Practice Statement

Dr. Cohen’s practice offers comprehensive treatment for mood and anxiety disorders. In addition to psychopharmacology and psychotherapy, Dr. Cohen’s office offers Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), a medication-free alternative treatment for depression and other disorders; Ketamine, a cutting-edge psycho-pharmacological approach to depression; and pharmaco-genetic testing to help guide the approach to medication. 

Telepsychiatry and Telemedicine Services in Midtown Manhattan

Dr. Cohen offers Telepsychiatry, treatment in the comfort and privacy of your home using video-conferencing.  Telepsychiatry is only available to patients in the New York City area because under certain circumstances patients will need to come and see Dr. Cohen in the office. Routine treatment sessions, however, can occur via video teleconference in the comfort of your home.

Required equipment include only a computer or laptop with a webcam and an internet connection.

For inquiries about telepsychiatry, please contact Dr. Cohen’s office.

What Is Telepsychiatry?

Telepsychiatry services use telemedicine — the process of providing health care through telecommunications — to deliver psychiatry services. Many psychiatrists use videoconferencing for their telepsychiatry sessions. During a telepsychiatry appointment, the doctor gives treatment to the patient over the video call. In many cases, the telepsychiatry experience resembles the process that happens during an in-person visit. At Principium, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants are available for telepsychiatry sessions.

What has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic?

As a result of the need for social distancing, routine medical appointments have become frightening for many patients. Thus, those who need mental health treatment most are in some cases avoiding treatment for fear of leaving home and being exposed to the coronavirus. In addition, the stress and anxiety associated with Covid-19 have made it imperative to provide mental healthcare to all Americans, regardless of location. Governments, healthcare agencies, and insurance companies have responded by issuing unprecedented orders in support of telemedicine and telepsychiatry. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services issued an order that mental health providers can use any video-teleconferencing platform even if it is not HIPAA compliant for the duration of the crisis. This has allowed clinicians to use friendly platforms such as Facetime to conduct treatment sessions. In addition, Medicare issued an order that licensed physicians may use telemedicine to treat Medicare patients who reside in another state even if the physician is not licensed in that state. In short, a benefit of the Covid-19 crisis has been an unprecedented leap forward in the utilization and recognition of telemedicine and telepsychiatry. Principium, having long utilized telepsychiatry, was easily able to transition during March 2019 to having most treatment sessions conducted by telepsychiatry for as long as necessary.

Benefits of Telepsychiatry

The remote nature of telepsychiatry leads to plenty of advantages for patients. As one of our telepsychiatry patients, you’ll benefit from:

  • Accessibility: Telepsychiatry sessions make mental health care more accessible to patients in a variety of situations. Mental health conditions like depression can make it difficult to come to the office for treatment every session, so telepsychiatry simplifies the process. Our telepsychiatry options also give patients who commute better access to our care.
  • Comfort: Many patients consider telepsychiatry more comfortable than in-person care. Mental health stigma discourages some patients from visiting our office in public, making telepsychiatry an ideal option. The comfort of a patient’s home can also help them open up more to their psychiatrist.
  • Cost savings: With telepsychiatry, you can save on some of the costs associated with attending an in-person appointment. It allows you to spend less money on transportation, time off and childcare. In most cases, telepsychiatry has similar insurance coverage to in-person sessions.

Globally Connected Healthcare

Thanks to telepsychiatry, we can provide various forms of psychiatric care across geographic locations. We offer select aspects of these services to our patients through telepsychiatry:

  • Psychotherapy: Since psychotherapy focuses on discussion, it suits telepsychiatry well. During remote psychotherapy sessions, you’ll talk about your thoughts and feelings with one of our therapists. We provide many kinds of psychotherapy at Principium Psychiatry, including cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy. You can receive many of these therapy models over telepsychiatry.
  • Psychopharmacology: Depending on the treatment you need for your condition, we can perform some aspects of psychopharmacology through telepsychiatry. In situations where you need to make a major adjustment, we may require you to come to our office. Many routine appointments can take place over telepsychiatry, so ask our staff when you schedule your appointment.
  • Addiction therapy: Patients in the later stages of addiction recovery may take part in some appointments through telepsychiatry. At the beginning of treatment, we may encourage you to visit in person as you develop new behaviors. As you progress through recovery, you’ll get more chances to request remote appointments.

Why Choose Principium Psychiatry?

Patients in NYC choose Principium Psychiatry for mental health care because of our:

  • Experts in multiple specialties: The Principium Psychiatry team includes psychiatrists who specialize in many types of therapy and new treatments like TMS and ketamine therapy.
  • Experienced leadership: Dr. Cohen and Principium have experience in multiple specialties and hold positions at Columbia University and Cornell University.
  • Easy-to-reach location: You can reach our office near Columbus Circle from multiple subway lines, including accessible stations.

Schedule a Telepsychiatry Appointment in NYC

Please book an initial consultation at our NYC office to learn more about our telepsychiatry options.

Telepsychiatry FAQs

What is telemedicine?

