Online Therapy and Online Counseling in Florida

You know that therapy will help alleviate anxiety, stress, isolation, and depression.

But you don’t know how to find the time.  You’ve tried counseling before only to feel a little worse about yourself when you flaked out after a few sessions.  Next time you start therapy, you want it to be different. You want to follow through because you want to improve those areas of life where you struggle.  But it’s difficult to find counseling that fits with your schedule and lifestyle.  

Online therapy and counseling might be the solution for you.

Since we opened our doors in 2015, our team of bilingual psychologists has offered online therapy and counseling in English and Spanish across the state of Florida from the our office in Miami, FL.  They are extensively trained to provide effective online counseling that meet the same standards of care as traditional in-person sessions. Your sessions take place on a safe, encrypted platform that looks and feels like a video call. All you need is a strong internet connection, and a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Online therapy and counseling is convenient.

We offer appointments Monday through Friday from 9am to 7pm. This makes online counseling easy to schedule before work, during lunch, or after you’ve settled the kids in for the night. Online therapy is also great on those days when the unexpected happens. Here are some circumstances where online therapy and counseling has made possible to access support consistently despite the demands of modern life:

  • Work with a demanding travel schedule  

  • Getting stuck in Miami traffic, flat tires, and other car trouble

  • Inability to leave early or take more time off work

  • Caregiving for a family member (e.g. child or elderly parent)

  • Homebound clients

  • During times of emergencies, widespread health crises, quarantine, and social isolation (e.g. Coronavirus, H1N1, SARS, MERS, etc.)

  • Living or working a large distance from the therapist you want to work with, specializes in your conditions, and/or speaks your native language

You probably have more questions about online therapy and telehealth.

Here are the most common questions that people considering online counseling frequently ask us.

Actually, it is! Researchers over the last 10 years have been studying the effectiveness of online counseling vs in-person therapy. Many studies indicate that the results of online therapy are no different than those obtained from face-to-face sessions, and that these positive outcomes last just as long. Most of these studies have focused on the treatment of anxiety, burnout, stress, depression, OCD, and trauma which are the top reasons people want to work with Dr. Frank Martinez, Dr. Joyce Szentpaly, and Dr. Erika Martinez.

Online therapy may not be appropriate in some cases.  For example, individuals with recent or current thoughts of self-harm, severe depression, or social anxiety/social phobia are more likely to benefit from in-person sessions.  Feel free to call us at (305) 501-0133 if you’re not sure whether therapy online is a good fit for you, and we’ll help you figure it out.

First, get white noise machine or nature sounds going outside of the room where you’ll be during your session. You can ask Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Echo to play these sounds. The sounds create interference that’s hard for the brain to process, kind of like if two people were talking to you at once. It’s very similar to the sound-masking machines used in therapists’ offices.

Second, use earphones with a mic during your session. It makes your conversation between you and your therapist more private by eliminating one-side of the conversation. This limits information and makes it difficult for someone listening to have enough context to make sense of the conversation.

Third, set up a hand word signal with your therapist to alert him or her that something has changed on your end and you no longer have privacy. 

It’s pretty easy.  When you become a client and schedule your first appointment, you’ll log into our secure client portal to sign and complete initial paperwork.  If you’re using a computer, you’ll log into the same client portal to start your online therapy session. If you’re on a smartphone or tablet, you’ll need to download the Telehealth app before your appointment (iTunes or Android).  Copy and paste your session’s unique url into the app and you’re all set to start.

Yes, it is, just like an in-person session.  The telehealth platform we use is encrypted and HIPAA-compliant.

Our online therapy simulates a face-to-face session.  Services like Better Help, TalkSpace, etc. are monthly subscription services.  You pay a monthly rate to have access to a therapist by text, message, or video.  The cost varies by the type and frequency of access to your therapist and is often less than what you’d pay to with clinicians in a more traditional setting (like us).  But as often the case, you get what you pay for. So please be careful who you trust with your precious mental health and your hard-earned money.

A desktop or laptop computer with webcam, speakers, a 2.5 GHz processor, and 4 GB of RAM, OR

A tablet device with built-in webcam and speakers, OR

Smartphone with at least iOS 10 or Android 6.0 (Note: To use a smartphone, you must first download Telehealth by SimplePractice – available for iOS or Android in the app store.)

You will also need an internet connection that is at least 10mbps.

We recommend that you close any other programs that may be running in the background.  You also can use this pre-call tool to check your internet connection before each call. If there are technical difficulties during your session, let your therapist know immediately.  He or she will be able to provide alternate means to continue the session.

Maybe.  Since telehealth (i.e. online counseling) is still evolving, some healthcare insurance companies haven’t caught up.  Some do, and some don’t. We recommend calling the customer service number on the back of your insurance card to ask if your policy will reimburse for out-of-network (OON) telehealth sessions with a psychologist.

Not at this time.  Dr. Martinez, Dr. Martinez-Mesa, and Dr. Szentpaly are licensed psychologists only in the State of Florida.  That means they only work with residents of the state of Florida. There are plans to expand licensure into other states, so give us a call (305) 501-0133 to get more up-to-date information.

Maybe.  It depends on the country where you live, their laws and regulations about telehealth/online therapy, our clinicians’ familiarity with said laws in your country of residence, and their familiarity with the mental health system and resources in your country of residence.

Actually, we can! We offer bariatric psychological evaluations online for home-bound clients and online vocational aptitude testing for career changers, high school and early college students.

Stop putting off getting the help you need to have the happy and fulfilling life you deserve.

Click below if you’re ready to get started with online therapy. 

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Online Counseling

One of 3 Top Rated Psychologists in Miami, FL

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Still not sure if counseling’s for you?  Check out the FAQs others have asked about therapy.

This post is also available in: Spanish