One of the questions I’ve had to tackle in creating a telemental health practice is: What makes you different? And then that is usually followed by a discussion about prices and services compared to companies who provide subscription based treatment. Potential clients often point out I charge more than those companies offering a flat weekly subscription and they would be right. I do.
It is true, in the quest to save a dollar, I often lose clients to companies that can provide similar services for less money; however, I hope to answer that question and offer good value when compared to other telemental health service providers.
1) Ease of Use
I offer sessions via video chat and phone, the same as other providers do, so no surprises there. I also offer clients the ability to email me with questions, comments, or suggestions about what to discuss for next session. I can also send helpful guides, information sheets, or other therapeutic tools. Within reason, I respond to emails and don’t charge extra for them.
Given that my clients have lives and not everyone is able to meet with their therapist between the hours of 9am and 5pm, I also offer flexible scheduling that fits your needs. Need to meet me on a Saturday evening, but don’t have the same spot available next week? No problem. I can accommodate you.
Also, you only pay for services we schedule. Other companies, you pay weekly, sometimes monthly, whether you have a session or not.
2) The potential for insurance reimbursement
This is by far the biggest difference. Though I am an out of network provider, my services are reimbursable if my client has out-of-network insurance coverage. Subscription based services, are flat out not reimbursable. So while my initial fees may be higher, it is possible for you to get them partially reimbursed once you have met your deductible. I also offer sliding scales based on need and discounts for college students and veterans.
However, private pay is not always such a bad idea. You can put it down as a medical expenses on your taxes and your paperwork is your own. Your insurance company never needs to know you came to me for treatment!
3) We create a strong therapeutic bond
No matter the style of therapy, research shows that it is the bond between a therapist and client that is the primary agent for change.
How does that translate to a subscription based service vs. Your Therapist Online?
Simple: I don’t overload my schedule to maximize my profits.
While subscription based companies hire real treatment providers, and pays them a fair rate, in order to maximize your income as a provider it behooves you to load up your schedule. Doing so often makes it difficult to build and maintain a healthy therapeutic connection with clients.
I don’t do this.
I keep a medium sized schedule so that all my clients get the attention they need and deserve.
In other words, with me you are not just a number or another case. You’re a valued client who is not paying for a subscription, but a therapeutic dynamic that is both supportive and growth inspiring.
4) Holistic Treatment
Now this is a bit on the practical side, but I was trained to keep detailed notes and treatment plans, which can be a benefit for you if your insurance company ever needs to see proof of medical necessity for treatment. I provide real, in depth evaluations with an official diagnosis and a thoughtful analysis.
I also communicate with other service providers, as might be necessary for your case, because sometimes it takes the input and coordination between multiple providers to help a person succeed.
With other telemental health services, providers are not encouraged to do this because there is no benefit for them to do so. History taking and psychosocial evaluations become a thing of the past, as there is more emphasis on a quick fix rather than an thorough case analysis, but they are often a vital part of the therapeutic process, so I don't leave them out. I get to know YOU. That means we talk about who you are, where you’ve been, and where you’re going.
5) What’s more…
Providers employed by a subscription based service seem to become “advice givers,” and are relegated to using their professional acumen to tell you how you should be living your life. I often find that advice giving is the quickest way to make a person feel invalidated and unappreciated.
At Your Therapist Online, I strive to avoid simple advice giving in order to help you grow through self-discovery. Otherwise, I would be no different than anyone else you seek out for help.
In short, I provide a unique and client centered approach where we work together to achieve goals. I provide a non-judgmental forum in which you can express yourself totally and completely in ways that you may not be able to with a subscription service.
I hope I have answered the question about what makes me and my practice at Your Therapist Online different and unique.