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UPDATED COVID-19 Procedures for Clients

Thursday, August 26th, 2021


Updated COVID-19 Procedures for Clients. Please Read.
August 16, 2021

At Sioux Falls Psychological Services and River Counseling Services, we continue to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and the Delta variant, and we want to share an update with you about our current approach to the changing situation. We highly value the health and safety of our clients, our staff, and our families.  With the added threat of the Delta variant of COVID, we ask that you attend to the following recommendations.  


At this time, we recommend the following:

  • Whenever possible, the first session with a new client will take place on our HIPAA-compliant video platform.  As part of that initial session we will discuss safety issues and together make a decision about how and where future sessions will take place (on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, or in person at one of our office locations).
  • If it is necessary for your first session to take place in our offices, we request that you wear a mask until you have met with your therapist and discussed safety issues.  You and your therapist will then together make a decision about how to handle safety in the privacy of the therapist’s office.  We ask all clients, both those who are vaccinated and those who are not vaccinated, to wear a mask while in the public areas of our building.  This includes children age 3 and above.
  • We request that only individuals with a scheduled appointment enter our offices. Minors may of course be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 
     
  • As a health and safety measure, we encourage everyone entering our office space to maintain distance as well as wear a mask while inside our building.
  • If you are feeling ill with symptoms of COVID or any other illness, please stay home, contact our office, and we will still see you on our HIPAA-compliant video platform provided you are well enough to want to still have your session.  Our therapists will take the same approach - if they are ill but able to work, they will contact you and arrange to meet you on our video platform rather than in the office.
  • The health and safety of our clients and our team will remain a top priority.

Since April 2020 we have been serving our clients utilizing our HIPAA-compliant video platform, and it has gone very well.  We actually began offering telemental health sessions about three years prior to the pandemic because we saw where trends were headed.  Research continues to demonstrate the efficacy of psychotherapy offered in this way, and we anticipate a large percentage of our clients will want to make use of current technologies for their psychotherapy.  Be assured that this will remain an option for you in almost all cases.  The pandemic has changed how we think about psychotherapy services, and telemental health (psychotherapy utilizing video on your smartphone, tablet, or computer) is here to stay.  Although we can not yet guarantee this to be the case, we fully expect insurance providers will continue to cover psychotherapy in this online format.  

Thank you to all of our clients who made the adjustment to psychotherapy online during the ongoing pandemic.  This way of receiving services is now normal, it increases access (therapy anywhere you have cell service or wifi), it increases confidentiality (no need to be in a waiting room with others), it increases safety/health (no need to be around others who may have a variety of spreadable illnesses), and it reduces cost (no need to spend extra time or money to drive to sessions).  

--Sioux Falls Psychological Services and River Counseling Team