WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
Valley’s Edge Integrative Counseling offers counseling & psychotherapy through technology-assisted means such as phone and video or virtual chat or virtual walk-in chat. Only phone or video sessions are billable to insurance. Chat options are not.
WHAT IS RIGHT FOR ME?
You do not have to commit to just using one format. You may access any of the formats based on your situation. Using video will be the closest experience to having an in-person session. This allows for being able to look at each other, read body language, and facial expressions, and it’s easier to discern and allow for natural pauses or breaks in conversation without interruption in an often crucial part of the therapeutic process.
Phone sessions are a great option if your wifi lags and interrupts video streaming. It is also a great option for those who, for whatever reason, do not have private space to conduct a video session and may need to have their session outside of their home, such as in a car. Phone sessions are also a good option for those who like to be up and moving or doing things while they talk. For some, movement and tactile stimulation can improve concentration. Online chat is a good option for those who do not have audio-visual privacy, have disabilities such as being deaf or hard of hearing, or are simply more comfortable with messaging applications. Virtual walk-in chat is a good option to jump in a session to get some support about a non-life threatening, yet urgent and overwhelming situation. Keep reading for more information about walk-in chat.
WHAT VIRTUAL WALK-IN CHAT IS:
Virtual Walk-in Chat is an opportunity to connect with your therapist in the event you could use some urgent, but not life-threatening support. You access this feature through my Psychology Today link and we communicate through real-time messaging without using audio or video capabilities. The chat sessions are generally shorter in length than a typical session because it is meant to find support for an immediate issue. Some examples of immediate issues include but are not limited to: an unexpected event, a breakup, a job loss, a positive life change, making a decision, or experiencing acute onset of panic, worry, fear, etc. This is not an all-inclusive list, but the idea is that the issue you are facing is something that is not life-threatening, yet you might be overwhelmed and could use some immediate support.
WHAT VIRTUAL WALK-IN CHAT IS NOT:
First and foremost, Virtual Walk In Chat should not be used for life-threatening emergencies or crises. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger to self or others, please call 911, 988, or other emergency services in your area. VWIC should not be used in lieu of regularly scheduled appointments. This does not mean you have to regularly schedule appointments. It just means if you find yourself using the walk-in service regularly, we will need to switch to actually scheduling you for appointments, and not just “walking in”. This service is intended for immediate and urgent needs for support. If you are using it regularly, it ties up time that could be used for those needing immediate and urgent support. VWIC is not used for couples or children. This service is only intended for individual adults who have registered for the client portal and completed all the consent forms assigned. VWIC is supportive counseling, not therapy, though therapeutic approaches may be used. VWIC is not billable to insurance. You must pay out of pocket for this service. However, the fee is lower than the usual rate because the time spent is generally shorter than a typical session and the approach is short-term addressing immediate needs as opposed to using exploratory, open-ended therapeutic approaches. Unless you are an active client receiving regular therapy, you will not be assessed and assigned a diagnosis.
HOW DO I ACCESS VIRTUAL WALK IN CHAT:
1. Complete your portal registration and consent forms. Click here to begin that process.
2. Upload your government-issued ID to the portal (REQUIRED by law for identity verification purposes).
3. Create a Code Word to be used so that I can ask you what your code word is at the start of each session.
4. When you need assistance or support go to my Psychology Today Link to see if I am online and available.
5. If I am available, I will connect with you via chat and ask you for your code word.
6. Once you have confirmed your code word, I will send you a pay link to pay $100.00 for up to 45 minutes.
7. After payment is completed, we will begin our chat session.
8. When the chat session is over, any minutes over 45 minutes will be charged to your card at 1.00 per minute.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN ACCESSING VWIC:
VWIC services are first come first serve. There is no guarantee that I will be able to get to you. If you see that I am online and available, but I don’t connect with you in 5 minutes, I am likely with another client. You are welcome to keep trying back. My schedule is unpredictable and I don’t hold regular VWIC hours, so feel free to look to see if I’m online Monday-Sunday 6 AM-CST to 6 PM CST. I will connect with you if I am online and not with someone else.
INFORMATION FOR REGULAR THERAPY CLIENTS:
VWIC can be used if you missed a regularly scheduled session but you would like to get in that week to see me and you see that I’m online and available. The chat feature can be used as regularly scheduled therapy, but walk-in chat cannot be regular. Insurance cannot be billed for Chat or Walk In Chat. Insurance can only be billed for audio or video appointments.
Please contact me with any questions you may have.
Click here to get started.