In addition to in-person therapy and evaluation, we are also able to meet virtually on secure telehealth platforms. Some people find this to be an easier way to access services in certain circumstances. For example, for some socially anxious children and adults, online therapy can feel like a safer first step. For parents with inflexible work schedules or without ready childcare, online services might be the only way for both parents to participate. For people who are unable to come in person, either because of distance or physical difficulty, telehealth can make it possible to seek help.
As New York City slowly reopens, we are now providing services via a mix of virtual and in-person appointments. We have some limited appointment slots available for in-person appointments, but most therapy will be conducted virtually until it’s safe to fully reopen. Virtual therapy can be quite effective for many forms of therapy for childern and adults, in individual or group formats. Some of our treatment programs, like Internet-Based Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (I-PCIT), were standardized for virtual therapy well before this crisis and have been shown to provide equal efficacy when compared to in-office sessions. By using video teleconferencing platforms, I-PCIT allows caregivers to receive live behavior coaching from the comfort of their own home.
We use a HIPAA-compliant service from Google called G-Suite. The video chat tool from G-Suite is called Google Meet, and it is secure and confidential. We will send you a link to a specific Google Meet room for your session. Some of our practioners use a HIPAA-compliant version of Zoom, which will be secure and password-protected. You’ll need a high-speed internet connection, a web camera and microphone (most laptops, tablets, and phones have this built in), and a quiet and private space.
We are now conducting evaluations using a hybrid of virtual interviews and in-person testing. Because our neuropsychological assessments have always integrated data points from many different sources, there’s quite a lot of the evaluation process that doesn’t involve in-person testing. We’re conducting several parts of the whole process via telehealth platforms, which includes parent background interviews, interviews with teachers and service providers, questionnaires, and all the writing for these. The testing portion will be completed face to face, taking all possible precautions to limit the risk of virus transmission. These methods have worked very well for families, and we’re confident in the quality of the data we’re getting this way.