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Skype Online Therapy: Read this before you sign up

What is Skype Online Therapy?

Skype online therapy, it’s become so popular, but what you don’t know can hurt you! Computer-mediated psychotherapy or web based therapy most commonly takes place online, over video conferencing apps such as Skype and FaceTime. This can be in place of regular in- office therapy sessions or in addition to regular sessions (in the event of a crisis).

Skype Online Therapy: what you REALLY need to know

Skype Online Therapy and FaceTime are encrypted BUT they are not HIPAA complaint, as of January 2016. It’s important to know the difference between encryption and HIPAA complaint. Caution: about to get nerdy and technical.

Skype Online Therapy and Encryption

Encryption is the process of converting information into a code, especially to prevent unauthorized access. Think of this like writing to your friend as a child, using a “secret” language. It doesn’t mean that someone else can’t find the note you wrote, it just means it may take them longer to understand what it means.

Skype Online Therapy and HIPAA Compliance

HIPAA is short for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It’s a set of standards for protecting sensitive patient information. Companies that deal with protected health information (PHI) MUST adhere to a specific set of standards to ensure that security measures are in place and followed. This includes anyone who provides treatment, billing or payment services.

To be completely honest, not every therapist that advertises online Skype therapy is really equipped for providing online counseling. The good news is that therapists that specialize in online therapy or e-therapy pay a monthly fee to provide clients with a HIPAA complaint platform.  This helps provide peace of mind to clients.

What to ask an online therapist or online counselor

  • Are video sessions done via a HIPAA compliant platform?
  • What measures do you take to keep my personal information safe and secure?
  • Who else has access to information I provide? Any business associates?
  • Where are therapy or session notes stored? If stored online, what measures are in place to keep them secure?

Getting started with HIPAA compliant online therapy doesn’t have to complicate or require you to download a special app. You may also read more about How To Choose An Online Therapist.

With Elika MFT’s secure client portal you can simply click a link and follow simply instructions to get started with online video therapy sessions.

Schedule a complimentary consultation using the online calendar. You may also contact Elika here.

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