them present in the room if appropriate) and be available to respond to their needs during your counseling session.
Tip: If you have children or older persons who need to be present in the room during the session, you can give them some headphones (so they can’t hear the conversation) and a movie to watch, book to read, game to play, or activity to do to keep them entertained while you do your session.
No Need to Commute
Some clients don’t have transportation, live or work far away from their counselor’s office, or have to navigate through busy traffic, making it very difficult to get to a counseling appointment. If transportation isn’t available, then an in-person session isn’t possible. Also, commuting is a huge source of stress for many people, and it can be counterproductive to go to a counseling session for stress only to be faced with far more stress to get to the counseling session. Telehealth cuts out the commute, so you can focus on you rather than thinking about bus schedules, worrying about paying for an Uber or Lyft, or dreading the traffic.
Accessibility for People with Limitations
Some clients have physical limitations that make it difficult to walk, go up stairs, sit for long periods, or generally leave their homes. Telehealth allows them to remain in the comfort and accessibility of their home during the counseling session.
For people with visual limitations, audio sessions are available.
For people with audio limitations, chatting during telehealth sessions is an option.
Getting Counseling while Living in a Rural Area
Many rural areas lack of counseling and mental health therapy providers who can meet the needs of all local residents. If you have a good internet connection online telehealth counseling may be a helpful option. If you do not have a stable internet connection (very common for rural areas), then phone telehealth counseling may be an option.
More Convenience to Fit Your Schedule
Some client have very busy schedules, and the time it takes to commute back and forth to a counseling office for an appointment is just one more chuck of time they don’t have. Online counseling is an excellent way to fit your counseling session into your lunch break or that one free hour you have before everyone comes home from school and work.
You may find that online counseling has more schedule flexibility since counselors may also be able to provide services from their homes, rather than scheduled office space, so some counselors can offer sessions during evenings, weekends, holidays, or other times. (I’ve talked to some counselors who have even offered 2am sessions because they are naturally awake at night.)
Finding a Counselor You Don’t Already Know Personally or Professionally
Counselors cannot provide counseling services to friends, colleagues, family members, neighbors, etc. This is considered a conflict of interest that is legally and ethically not allowed (except in very special circumstances).
If you personally know or have professional connections with many of the clinicians in their area, it can be difficult to find a local mental health provider who can be an unbiased third-party. This happens frequently with smaller towns or cities or when you work in healthcare or social services. By seeing a counselor online using telehealth, you can receive counseling services from someone who is outside of your local area (but still in the same state) to help you maintain your confidentiality and reduce conflicts of interest.
Telehealth Can Be Better for The Environment
Driving or taking motorized forms of transportation takes energy and increases pollution, both for the transportation itself and the building and maintaining of the vehicle. Reducing the need to commute reduces transportation-related energy consumption.
Building and maintaining an additional building for office space uses materials, electricity, heating, water, etc. Since counselors and clients can meet online while remaining in their homes, the need for additional office space is reduced. By limiting the need for a dedicated office space, the energy required to maintain the office space is reduced, which reduces carbon footprints and waste.
It’s true that the electricity and hardware required to do a telehealth session also use energy that can contribute to pollution, but the amount of energy required is significantly less, and electricity can be generated from sources with low carbon footprints. (When I do telehealth with my clients while I’m at home, I use solar, wind, and hydro sources of electricity and use energy saving hardware and recycled supplies to reduce environmental pollution and my carbon footprint.)
Who Cannot Get Telehealth from Gresham Counseling and Therapy LLC?
Issues and Mental Health Diagnoses Not Appropriate for Telehealth at this Time
Telehealth services may not be appropriate for clients who are having suicidal thoughts, self-harm behaviors, active substance disorders (i.e. addictions), threats of violence, thoughts of harming others, an inability to manage technology used in video conferencing, high distractibility, low levels of alertness (e.g. falling asleep), or mental health symptoms that include impulsivity or psychosis. For such issues, an in-person center than handles crises is usually ideal.
If such issues develop with current clients, how services are delivered will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Locations Not Served
Counseling provided by Gresham Counseling and Therapy LLC cannot be provided across state lines. Clients must be in the state of Oregon during a telehealth session due to laws varying from state to state and country to country. If you are not in Oregon, please look for a licensed or registered provider who offers online counseling in your state.