How does COVID-19 effect therapy?
Therapy is a unique business. COVID-19 has changed much about what all of us are doing on a daily basis. Protection is important. Many counseling offices are small and tight, especially mine. That means that in-person counseling is really tough when the experts say that close proximity of people within 6 feet tends to be the limit of how close we need to be. Also, experts have thought that there is problem an ideal time within that 6 feet range where it is much more likely that a person could catch COVID-19 just by breathing. This does not help us therapist, as we sit with you for 45 minutes or more in a small space.
What I have proposed to do is to move my office into the waiting room which double the size of the room that in-person counseling is done. I also have decided to do virtual counseling where ever possible. Unfortunately, with new South Carolina clients, I am not licensed in that state. My Georgia License only allows me to see people who currently reside in the state of Georgia. What does that mean? It means that I can see people who live in Georgia virtually, but if you don’t live in Georgia, I have to see you in-person with you being in the state of Georgia (ie, my office).
Why are we doing to protect clients if an in-person session is required?
My goal is to protect all clients and be helpful. If virtual counseling is possible, I prefer to do virtual counseling in order to be safe, not sorry. However, if you need to be seen in my office due to other circumstances, I do require you to sign a waiver saying that you understand the risk. Also, when you come to my office I request that you stay in your car until the time of the session. I will call you to come up. I request that you do not touch the doors if possible. I also request that you wash your hands upon entry and upon exit.
If you desire, I am okay with you wearing a mask during our session. I also will wear a mask if you request me to. Masks may cause their to be some difficulties in communication, but precaution can be taken if needed.
I further attempt to keep the air moving in the office regularly. I will open all windows, although it may become warm in the office or cold. If you request that I close them, then I will do so. I also have hand sanitizer and wipe down surfaces when people leave after each in-person session. Further, I can accommodate doing sessions outside, if desired. This may decrease the possibility of privacy, but will decrease the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
How do I accept payment and handle paperwork?
All payment and paperwork can be handled through the client portal without the need to transfer documents or payments by hand. If you prefer to pay with your card in office, you will need to read your card number to me. I do have the capability to take other forms of payment (check, cash).
When should I cancel my session?
PLEASE, if you are sick, call me and leave a voicemail that you are cancelling. It would be safer for both of us to reschedule. If you have cold symptoms (ie, coughing, sneezing, fever, runny nose, etc), please let me know so we can reschedule you.
I do provide Kleenex for clients. If you feel the urge to sneeze or cough, please use a Kleenex and sneeze or cough into the Kleenex and turn away from others. Then, please go straight to the restroom and wash your hands. If you have any questions, please call my office at 706-955-0230. If you would like to schedule an appointment you can all call or schedule online.
Brandon Coussens, LMFT
- Address3540 Wheeler Rd., Ste. 109
Augusta, GA 30909
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