We recognize that its not always possible for our clients to attend their appointments in-person. Whether due to an incredibly busy schedule, a public health emergency, an overly long commute, or other limitations on leaving your home, doing telehealth/online therapy may be right for you.
If you are a legal resident of Texas and are looking for help dealing with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, adjustment issues, parenting & family concerns, career issues, or if you just need some additional support in your life, working with a therapist online from the Houston Brain Center can help.
Many individuals who could benefit from counseling online simply don’t know enough about the process to feel comfortable with initiating sessions. Therefore, we’ve put together a few frequently asked questions that may help shed some light on what we do.
Telehealth/Online Therapy FAQ's
What are the differences between online therapy and traditional therapy?
The only real difference is that instead of meeting with your therapist in-person at a set location, you work with your therapist from wherever you would like to via the internet (video/webcam) or your mobile phone. We can accommodate almost any schedule. Whether you want to schedule an appointment during your lunch break, before you start your day, when your kid takes a nap, when childcare is available, or just when you have a little free time. Rather than trekking across town, you can meet with your online therapist directly from home, the office, or even your car. This type of service meets you where you are and conforms to your personal needs for safety, comfort, and convenience.
Can I expect the same level of care from an online counselor in private practice?
Absolutely. The therapist that you will be working with online is the same one you would be paired with if you came into our physical location. We don’t just have one generalist who takes care of the virtual side of things. Rather, each therapist has their own area of specialization. So you can look forward to working with someone who is uniquely qualified to address your specific situation.
Is online counseling effective?
Much research has shown that there is almost no difference in the effectiveness of online versus traditional counseling methods. In fact, in our professional experience, we routinely find that clients are more inclined to open up and share their stories when they feel at ease. That’s one of the reasons why virtual counseling can be so powerful. When you are working from your comfort zone, therapy has one less barrier to break down before healing can take place. It can help you get to the root of your concerns quicker.
Do you offer couples therapy or marriage counseling online?
Couples can also participate in online counseling for relationship issues, or parenting concerns. With couples counseling, it’s important initially to meet on a regular basis to heal negative patterns of communication and build new skills. Couples counseling often gets stalled due to the challenge of matching up schedules for in person visits. When this happens, it is difficult to make the changes needed to get unstuck from negative cycles.
With online couples therapy, couples have greater flexibility to attend sessions without having to worry about driving in Houston traffic and finding childcare to attend therapy sessions. This allows you and your partner to make effective and necessary changes to break negative cycles. Online therapy for couples is very similar to face to face counseling. It’s conducted via video, even if one partner is out of town. This makes it much more convenient to participate in regular sessions.
Ideally, you and your partner can be together online, but it’s also okay if you are both at different locations. However, we do prefer that you both have access to a video camera, whether through your phone or webcam so you can see your partner and your therapist on screen.
What will I need in order to receive therapy online?
It’s really quite easy. You only need three things:
A PC, laptop, phone, or tablet with a microphone and camera/webcam;
A stable and reliable internet connection (please use Wi-Fi to prevent signal drop); and
A quiet place where you can talk freely.
As with face to face counseling, you will set up an appointment time with your therapist our with our front office. We will send you a unique, confidential link to access your video session with your therapist. At the scheduled appointment time your therapist will reach you by the agreed upon method. Appointments are usually scheduled in 50-minute increments, but you are welcome to discuss your needs with your therapist for shorter or longer session lengths.
I’m concerned about privacy….
It’s understandable to be concerned about privacy and confidentiality in the event you are scheduling a session when you are in the same vicinity as others. Here are some strategies to keep your session private:
Use a headset. Rather than using your phone or computer’s speakers, connect a headset to keep the audio in your ears only.
Use white noise to add soundproofing in your area. If you are the same space as others, ideally put the white noise outside of the room you will be in for your session. You can use a white noise app, you ask ask an Amazon Alexa or Google home device to “play white noise” or you can play soft music in the room nearest to you. A baby white noise machine works great too! Just put it right outside your door to muffle the sound like we do in our offices.
Go outside or in your car. If you are in small quarters, you may want to step outside on a patio, in a park, or even find a quiet space in your car.
How secure is video therapy?
We want to assure you that all of our video sessions are held to the highest possible level of confidentiality. Once you set up your appointment, you will be sent a link. This link will take you to your assigned therapist over a protected connection to our secure online therapy platform. We use a encrypted, secure link, and you are the only person who knows you are speaking with a therapist.
Are there any reasons why teletherapy may not be for me?
Our therapy providers are only available to legal residents of the state of Texas. We also do not conduct therapy online via texting therapy, text message, video chatting or chat sessions because we feel that it’s just not as effective as web therapy with live video. Furthermore, if you are in a crisis, having suicidal thoughts, or if you are in imminent danger, we ask that you call 911 for immediate help or go directly to the nearest emergency treatment center.
Online counseling is not the same as face-to-face therapy and is not an appropriate treatment for all clients. There are pros and cons to both methods. Online therapy is not an appropriate form of counseling if your presenting issue is an emergency. If you are having suicidal or homicidal thoughts distance therapy is not a good fit. In-office therapy would be a better fit to ensure your safety and provide more effective treatment.
Ready? Let's get going!
If you would like to know more about our services or to set up an appointment for your first video therapy session, please call our office at 281-394-1379 today to get started.
We are happy to address any additional questions or concerns you may have. We look forward to helping you!