Web-Based Counselling

I’m really excited to be able to transition to tele-behavioural health (the ‘clinical’ term for telephone and internet based counselling). I have been working on the web for a few years now, with the consulting side of my practice.   Please be assured, while there is a brief learning curve, it is not difficult.  It is the same as any learning opportunity, it can be a bit awkward & clunky at first, with kinks to work out, but we are very adaptable creatures, and flexibility is a key resource to tap into when learning something new ! 

In anticipation of tele-behavioural health being a brand new experience for many of you,  I’m going to outline some of the basic steps to connect to a virtual/online session with me – here’s how to best set yourself up before your appointment:

MICROSOFT TEAMS:

I have a subscription to Microsoft Teams – you do not need to have a subscription.
(1) if you are going to be connecting by computer or tablet, there is nothing you have to do –  simply click on the link in the invitation email I will be sending you. If you are connecting by mobile device, there is a free app to download. You do not need to have a subscription to Microsoft Teams, I can invite anyone to a meeting.

(2) Microsoft Teams is BC Government sanctioned, it has end to end encryption, is PIPA/PIPEDA compliant, and has data residency in Canada – no data is stored or routed outside of Canada

Technology Check: Things to do before your appointment:
A. Check to make sure your microphone and Webcam are operational;
B. Check your battery – might be best to be plugged in;
C. Check your Internet connection at fast.com. You will need a result of 15 Mbps or higher for the best experience.  If your Internet connection is not strong, you will have the option to turn off your video and do an audio-only session;
D. Before your appointment time, find yourself a private and confidential space, with as few distractions as possible; if you can turn off email and mute your phone, even put it away, that can help minimize distractions.
E. For your security and privacy, this technology is not designed to record or store audio or video and all electronic audio and video communication will be encrypted in transit. 

Informed Consent: 
Shannon M. Simms Insight Counselling & Consulting Ltd.  will use all reasonable means to protect the security and confidentiality of information sent and received in this video appointment. However, because of the risks outlined below inherent to all electronic communications, the security and confidentiality of electronic  communications cannot be guaranteed:

* Use of electronic communications to discuss sensitive information can increase the risk of inadvertent disclosure of such information to 3rd parties.

* Despite reasonable efforts to protect the privacy and security of electronic communications, it may not be possible to completely secure electronic information.

*Employers and online services may have a legal right to inspect and keep electronic communications that pass through their system.

* Personal information (name, email address, Internet Service Provider) for some technology applications may be stored/routed outside of Canada (for example, in the United States).

*Electronic data in Canada is often routed through the USA. The USA Patriot Act allows Federal Agents to access information routed through their servers – this means they can access pages you visited, activities you performed online, and investigate your electronic communications, without requiring any proof of wrong-doing. Any software you use, based in the USA, opens you to scrutiny from Federal Agents – Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, Skype. Be wise regarding how much/what type of information you put in an email, as well as any activity you perform online.

* Electronic communications can be forwarded, intercepted, circulated, stored, or even changed without the knowledge or permission of the participants. 

*Recording of Virtual Sessions: recording of sessions is a violation of our confidentiality agreement and is strictly prohibited.

PAYMENT – Due Electronically
(1) If you would like to pay by e-transfer:  payment is due before the session.  Please send payment to my email address,  I am registered for auto-deposit, so no password is required.
(2) If you would like to pay by credit card: I accept payment by Visa, MasterCard or American Express.  At the time of booking your appointment your credit card information will be gathered, and stored on file, it will not be charged until the conclusion of your session. 
(3) Missed appointments (no notice given) and short notice cancellations (less than 24 hours notice) will be charged the full session fee.

  • Your privacy and e-commerce security is extremely important me, I use Square as my merchant for electronic credit card transactions. Square invests heavily in security technology, your payment data is encrypted until it enters their processing environment, and Square prohibits the storage of card numbers, magnetic stripe data and security codes on any of my devices. My account with Square is encrypted to their servers, regardless of the type of internet connection I am using. Square protects its systems with industry leading technology and security controls: