Lake View Psychotherapy - CONCIERGE RECOVERY CARE

Lake View Online     
E-Recovery Sessions

Many people are helped online, especially those who are not able to afford traditional therapy sessions, do not have a desire to go to a therapy office, do not want to make a full commitment to therapy, or do not wish to make sensitive disclosures and discuss difficult topics in a face-to-face session.  Our technological age has enabled us to bring the therapy session to you, at your convenience.

Internet, online, or e-therapy is conducted with a range of methods, which have become increasingly popular and accepted in recent years. These services include scheduled electronic “chat” sessions which consist of real time information exchanged via a computer keyboard, structured email exchanges, and group online “chat” sessions that are accessible only to approved members of the group, or open chat sessions moderated by a therapist.  Numerous online self-help groups for various mental and physical health conditions are popular as well.   While health care researchers are exploring the efficacy of these interventions and services, as they have not all been subjected to the rigors of scientific research, thousands of people report having benefitted from utilizing help on the internet.

Our Services
Our services are therapeutic in nature, however are not 
the same as traditional psychotherapy services.  We offer 
guidance and support for issues and stresses that do not 
require more formal clinical interventions.  We do not offer 
assistance for those who are in any type of life-threatening 
crisis, in need of hospitalization, or are suicidal. 
Our online sessions are primarily aimed at helping you:
    Feel less alone with your issues
    Clarify your feelings, stresses, and problems
    Seek alternate solutions
    Understand the recovery process
    Improve your relationships  
    Consider new methods of coping
    Create concrete plans for change
    Get support to make decisions and take action
    Gain an understanding of obstacles to growth and happiness
Furthermore, we will not conduct a thorough psychiatric diagnostic process with online help, and will not assign you a formal psychiatric diagnosis.  This is because e-sessions have inherent limitations that prevent an accurate and valid diagnostic process.  You will not receive advocacy services or medication recommendations.  You may be referred for other/additional clinical or medical services, either within our psychotherapy practice or to another facility or health care provider.  Clinical notes will be kept that briefly summarize your e-sessions.
If you are currently treated by a therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist, we recommend you inform them of your participation in Lake View Online. It is your responsibility to notify them if you choose to do so.
Your Medical Record
When you decide to participate in Lake View Online, we ask you to provide some personal information. All patients complete the same personal history forms at initial registration, whether they are provided services in the office or through Lake View Online.  You will also be requested to consent to services and make payment arrangements prior to the beginning of e-recovery sessions.
All Lake View Online patients have a medical records that are kept in our Lake View Psychotherapy office, and managed just as our other medical records are maintained.  
We will not use your personal information in a manner different than the purpose for which it was collected.  Information contained in your medical record is well protected, physically and legally.  NO information will be disclosed without your expressed written consent.  We abide by and are in full compliance with all Virginia Board of Health Professions and HIPPA national guidelines governing management and confidentiality of mental health/medical records.
You can decline to submit personal information prior to the delivery of any of our services, in which case Lake View Online may not be able to provide services to you.

Information Security
We take appropriate security measures to protect against unauthorized access to or unauthorized alteration, disclosure or destruction of data. These include internal reviews of our data collection, storage and processing practices and security measures, as well as physical security measures to guard against unauthorized access to systems where we store personal data.
We restrict access to your personal information to Lake View Psychotherapy employees.  Our employees are bound by confidentiality laws and may be subject to discipline, including termination and criminal prosecution, if they fail to meet these obligations.

Fees for E-Services
Lake View Online does not file insurance for payment of services.  Instead, we offer very affordable pricing options for patients.   We are willing to negotiate affordable and reasonable fees, which are typically comparable with the expense you may bear with many insurance plans.

In general, these are the basic services and fees:

  • Initial Consultation (35 min)     $55.00
  • E-Recovery Sessions (20 min)   $40.00
  • E-Recovery Sessions (30 min)   $50.00
It is our policy to make all financial arrangements prior to the start of Lake View Online sessions.  You can call our main office at (757) 552-0884 to discuss all fee and payment options.  We gladly accept credit cards, debit cards, and cash/checks.
You will not receive a bill or invoice for services, unless you request it from our main office.  Your credit card transaction will reflect a payment to Lake View Psychotherapy.

