Change, even difficult change gives us the opportunity to see what we’re made of; to become stronger, more confident, and better prepared for what life throws at us next. With each new challenge, we develop new personal skills and obtain a greater awareness of ourselves, our family and our communities.
You don’t need to struggle alone. Sometimes we can handle change and adversity by ourselves and sometimes we need a little help. A therapist can lend that helping hand and offer a warm and encouraging environment where you can speak candidly and receive care, compassion and guidance. Meeting individually with a counselor can provide a supportive space to work through the challenges you’re facing with the empathic expertise of a trained professional.
North Star Wellness is a group of independent mental health providers. Each clinician has unique strengths and resources to help you find meaning, purpose, and strategies for expected and unexpected life challenges. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community. We will meet who you are and where you are in your journey without judgment.
Feel welcome, and be well.
Do you need support, but can’t make it to an in-person appointment? Are you a busy stay-at-home or working parent, and don’t have the time to drive across town for an appointment? Do you live in a more rural area, or maybe you prefer to just do things virtually?
If so, we can help you through virtual therapy, or telehealth. Telehealth allows us to provide counseling and therapy to our clients via live video conferencing. This can be done anywhere you have private access to a computer or smartphone.
I began using telehealth a few years before 2020 gave everyone a crash course in zoom life. I really appreciate the flexibility it offers clients when life makes it challenging to make it to the physical office. A sick child, a packed work schedule, car trouble, or some good old fashioned Vermont winter can all throw plans out the window and having one more way to make it to your appointment can make it easier to be consistent with your care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is telehealth secure and private?
Yes. All appointments are conducted through a secure encrypted connection and HIPAA compliant telehealth software Provided by SimplePractice. Your counselor maintains privacy the same way they would in an office setting. The only difference is the client’s responsibility to provide security and privacy where they are. You wouldn’t get a physical in a coffee shop, and that’s not an appropriate place to meet your therapist either.
Is telehealth different than in person appointments?
Yes and no. You still get the attention and care of your counselor and work toward your treatment goals together. Some things may take time to adjust to, and sometimes the social cues we use in person get lost over video, but many people adapt to these differences in a few appointments. There are some things that might be different (missing body language, the shared experience of a space) but the core of the therapeutic relationship will be the same, In some ways it may be better than meeting in person, many people prefer the convenience of meeting in their homes and having the opportunity to keep an appointment even when Vermont wealthy is uncooperative Personally I’ve loved the pet cameos.
How can I set myself up for success?
Check your technology (internet connection, computer capability) Check your space (lighting, privacy, sound, a stable spot motion sick therapist is not good) Check in with yourself (will you be distracted doing an appointment in the kitchen looking at the dishes? Are you comfortable where you’re sitting) Think about what you like in your therapists office a comfy spot to sit, a fidget item… Some tools that might be helpful: a computer screen more than a phone, headphones if you’re worried about distracting background noise, a white noise machine (or free phone app) outside your door for privacy. Always communicate concerns and ask questions, your therapist wants to know if something isn’t working for you, that could be an easy fix like “hey, you’re muted” or something a little more challenging like “It feels like you’re missing what I’m feeling here…” Our goal is to make this work for you, so the more information the better.
Does my insurance plan cover telehealth appointments?
During the COVID-19 pandemic all plans sold on the VT Health Exchange and Medicaid are covering telehealth the same way they would in-person mental health appointments. Many plans included telehealth as a treatment option before the pandemic and will likely continue to do so after. Because plans vary significantly the most accurate answer to this question will come from calling your insurance provider.
What about after Covid?
It’s really a personal choice, some clients and therapists love their online work and will continue that exclusively, some can’t wait to get back to in person, some may do a hybrid option (some sessions in person and some remote). If you’re starting with a new therapist, ask them about their long term telehealth plans and think about that as part of your “is it a good fit” assessment.
Simple Practice has a great client handbook that walks through some basics.
What is EMDR Therapy?
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. EMDR is a set of standardized protocols that incorporates elements from different treatment approaches.
How does EMDR work?
EMDR therapy is an integrative psychotherapy and uses a technique called bilateral stimulation to repeatedly activate opposite sides of the brain. Therapists often use eye movements to facilitate the bilateral stimulation. These eye movements mimic the period of sleep referred to as rapid eye movement or REM sleep, and this portion of sleep is frequently considered to be the time when the mind processes the recent events in the person’s life.
EMDR seems to help the brain reprocess the trapped memories is such a way that normal information processing is resumed. Therapists often use EMDR to help clients uncover and process beliefs that developed as the result of relational traumas, or childhood abuse and/or neglect. For a more detailed explanation please visit EMDR Institute, Inc.
What does EMDR help?
EMDR had been originally established as helpful for PTSD, although it’s been proven useful for treatment in the following conditions:
Sexual and/or Physical Abuse
Body Dysmorphic Disorders
None of the above symptoms or experiences fit you?
Do you experience distressing emotions that appear to you, and perhaps to others, to be excessive given the current situation? Do you tend to be highly reactive to certain triggers? Is there one or more dysfunctional belief that you believe about yourself that on an intellectual level you know is not true?
If so, you may still be a good candidate for EMDR therapy. You and your clinician will collaborate on a treatment plan that best fits your needs.