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FAQ

General FAQs

Can I make appointments with more than one therapist?

Yes, you may book appointments with as many therapists as you would like, as often as you would like (provided your own Alternet Therapy booking schedule does not have conflicts). You are not locked in to a contract with a single therapist at any point. Ideally, at some point you will find a professional who is well suited to your situation and needs, and can begin to develop a working relationship and book exclusively with that person.

Are the therapists on Alternet Therapy trustworthy? What qualifications do they have?

Alternet Therapy exists to provide accessible and trustworthy therapy services. Each therapist on Alternet Therapy has gone through a screening and application process that includes a Criminal Record Check, Education verification, Certification/Professional Association verification, and submision of mission and philosophy-of-service statements. These applications are reviewed by an advisory board of six therapists before approval.

How should I choose a therapist? How do I know if I am a good match with a therapist?

There are many things to consider as you look for a therapist that will be a good fit for you, your family, and your situation. Before your first session, browse through the list of professionals on Alternet Therapy and use the sorting filters on the “Book Online” page to narrow down the list of potentially compatible therapists. Read through therapist bios, specializations, and educational history to become familiar with each professional.

When you have decided on a short-list of two or three therapists that may be a good fit, book an appointment with one of them, keeping in mind that there is always a chance you may not continue to meet with this person long-term.

Treat your first session with each therapist as an interview, and do not be afraid to tell him or her during this session that you are considering them as a therapist, but are not yet committed exclusively to them. This will allow your therapist to know what kind of questions to ask you and help them also decide if your situation and personality is one they are well suited to provide guidance to.

Pricing, Payment, and Cancellations

Are there differences in appointment pricing between therapists?

No. All therapy sessions are based on a 1 token per hour cost structure. This allows you to choose a therapist based solely on their compatibility with your situation and personality, without the inevitable concerns of “finding the best deal” or basing a therapist’s merit on cost clouding this purpose.

What happens if I need to cancel an appointment?

To cancel an appointment for any reason, go to “My Account” and click the “Cancel” link beside the appropriate appointment under “Upcoming Activity.” Appointments cancelled a minimum of 48 hours before a session begins will result in 1 token being credited to your account. Appointments cancelled within 48 hours of an appointment will remove one token from your account.

What if I have to cancel an appointment under extreme circumstances less than 48 hours before the session?

To submit an appeal to have a session token re-added to your account, please contact Alternet Therapy via the contact form here. Enter “Cancellation Appeal” in the subject line, and include the name of the Therapist you were booked to meet, the date and time, as well as the reason for your cancellation and appeal. All appeal decisions are made at the sole discretion of Alternet Therapy personnel and will be considered final.

Does my company’s health insurance policy cover Alternet Therapy costs?

Alternet Therapy is in constant negotiations with medical and corporate insurance suppliers. To see if your insurance covers Alternet Therapy fees, please contact us via the contact form here and provide the name of your insurance provider, as well as their website address or toll-free telephone number to allow us to confirm their participation and follow up with you.

How do I get a receipt or report?

To create a downloadable CSV report, go to “My Account” and select “Download History Report” located beside the “History” heading. A calendar widget will appear allowing you to select the date ranges to be included in the report. Upon selecting “Create Report” a report will be downloaded to your computer. Please contact us if you require a report or receipt to be sent directly to your employer or insurance provider and we will accommodate your request (some fees may apply).

Do I still get charged a session token if there are difficulties with my video streaming?

To notify us of problems with your session’s video and audio performance, please indicate as much at the end of your session on the Session Feedback screen. If you are unable to complete the session and cannot access the Session Feedback screen, please use the contact form here to indicate your concerns. Please provide the date and time of your session, which therapist the session was with, and what the audio/video quality issues were. Your account may be credited with a session token if we determine that the problem was due to Alternet Therapy or the therapist’s infrastructure.

If you consistently have issues with session performance, please follow the guidelines given under “Video Sessions and Best Practices” further down this page.

Video Sessions and Best Practices

Can a therapist accurately assess my situation without meeting me in person?

Traditionally, therapy sessions have taken place within a clinical or office environment. The ability to book and connect with a professional via video-conference was not previously practical given the limitations on internet and computer speeds. Add in the busy schedules of modern families and individuals and not only do online appointments begin to make sense, they become one of the few practical options available.

The ability to connect with a professional therapist outside of office hours, from the comfort of your home (or office, or hotel room, etc) creates an accessible service that helps people when and where they need it most.

Your therapist understands how to connect with your situation and maximize your time together, and uses the video stream to connect with the traditional tools of body language and inflection to accurately assess your conversations.

My computer quit on me halfway through an appointment, how do I rejoin the video stream?

If you lose connection to the internet, your computer freezes, or you otherwise accidentally close the video-conference window during a session, simply click “Join Current Session” in the Upcoming Appointments box on the left of any Alternet Therapy screen.

What is the “Waiting Room?”

15 minutes before a scheduled appointment, you can enter your therapist’s “waiting room.” Once the therapist arrives, they will appear in the video-conference window. This allows you to confirm your connection and webcam performance before the session begins.

What are the minimum technical requirements for my computer and internet connection?

In order to ensure your session is not negatively affected by choppy video or stuttering audio, please ensure your device and connection adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Ensure your internet browser (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc) is up to date with the latest version installed
  • Your computer’s operating system should be OSX 10.7 Lion or newer (Mac) or Windows 7 or newer (PC)
  • Internet bandwidth of 500kbps or greater (you can test this using a third-party service such as speedtest.net)
  • If you are on a laptop, ensure your battery is sufficiently charged or that you are connected to a power adapter.