Telemedicine is the use of video-teleconferencing technology to facilitate encounters between medical providers and patients instead of the patient being seen in person by the provider.

What is telepsychiatry?

Telepsychiatry is the use of telemedicine to provide mental health care, such as medication management and psychotherapy.

How did telemedicine develop?

The use of video-conferencing for medical purposes began in the 1950s, when the technology first became feasible. However, at that time, telemedicine was used infrequently and only when in person care was not available. On of the challenges was that the technology was expensive and impossible to deploy on a broad scale. This continued to be the state of affairs until the development of the internet and cheap webcams, which made video-teleconferencing accessible to ordinary citizens in the home.

Why has telepsychiatry not been more widely implemented?

Despite the fact that the basic technology needed for telemedicine has been available for at least twenty years, telemedicine and telepsychiatry have seen relatively slow growth to date. The reasons for the slow adoption of telemedicine are primarily concerns about the confidentiality and security of internet based video-teleconferencing. In addition, regulators and clinicians expressed concern that telemedicine would not allow for adequate assessments as compared to in-person evaluations. Telemedicine was therefore hampered by a fear that it would result in inferior treatment. In the past, some insurance companies would not reimburse for telemedicine.

What has been the status of telepsychiatry in recent years?

In the past five years, there has been growing acceptance of telepsychiatry as a valid and even essential method for providing mental health care. Particularly in states that have few psychiatrists (such as Minnesota, Montana) and in regions that are remote (northern California, west Texas, upstate New York), telepsychiatry has allowed for mental health care to reach patient populations that previously had no access to care. In addition, telepsychiatry gained more acceptance as being a necessary tool for providing mental health care to special populations, such as prison inmates. Nevertheless, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, a certain bias against telemedicine and telepsychiatry persisted on the part of providers, insurance companies, and regulators.

How long has Principium offered telepsychiatry?

Principium has been at the forefront of recognizing the potential of telepsychiatry. Principium has been offering telepsychiatry for almost ten years. Some patients have used telepsychiatry as their primary mode of treatment, while others have utilized it when traveling in order to be able to maintain their treatment session schedule. Principium has found telepsychiatry to be a safe and effective method for providing mental health care to those who face challenges coming to the office.

How does a telepsychiatry session work at Principium?

Once you have booked your appointment, you will be provided with technical information about how to access the treatment session. Principium uses a number of telepsychiatry platforms that can be accessed on a computer, tablet, or smart phone.

What treatments are offered by telepsychiatry at Principium?

Telepsychiatry lends itself well to psychotherapy and to medication management. Psychotherapy can be individual, couples or family therapy. Telepsychiatry is utilized by our psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychiatrists.

How will I obtain medication if I am being seen by telepsychiatry?

At Principium, we prescribe medication electronically directly to your pharmacy. You do not need to pick up a paper prescription.

What geographical region does Principium cover by telepsychiatry?

Currently, Principium is able to see patients who reside in the tri-state New York area (all of New York State, Connecticut, and New Jersey). Principium can also treat patients in Kansas. Principium has plans to expand coverage to California and Florida.

What if I am interested in TMS or ketamine treatments?

The initial evaluation can be conducted by telepsychiatry. If you are a good candidate for TMS or ketamine therapy, you would then need to arrange in-person appointments as these treatments require direct treatment in the office.

What if I am interested in Suboxone treatment?

During the Covid-19 crisis, those needing suboxone can be treated by telepsychiatry. It is possible that at some point it would be required that you visit the office periodically, depending on state and federal regulations, which are rapidly evolving.

What if I take ADHD medication?

If you require ADHD treatment with medication, you are able to be treated by telepsychiatry and to receive your prescription.

What is different about a telepsychiatry session as opposed to an in-person session?

In a telepsychiatry session, typically the doctor or therapist can only see your face or upper body. Since psychiatry is primarily focused on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, this does not usually pose any problem for the provider using telepsychiatry. Often, patients access telepsychiatry from the home. As such, telepsychiatry has the quality of a “home visit.” The provider can often see the patient’s home and environment. This can help provide useful information. For example, if a patient is a hoarder, this might be readily apparent during the telepsychiatry session. If the patient is depressed, the psychiatrist might note that the home environment is disordered due to low motivation in the patient. Thus, in many respects, telepsychiatry can provide more information than would normally be obtained in an in-person visit.

What if I prefer to just use the phone rather than telemedicine?

Phone sessions can be useful and can accomplish many of the goals of a regular session (whether in-person or by telepsychiatry). However, a phone session cannot substitute for telepsychiatry for the initial evaluation. The first session is essential to develop a differential diagnosis (a list of the most likely conditions affecting the patient) and treatment plan. Being able to see the patient as well as listen to her is important for the initial evaluation. At Principium, initial evaluations must be by telepsychiatry or in-person.

How can I make a telepsychiatry appointment at Principium?

In order to book an appointment, simply email the office at info@manhattantms.com or call 212-335-0236.