- Overview of the Outer Area of the Client Portal (you can’t access some of those options once you login)
- How to Schedule an Appointment (when you choose the session length and whether you want the session to be in the office, online, or by phone- the system will automatically show you every time slot available for the next 21 days)
- How to Cancel an Appointment (be sure to click “cancel” twice so it’s confirmed and cancelled)
- How to Access Online Video and Chat Sessions
- How to Find Invoices to Send to Your Insurance Company
- Sending Messages (sending messages to me inside the portal is my preferred way of contact because it’s difficult to answer and return phone calls)
- Finding Notes from Our Sessions
- What’s Inside the Files Tab
- Making Journal Entries
- Proof of Therapy Attendance
An Overview of the Outer Area of the Client Portal
You can always get to the client portal by going to TammyWhitten.com/Schedule.
If I’m going to be out of the office at all, I’ll update it there for you to see on the “outside” of the client portal” (I wish there was a way for it to show up inside on the calendar to make life easier).
How to Schedule an Appointment
You can click to schedule a new appointment as soon as you log in the portal, or you can click on “calendar.”
Appointments can only be schedule 21 days in advance in the portal. It will show up as blank, with no available dates past 21 days.
Appointments can’t be scheduled for the same day. Sometimes you can get lucky and find an opening for the next day!
How to Cancel an Appointment
How to Access Online Video and Chat Sessions
I know most of my clients prefer to come in to the office for their sessions, and I totally support that. But sometimes, you need a quick check-in, your schedule won’t allow you to get in the office, or you aren’t feeling well but you’re still able to talk.
Online sessions are great for that! (They also work great if one of your kids gets sick unexpectedly and we need to meet.)
But not knowing what to expect or how they work can sometimes detour clients from scheduling a session. So here’s an inside view of what you can expect. The video shows you what to do, and the pictures below will show you what it looks like on your phone. It works the same on either your computer or your phone.
I do highly recommend using ear buds or head phones to keep things from echoing. While it’s a little tricky doing online sessions with couples, we can do it. But…we need both of you in the same place so I can see and hear you.
Now you are on the homescreen inside the client portal. You can see your upcoming sessions.
To start your video session, click on the button at the bottom at says, “Start Video Session.”
Once you click to start the session, it will check the downstream speed to make sure the video from both sides will work properly.
It will stay on a this screen for a bit. You will probably think it’s locked up. Just give it a minute because it does this before every online session- whether it’s on the phone or on the computer.
Finally, you will see one tiny change- a “Continue” button will suddenly appear.
You may get a message that says your version of the browser is out of date. Close your browser on your phone (or computer) and then reopen it. If you are using Chrome, it will automatically open to the latest version.
You will hear a “ding” when anyone arrives in the online session.
The video showing you will be small in the bottom corner. The person you are talking with will appear larger on the screen, once they arrive.
If there are video or sound issues, there is a reload button at the bottom of the screen. You can check the settings. You can exit and log back in again. I will often use the chat feature to communicate if there are sound issues, etc.
This is the view when both of us are logged in for video sessions.
It will list at the top who is present. “Me” always refers to whomever you are.
You can click a button on the botton to hide the camera view of yourself from showing up if it’s getting in the way, LOL.
How to Find Invoices to Send to Your Insurance Company
If you need a copy of your invoice for any reason this is where you can find those inside the client portal.
If you are submitting your invoices to your insurance company for reimbursement, you will need to send in your invoices to them. They need certain codes, and when you download the invoices, they look a bit differently than what you see inside the portal. That has what the insurance company needs to process your payment.
Before sending in your invoice to them, there is one code that I have to fill in after we have met- a diagnosis code. If it’s not showing up, please send me a message in the system and I will add that in for you. This will save it from being rejected for payment by your insurance company.
Sending Messages (the Best Way to Get in Touch with Me)
Due to the amount of spam calls I have received (and some of them have been scary), in order to preserve privacy and to prevent someone from masking as your number when texting or calling (yes, I’ve had imposters call and even mask as someone else’s legit number), I only answer phone calls by appointment.
I try to keep as much communication inside the client portal as possible. (This also attempts to keep me from feeling like I’m on-call 24/7.)
Outside of running late to an appointment, or needing to cancel your session on the same day, sending a message inside the portal is the best way to reach me.
Finding Notes from Our Sessions
Not every session will have a note, but in the event I tell you during session that I’m sending you a note, this is where you’ll find it. These notes are connected to the things we discuss, and I will often send you links to videos on YouTube or reminders of things to try before our next session.
Inside the Files Tab
Depending on what we’re working on, I may have some extra resources that I share with my clients. If so, I’ll change a setting on my end of the client portal, and you’ll get access to a folder under the “Files” tab.
There, you will see all kinds of things that may be of help to you outside of our sessions together.
Making Journal Entries
Journaling is one of my favorite ways to reduce the tension that builds up when my emotions are growing bigger by the minute.
In case you’d like to try journaling, or you would like to write some things out but make sure that NO ONE else has access to them, the client portal has a journal area. What you write in there is private. No one can see it at all, unless you click a button and decide to share an entry with me.
There is no pressure to journal- and no pressure to share your entries with me. I try my best to read all of your entries before our next appointment, but I’m not always able to do so. So if you mention something that you wrote and my eyes go up…that’s why.
Please note: NO ONE has access to what you write in your journal entries, with the only exception being if you choose to share them with me. Not even the software company who keeps the portal locked down and secure can access your records or your journal entries!
Proof of Therapy Attendance
You or your child may need proof that you were out of the office for a legitimate appointment. Or, you may need to show the courts or some other agency that you attended a certain number of therapy sessions.
Some groups will accept the forms, signed policies, and invoices from the client portal as proof of attendance. This tells you more about that.
Should you need me to write a brief letter document to give futher details, there is a brief letter document fee that applies for the time it takes to put that together. Send me a message in the portal or mention it to me at your next session if you need me to write you a letter.