Clarity Counseling Seattle

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Online Therapy

How can we help you?

Of course you have questions! This is a good thing – questions mean that you are invested in the process. We've collected some commonly asked questions here for you to look through:

Online Therapy

We completely understand this request. The reason why we're careful not to start someone with one of our therapists without first establishing a weekly or biweekly time slot that works for both you and the therapist is that there are very few openings in our schedules. So if we don't reserve one of those few available time slots for you right now then most likely the weekly or biweekly spot that's available now will be claimed by someone else by the time you've first met with the therapist.

Most times, the people who start with our therapists decide to work with them on an ongoing basis, so we want to avoid a scenario where you get started with a therapist, decide to work with them, but then find that they have no available time slot in their schedule that works with your own. In the past, we've had moments at the end of a first session that go something like this:

Client: "You're great, I can't wait to work with you! Let's get it in the books!"

Therapist: "Wonderful, well I'm excited to work with you too! So the spots I currently have available are every other Tuesday at 2pm and every Thursday at 9am...which would you like?" 

Client"Oh shoot, neither of those work for me."

So we need to first make sure that your availability and the availability of the therapist align, which means deciding on which weekly or biweekly time slot you'll be claiming.

It's worth noting that you're not signing a contract with us, so you can end therapy at any time. We just need to first make sure you have a weekly or biweekly day & time reserved for you before moving forward, which is why our intake coordinator will discuss with you during an initial intake call which time slot you'd like to sign up for, should you wish to continue working with your therapist on an ongoing basis after your initial session.

Given that telehealth is a great option, absolutely! So many of the people we've helped since Covid hit have been in locations that are often hours away from our Seattle office, allowing a great number of clients to receive needed services. Our therapy license does not extend outside of Washington State but it does allow us to help anyone within the state if they are open to using the telehealth approach, which has worked wonderfully for hundreds of couples and individuals over the past few years.

Typically people attend therapy for a number of months. How long you stay in therapy is completely up to you, as you're not signing a contract with us, but usually people find that they need to be in therapy longer than they initially thought they would have. And it's rare that people get what they need from therapy from just a few sessions, so if you do start with us then we encourage you to do so with the understanding that therapy is a process that takes a while.

The therapists in this practice work very hard in sessions to get you in and out of a course of therapy as soon as possible, but for most people it usually takes a while. People and relationships are complex!

What we know about therapy is that it simply can't meet your goals if therapy sessions don't occur at least every 2 weeks, so nearly all therapists everywhere will require that sessions have a frequency of either weekly or every other week to start.

You're very welcome to scale back your frequency later on but we always need to start treatment on a weekly or biweekly basis. People we work with have access to our online calendars, so at some point in therapy some folx decide to give up their weekly or biweekly time slot and instead start using our online calendar to book appointments at a frequency of their choosing.

Above anything else is maintaining the safety of anyone who enters our offices, so we are taking a cautious approach to reintegrating in-person sessions as vaccinations increase and guidelines change.

In order to keep our clients, clinicians, and community as safe as possible, Clarity Counseling Seattle will only offer in-person therapy services to clients who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and who have received a booster dose (either their first or second/bivalent booster dose) within the last 6 months.

We can accept any of the following documents as proof of vaccination:
A photo or photocopy of the front and back of your vaccination record card;
An up-to-date photo or copy of your Washington State IIS record (Note: You can access your immunization records through wa.myir.net);
An up-to-date photo or copy of your vaccine record from your doctor.

Clients will need to upload their proof of vaccination into the secure client portal prior to their first therapy session.

Additionally, our offices are regularly santized to cleanliness and masks are worn at all times, which is currently still required by the State of Washington, as therapy offices are considered medical facilities.

Contact Our Seattle Counseling Office

We will be sure to inform current and new clients of changes to in-person sessions just as soon as we're able. For now, and since the pandemic began, teletherapy has worked wonderfully for the people seeking our help, and we know that many folks will choose to continue with teletherapy for a number of reasons.

Private Online Therapy in 98109

Yes, the software we use for online therapy, SimplePractice, is built for therapists and has client privacy as its core. We take all of the recommended precautions in ensuring that your online therapy sessions in Seattle, WA are just as HIPAA-compliant as any discussion you would have in our offices.

