Biltmore Psychology and Counseling has been closely monitoring the recent health crisis and prompts from experts to engage in social distancing. As the physical health and well-being of our clients are as important to us as their mental health, we have made the difficult decision to close the office for all in-person appointments and will instead be offering phone or video call sessions in its place.
Each client will keep their scheduled appointments and will have the option to pick from a phone session or video session. This transition will begin on Tuesday, March 17th and will remain in effect through the coming weeks.
Biltmore Psychology and Counseling has selected, Doxy.me, a easy-to-use, web based, and HIPAA compliant telemedicine platform. We are also using Google Hangout Meet, another HIPAA compliant software. If you are a bit intimidated by technology, don’t worry! Based on your preference BPC will email or text you a link. Click on the link and you are ready to start the session. The service works on all devices with a web browser. Additionally, our amazing office coordinator, Veronica, is here to help answer any questions and overcome any technological difficulties. Just ask!
Continuity of care is our utmost priority and feel grateful that our services can be facilitated through a digital medium.
Until we see or hear you on a call, take care!
Watch the Video
Will We Keep Our Scheduled Appointments?
Yes! Our plan is to keep the exact same schedule and keep all previously scheduled appointments on the books. The difference will be that it will be done over phone or video rather than in-person.
Will We Have the Option to Pick Between Phone or Video Call?
Yes. Some clients feel more comfortable with video call because it is the most similar to in-person sessions. However, others may feel more comfortable with a phone call and have the option to do this appointment over the phone.
Will the Video Call Be HIPAA Compliant?
Yes. We have several different telemedicine platforms that we plan to use. The first is doxy.me and the other is Google Hangouts Meet. Both are HIPAA compliant and will work on your phone, tablet or laptop computer. Additionally, HIPAA recently lowered their standards to allow clinicians to use FaceTime and Skype platforms for Telemedicine.
What If I Am Not Tech Savvy?
That’s okay! These platforms are very easy to use. At the time of your appointment, you will receive an email with a link to the video call. Simply click on the link and follow the prompts to join the video call. It’s that simple!
And remember, you can always opt to use your telephone. In this case, your therapist will simply call you at the time of your appointment.
Do I Have to Use My Computer for the Video Call?
We have found that laptop computers are the easiest to use for video calls, but you can certainly use a tablet or phone for the video call as well. If you would like to use your phone or tablet, be sure to download the Google Hangouts Meet Application prior to your therapy appointment. If you choose to use your laptop, you will not be required to download any applications. Simply click the link provided in the email.
How Will I Do a Couples Counseling Session?
If a couple would like to do a video or phone call session but they are not in the same location, we can set up a three-way call. With a three-way video call, both individuals will receive an email to join the video call and all parties will be visible during the session. If both individuals in the couple are in the same location, then they can both join the video call and fit on the screen.
Will Therapy Really Work Over the Phone or Video?
Yes! While many clients love coming into the office and grabbing a cup of coffee or snack before their appointment, many feel that this form of therapy is just as effective and is highly convenient.
We could certainly understand someone’s initial hesitation or concern that this may not provide the same experience as in-person therapy. However, as many of my clients have used this service over the years, we feel confident that we can still deliver amazing therapy outcomes from the comfort (and now safety) of your home.
What If My Child Walks in on the Session?
We do ask that you try to find a private place to engage in your telehealth session. However, if someone were to walk in on your call, your therapist knows to immediately stop talking until you let us know that it is safe to proceed with the session.
How Long Will This Last?
We wish we knew! While mental health services are considered essential services, we have made the decision to move to video and phone sessions to help keep our clients and therapist safe and healthy. We are currently monitoring CDC guidelines for social distancing and will be the first to let you know when we are fully back in office.
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The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the lives of so many people physically, financially, and even mentally. For some people, this pandemic has intensified pre-existing emotions, and for others it has brought on new feelings and symptoms that may have never existed before.
A few years ago, I learned an interesting fact about sharks while helping my son with his first-grade research project. Some species of sharks never stop moving in the water – even when they sleep. This is because of the way they take in oxygen through their gills. If they stop moving, they stop breathing and ultimately drown. I was recently reminded of this fact of nature as I thought about the many clients I work with who were all in various stages of change when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Dr. Melissa Estavillo is a Licensed Psychologist and founder of Biltmore Psychology and Counseling. With over 7 years of experience, she specializes in both individual and couples therapy in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques stemming from Emotionally Focused Theory, Psychodynamic Theory and Other Evidence Based Practices to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client.