Dana Belletiere, LICSW, MSED
What is online therapy?
Online therapy works in the same way as in-office therapy, but is done online, similar to a Skype or FaceTime conversation. Clients are able to have sessions from home, work, or any other convenient location (some clients see me from their cars!). I meet with clients using the HIPAA-compliant SecureVideo platform from my home office.
What are the advantages of online therapy?
Online therapy allows you to work with me from the comfort of home, or any private location of their choosing. For some, the screen provides an added layer of comfort that makes the sometimes challenging work of being vulnerable in therapy a little easier. Online therapy also allows flexibility in scheduling, which can be a benefit if you are seeking therapy sessions outside of traditional office hours.
Online therapy also creates the unique opportunity for you to work with me specifically, even if we are not located in the same area. Should my areas of expertise and treatment approach meet your unique needs, online therapy allows us to work together without the constraints of location! I am licensed in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, and I work with clients across all three states.
Who benefits from online therapy?
Online therapy is a great option for clients that travel for work, for college students that go home during the summertime and do not want a break in their sessions, and for anyone with a challenging or inconsistent day-to-day schedule. It is an excellent choice for clients seeking a therapist with a particular specialty that they are unable to find support for locally. Some of my clients report that online therapy makes the vulnerability element of therapy a bit less intimidating.
Is online therapy for everybody?
No. For some clients with more complex symptoms or safety concerns, having a local therapist that is readily available is important to insure safety in case of crisis or the need for a higher level of care. Online therapy is also a challenge for clients that do not have access to a private, quiet space to be “in session” for the hour, or for those that do not have adequate internet connectivity.
Why don’t you accept insurance?
There are several reasons why I don’t accept insurance. The most important are:
- Confidentiality. Insurance companies require that your information be shared with them in order to pay for services. I prefer that clients’ information is kept as confidential as possible.
- The pressure to diagnose. Insurance companies require that clients are given a mental health diagnosis in order to pay for therapy. I have found that many clients benefit from therapy, but do not meet criteria for a diagnosis. Not using insurance allows clients to access therapy without being given a mental health diagnosis.
- Flexibility and freedom. Insurance companies dictate length and number of sessions they will authorize, as well as when a client is no longer eligible for the benefits of therapy. Because I do not work with insurance panels, you and I can collaborate to determine your individual needs regarding session length, frequency of sessions, and when to terminate therapy.
While I do not accept insurance, some clients have found success submitting receipts to their insurance companies to receive out-of-network benefits. Please check with your insurance company for details on your benefits.