Insurance Coverage
Insurance benefits for traditional therapy and counseling services vary from one health insurance company to another and from plan to plan, but generally, insurers do not cover the cost of e-therapy or e-consultation services provided online or by phone.

Benefits of Lake View Online
Insurance companies require a psychiatric diagnosis to pay for a claim.  That means, to use your insurance benefits, you must be assigned a formal diagnosis code for a mental health disorder that correlates with those in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders (DSM).  Unfortunately, this information will be incorporated into computerized databases, for an indefinite period of time, and will be accessible to other bureaucratic entities such as life and health insurance companies, disability determination, government and military services, and some employers.  This may matter to you when there are adverse decisions made based on your psychiatric diagnosis. It can make the difference between getting preferred coverage, high-cost coverage, or none at all. It can make a difference between obtaining a security clearance, maintaining your employment, or qualifying for disability.  It would certainly matter to you if you value your privacy.
When people seek help for a situational difficulty, they will receive a psychiatric diagnosis even when the assistance they require is not caused directly by such.  There are many codes in the DSM that describe non-pathological/non-psychiatric problems, but insurance companies will NOT reimburse for them.
The reality is that individuals with relationship issues, parent/child troubles, normal grieving, work stress, or "just having a hard time" are all things that are usually NOT covered. This typically means your therapist will have to assign a psychiatric diagnosis to you, just to access your coverage.
Insurance companies can access your entire medical record at any time they choose.  They are free to audit your private notes at any time, and do so on an intermittent basis. All details must be released to them, and this is legally enforced.  If this access is denied, the insurance company requires any money they paid for your claims, be reimbursed back to them.  Therapy notes, detailing your session, are sometimes required to authorize additional sessions.  This is a dilemma for most therapists because they are required to fully document your psychiatric diagnosis, but if the notes are too vague the insurance company will deny benefits.  Some of my patients are very uncomfortable with this.
Furthermore, many insurance companies are in control of your access to mental health benefits.  They determine the number of sessions you can use, how often you can use them, and which therapy services they are willing to pay for.   They usually require preauthorization before you can use your benefits and require additional authorizations to continue to access benefits.
With Lake View Online, you do are not subjected to these insurance difficulties.  You will not be given a psychiatric diagnosis, unless this is desirable to you and you request it.  Since there is no filing of insurance claims for the services you receive, your experience of obtaining professional counseling services is completely unknown to anyone but you. 

E-Recovery Sessions
You will have several options for online sessions.  You may choose from corresponding by text chat by phone, or in a private chat room hosted by Chatzy.  The option that provides the most privacy protection is our private virtual chat room at Chatzy.  You and your therapist are the only ones allowed access to this room during your scheduled session.  You will not be able to access this chat room outside of your scheduled session. 

You may review the Chatzy site’s privacy policy at:
Important facts about Chatzy:
  • Each chat dialogue is permanently erased immediately after the e-session.
  • The way Chatzy distinguishes between Lake View Online’s chat room and other chat rooms is by assigning it a random ID number. This ID number is between 0 and a trillion (up to 12 digits). That means, it is an extremely remote probability that someone would guess your ID number and access your chat.
  • Chatzy does not install any programs on your computer, but relies on JavaScript commands, which are carried out by your Internet browser. Thus, if you trust your Internet browser (which you normally can), you can trust the Chatzy service - contrary to independent chat and instant messaging programs which may or may not include bugs or spyware.
  • According to Chatzy, there is no way their website can transfer a virus or execute code from another chat user on your computer. The only thing that passes from one chatter to another is plain text. All HTML tags, and thereby embedded code of any kind, is filtered away. Consequently, there is no need for virus protection in relation to Chatzy.
Getting Started
You may call our office if you have additional questions or need more information about Lake View Online.  If you wish to schedule your first E-Recovery Session, our office manager, Jeanette Whitehurst, will be happy to help you schedule a day and time.  Ms. Whitehurst will help match you with one of our clinical staff.
Ms. Whitehurst will discuss payment terms with you and assist you with completing registration forms.

We welcome you to Lake View Psychotherapy!!

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