Certainly! At any given time at least half of the people we help are couples, and that has not changed at all since moving to the online therapy format. Couples are perhaps enjoying the online approach more than individuals, as they can participate in exercises around communication and connection from the comfort of their couch, bed, or favorite chairs.

Online Therapy in Seattle for Couples Laptop sitting on a desk | Online Therapy Seattle WA

Many couples are reporting that they feel more at ease, more themselves, and that the therapist feels less like a 3rd person in the room. This is allowing them to connect more deeply and effectively with each other during sessions, which increases the effectiveness of couples counseling.

One surprise benefit of online couples therapy in Seattle is that, when the therapy session ends, the therapist can sign off but the couple can continue to sit where they are and further their growth & progress. We've heard couples come back the next week and tell us that they remained in conversation and connection well beyond the ending of last week's session and really benefited from blending their therapy session with us into doing helpful things on their own. And of course a goal for therapists is always to help clients, as quickly as possible, feel empowered to improve on their own so that they no longer feel they need our help.

And lastly, you don't need to be in the same room as your partner when doing your couples therapy sessions, as the SimplePractice software we use allows for the 3 of us to all sign in from different locations. It's preferable if you two can be together during therapy but not at all required.

We use HIPPA-complaint software, SimplePractice, that works much like Zoom. You are sent an email reminder 72-hours prior to your appointment, and then once again 10-minutes before your meeting time, and you just click the link within either of those reminder emails.

You can use your computer, laptop, smart phone, or tablet for your sessions.

Online Therapy in Seattle, WA

All you need is a decent internet connection and some privacy, though we know the latter can be a challenge these days. It's no problem if you want or need to be petting your cat or dog, sitting in your car, even attending to your child. If it works for you on your end, you can assume it works for us too.  :)

 

Absolutely! As of the creation of this FAQ, our practice is more than 15 months into doing all online therapy, which now includes hundreds and hundreds of sessions with individuals and couples. And what we discovered early on in the pandemic, admittedly to our surprise, is that we were indeed able to do nearly all of the therapeutic techniques, activities, and approaches that we would have incorporated into in-person sessions, including:

  • Couples therapy exercises for communication, connection, emotional intimacy;
  • Sharing handouts about topics to learn skills or enhance discussions;
  • Mindfulness, body awareness, guided imagery/visualization
  • Discussions that deepen insight, problem-solving, and practical skill-building

For couples, we can utilize all aspects of the Gottman Method and Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) in the online format. For individuals, the discussions and activities are just as accessible and engaging as they were when we were seeing people in our offices.

Teletherapy at Clarity Counseling Seattle

In truth, when the virus struck and all therapists had to move to teletherapy, most therapists were very concerned about how this format might impact how effective our treatments are. But to everyone's relief we have all discovered that therapy can be just as effective when online. We are also seeing that despite our increasing ability to do in-person therapy, many individuals and couples are choosing to stay with the teletherapy format, which is just fine with us.

Close up of couple holding hands | Premarital Online Therapy Seattle WAOur answer to that is an enthusiastic 'yes'! First we should say, if your wedding plans were delayed or cancelled we're so sorry to hear that. Over the past few years we've spoken with so many couples who have had their wedding plans thwarted by the pandemic, and we can imagine how disappointing that must be.

Despite uncertain timelines of when engaged couples can have their ceremonies, and how those events may need to be adjusted depending on the state of things, yes, we absolutely recommend that you do some premarital relationship therapy as soon as possible. The research on couples suggests this as well, that on average couples attend relationship therapy about 6 years later than they could have used it.

Premarital Online Therapy in 98109

What is so valuable about premarital counseling in Seattle, WA is less about the type of therapy it is and more about the time period of a relationship within which it occurs. The challenges we will all face in our marriages are inevitable and unavoidable, but what we can do is to get ahead of those difficulties by learning skills and practices that can greatly reduce the common pitfalls of long-term relationships.

So it's never too early to start improving your relationship with help from a trained relationship therapist. It can only help.

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