Counseling during COVID

Your counseling sessions will be held remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. We call this telemental health (TMH). If we determine that TMH will not adequately meet your needs, we will assist you in finding alternative services. This is available to FLC students, in lieu of in-person sessions, using the same fee structure.

Limitations of TMH Services

TMH should not be viewed as a substitute for face-to-face counseling or medication management by a provider. It is an alternative form of counseling with some differences from traditional counseling, and has certain limitations. 

  • TMH is relatively new, and therefore lacks research indicating that it is an effective means of receiving therapy. 
  • *TMH may not be appropriate if you are having a crisis, acute psychosis, or suicidal or homicidal thoughts. 
  • TMH may lack visual and/or audio cues, which may increase the likelihood of misunderstanding each other. 
  • TMH may have disruptions or delays in the service and quality of the technology used. 
  • In rare cases, security protocols could fail and your confidential information could be accessed by unauthorized persons. 
  • *You may engage in sessions when you are physically in Colorado.**  Your counselor will confirm this each session.  **There are exceptions to this during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

What to Expect Before You Begin TMH Services

Prior to beginning counseling, you will:

  • Complete any required forms (electronically) prior to your scheduled session and provide your contact information (phone number and email).
  • Download Microsoft Teams on your device.
  • Provide the Counseling Center with the name of a person who can be contacted in the event that your provider believes you pose a safety risk. 
  • Secure a safe and private setting for your session.  If you cannot find one, please call the Counseling Center before your appointment so we can assist you.

What to Expect in Your First TMH Appointment

  • TMH sessions are held primarily via Microsoft Teams or over the phone, if needed.
  • Plan to be logged in to Teams a few minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time and await your counselor’s call. 
  • Alternatively, if using telephone, your counselor will call you at the time of your appointment, using the phone number you provided.  *Be sure that your phone settings allow blocked numbers – the phone call will come from a blocked/unknown number.
  • Attend your session, ready to go, as if you were attending in-person (appropriate clothing, seating, water, tissues, etc).
  • In the first TMH session, your counselor will begin by reviewing the informed consent forms you filled out and asking you a few screening questions to assure that TMH services are appropriate for you.

Emergency Management for Distance Counseling

In the event of an emergency, and for your safety, the following measures are important and necessary:

  • You will inform your counselor of your current location/address at the beginning of each session. 
  • If we believe you are in crisis, and we are unable to contact you, we may call your emergency contact or local emergency services providers. 

Back-up Plan in Case of Technology Failure

  • The most reliable back-up to Teams is a phone.  Therefore it is recommended that you always have a phone available, and that you provide your counselor with your phone number. 
  • If you get disconnected from a Teams video-conferencing session, your counselor will re-start the session via Teams, or if unable to connect through Teams, will call you at the number you provided.