COVID-19 Update 3/30/20

Hello all, please note the following:

The federal Coronavirus Task Force guidelines have extended social distancing measures through at least April 30. In cooperation with these guidelines, the physical office will remain closed until such time as it is deemed safe to resume normal operations. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will advise of any updates or changes.

As a reminder, I am available for continued sessions through a secure video platform, and some insurance companies are allowing telephone sessions as well. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns during this time.

Peace and good health,

Katy

COVID-19 Update 3/23/20

Hello all,

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate the rapidly developing changes to our collective way of life. I too have felt unsettled by these recent events and the widespread impact on our families and communities. All of us have had to make major adjustments and sacrifices: canceled vacations, missing family and friends, being laid off from work, being sick or fearing illness, dealing with boredom and anxiety.

Effective Monday 3/23 at 8pm, Connecticut is enforcing “Stay Safe, Stay Home” rules. Only absolutely necessary public facilities (grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and the like) will be permitted to operate. Because telehealth is now available, we will not be able to provide in-person office visits until the order is lifted, which may be several weeks. Most insurance companies have temporarily lifted resteictions around telehealth, and many are allowing telephone sessions for those without internet. All services will be provided via secure video or telephone until further notice. Secure video is the preferred method, as it allows the closest “equivalent” to sitting together in the office.

Over the past weeks, in anticipation of this possibility, MANY hours have been spent learning and preparing for this “new-to-us” way of doing therapy through video. While it is different, I am deeply grateful that this technology exists, and that governments and insurance regulators have made it possible for therapists to continue providing mental health services during this national crisis. We all need some extra support during physical social distancing; thankfully, losing our connection to therapy is one of many stressors that we can now avoid.

Some creative people have shared their solutions to privacy issues, since the whole household might be at home now:

  • Use headphones!! If your headphones have a built-in microphone, you can talk very quietly and still be heard clearly.
  • Sit in the car outside the house
  • Find a spot on a different floor of the house from the others
  • Go to a bedroom, the basement, or even a large closet or laundry room (bring a light with you)
  • Put a speaker with music or a TV show playing between you and the rest of the family members; have others also listen to their media with their own headphones to respect your privacy
  • Put towels or a blanket in front of the door to muffle the sound of conversation

We are all in this together, and we will continue to adjust and adapt together. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Continued good health and peace to you and your families,

Katy

COVID-19 Update 3/17/20

Hello to all,

I hope you and your families continue to enjoy good health and peaceful state of mind.

Federal and local health officials are strongly encouraging the closure of non-essential businesses and avoidance of crowds of more than 10 people, especially for seniors and those with vulnerable family members. Because counseling is a medical service, we are not included in this category. However, although our office is not officially closing, we are strongly encouraging the use of video sessions for everyone who is able to use it. The office will remain open (with modifications, see below) for those who cannot use telehealth and who are in need of services.

TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENTS:

If you are open to trying sessions via video, we can schedule a quick “trial call” to test the technology and make sure your internet connection is good. Once you know the technology works, you may find that it’s not as “weird” as you thought it would be! It’s comparable to using Skype or FaceTime to video-chat, except it’s secure and private. Click here to learn more about telehealth services. 

IN-OFFICE APPOINTMENTS:

In-person sessions will be spaced apart to allow a) time for disinfecting and b) minimal contact with others in the office. You are welcome to wait in your car in lieu of sitting in the waiting room until your scheduled appointment time. Please reschedule if you have any cold/flu symptoms, including coughing or fever. 

POSTPONE APPOINTMENTS:

If you do not wish to come to the office or try video, it may be necessary to temporarily postpone sessions until the public health emergency situation has changed, or insurance regulations change to allow phone sessions (current regulations prohibit audio-only phone calls without video).

If you do choose to postpone sessions, I encourage you to “check in” with me periodically through your preferred contact method, especially if you experience an increase in stress and anxiety during these times.

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Peace and good health to you and yours,

Katy

If you experience a mental health crisis, please use the local Crisis Line at

1-866-794-0021

to speak with a trained crisis social worker, 24 hours a day/7 days a week. 

COVID-19 Update 03/13/2020

Hello to all,

As you are likely aware, Connecticut has declared a public health emergency to prevent further spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Our office remains open, until such time as the state recommends closing- which we are monitoring closely. The office is regularly cleaned and disinfected, and typically receives low foot traffic during the day, so we consider our risk to be low. We understand the level of concern and anxiety that this situation is causing on a widespread level, and our thoughts are with you and your families.

If in the past 48 hours you have experienced fever or flu-like symptoms, or been exposed to anyone with these symptoms, the CDC and other health organizations encourage you to practice “social distancing” (avoiding contact with others), including canceling non-essential appointments and rescheduling when you feel better. If you are not sick yourself but feel uncomfortable coming to the office due to concerns about COVID-19, there will be no cancellation fees and absences will not be counted as a no-show/late cancel incidents.

I have implemented the appropriate software and structure to begin providing online video sessions (“telehealth”) in lieu of office visits for those who qualify. The state of Connecticut is temporarily authorizing this service for Husky members in support of continued mental health services due to the COVID-19 situation. Many other health plans already allow telehealth services. To learn more and to find out if you could use this service, visit: https://undividedsoulcounseling.com/telehealth-services/

 

Best wishes for continued good health and peace of mind to all.

Katy