Telehealth is the delivery of psychological, medical, and/or other health-related services and information via electronic telecommunication technologies. (You might also have seen it referred to by other terms, like telemedicine, teletherapy, telepsychiatry, telepsychology, online therapy, virtual therapy, remote therapy, e-health, or e-medicine.)
At Sonder, we use a HIPPA compliant telehealth platform to provide therapy sessions and medication management through video conferencing on a mobile device, tablet, or computer. (A member of our team will walk you through the necessary steps to get connected when you make your appointment.)
Telehealth is safe, convenient, and effective.
Yes, teletherapy is every bit as effective as in-person therapy. A comprehensive analysis of 20 years of data comparing teletherapy and in-person therapy concluded that there is no difference between these two delivery methods (Batastini, 2021).
In fact, teletherapy is actually a preferred option for some people! Many of our clients share that telehealth has made therapy more accessible by removing common barriers, such as childcare stress and cost, time off work, traffic, distance, and mobility issues.
For more on the advantages of telehealth, check out our blog post: Who Can Benefit from Telehealth?
Yes, but with an important qualification:
There is strong evidence that telepsychiatry is effective– marked by diagnostic reliability, clinical outcomes, and a high degree of patient satisfaction. Recent research also emphasizes that most people are both comfortable with and willing to use telepsychiatry (Sharma & Devon, 2021).
However, while both therapy and medication management services can be accessed virtually, in certain instances it might be more appropriate or necessary for a patient to come in to our clinic for face-to-face appointments.
Please consult your medication management provider to determine what's best for you. (Not connected to a provider yet? Contact us here and a member of our team will follow up with you to answer any questions and help get you scheduled.)
Scheduling a telehealth session is quick and convenient.
If you're new to Sonder (or returning after a break): Contact us here and a member of our team will follow up to get you scheduled.
If you're a current patient: Please note that telehealth might not be appropriate for certain situations/services, so consulting your provider is a necessary first step. If you and your provider determine telehealth is a good fit for you, simply contact your provider to schedule your next appointment or call us at (952) 999-6097.
It's essential that you're able to communicate clearly with your telehealth provider. So, to access teletherapy or telepsychiatry services, you'll need a computer, tablet, or mobile device that has a camera, microphone, and speakers.
To help guard against disruptions during your session, you'll also need access to a strong internet connection (either WiFi or wired) and a secure place from which to participate. Plug-in or wireless headphones or earbuds can help reduce noise.
For more tips to help you make the most of your appointment, check out our blog post: Telehealth: 5 Tips to Make the Most of It
Yes. One of the benefits of telehealth is its flexibility.
You're welcome to connect from just about anywhere, provided you're able to access your appointment from a safe, reliable, private, and relatively distraction-free location in the state in which your provider is licensed. (Note: All of our providers are licensed in Minnesota. A few have licenses in other states. To learn more about this, please contact us and we can answer your questions and verify eligibility.)
Many people enjoy connecting with their provider from the comfort of home. Others prefer "attending" their sessions from a secure location at work or even in their car. (Some insurances do have certain limitations around locations that are acceptable for telehealth. Questions about this? Please contact us.)
Our telehealth platform includes a user-friendly mobile app, which makes connecting with your provider flexible and easy. It's all about what's best for you.
Our providers (and all of our team members) act in accordance with HIPAA regulations and current best practices, including technology that is encrypted to ensure security.
Yes. All of our providers follow HIPAA-compliant practices, including connecting to each of your telehealth sessions from a private location using secure technology. We take seriously our commitment to protecting your privacy, but you share in this responsibility by taking steps to ensure that you're connecting from a safe, private, and interruption-free location, device, and network.
We'll do all we can to guard against, and troubleshoot, technical issues and disruptions to your session. In the unlikely event that we're unable to resolve connection issues, we will only bill for the time we were able to "meet" with you directly. But, rest assured that in most instances, we're able to troubleshoot these issues and help get you connected!
Once your device, connection, and location are secured, you can prepare for your teletherapy or telepsychiatry appointment by taking some time to reflect on your questions, needs, and goals. This will help focus the time with your provider.
Many patients also find it helpful to enlist support from trusted people around them, asking for assistance with childcare, time off to attend sessions, or simple check-ins and accountability.
For more on preparing for your telehealth appointment, check out our blog posts:
Telehealth is billed in a very similar fashion to in-person appointments. (We take care of all this on our end to make the process as seamless as possible for you!) The cost of a telehealth session is the same as the cost of meeting with your provider in person.
Telehealth can be an excellent option for children and families! In many cases, sessions can be adapted (and even improved) using technological components. (We do ask that a parent or guardian be present during these sessions to assist with any tech issues that may come up.)
There are some instances, however, where telehealth sessions might not be appropriate for kids. Certain types of play therapy or parent-child interaction therapy, for example, are best completed in person. As always, it will be up to your (or your child's) provider to determine if telehealth services are appropriate.
For more on this, check out our blog post: Who Can Benefit from Telehealth?
In addition to specific types of play therapy or family therapy discussed above, there are certain modalities that must be delivered at one of our clinics. For example, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) are two treatments that require patients to be present in-person.
(Not sure if telehealth is appropriate for you? Contact us to speak with a member of our team or consult with your current provider at your next appointment.)
Finally, our providers are only able to work with individuals who are present in the state in which their provider is licensed. (Note: All of our providers are licensed in Minnesota. A few have licenses in other states. To learn more about this, please contact us and we can answer your questions and verify eligibility.)
Each person is different, and so is their wellness plan.
For many people, starting services in person might be most appropriate. In most instances, it works to transition to telehealth if that becomes the preferred modality; for others, a hybrid of both works best.
To determine if telehealth is right for you, please consult with your current provider.
We understand life can sometimes pose unexpected challenges to attending your sessions in person! If something comes up, please call us at (952) 999-6097 as soon as possible.
In most cases, and when appropriate, we'll be able to change your in-person appointment to a telehealth session in just a few minutes.
Wherever you are, we’re ready to meet you there.