Contacting your therapist

Note: Please call 988 if you are experiencing emotional distress or a suicidal crisis, call 911 for medical emergencies, or view our emergency resources.

This article will review how and when to set communication preferences and expectations with your therapist, how to find your provider's contact information within the Rula patient portal, and how to use Rula's HIPAA-compliant messaging tool. 

Setting communication preferences and expectations

Setting expectations with your therapist about communication preferences is an important part of your first session together. During your appointment, discuss with your therapist:

  1. How they prefer to communicate
    • Be sure to establish which method of secure communication you’ll use to contact your therapist and use that contact method if you need to speak with them outside of a scheduled appointment. 
  2. Response timelines
    • Determine when you can expect to receive a response from your therapist. This will help you understand when your therapist will likely get back to you, and when you should follow up.

Contacting your provider or care team

Follow the step-by-step instructions below, or view this video for instructions on how to contact your provider or care team.

  1. Log in to the Rula patient portal
  2. Navigate to the Messages tab. Here, you can view your current and past care team along with contact information.
  3. To expand or minimize your list of current and past providers, click the arrow next to the header
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  4. Click on the provider whom you'd like to message to contact them. 
    1. If your therapist uses Rula to manage their front office, Rula's Support team will help get in touch with your therapist. You’ll find their contact information when you click on your provider in the Care team list.
    2. If your therapist has chosen to provide their direct contact information, you’ll find their email address when you click on your provider in the Care team list.
    3. If your therapist is available to send and receive messages directly in the portal, you'll be able to contact them via Rula's secure, HIPAA-compliant platform.

Messaging your provider within the Rula patient portal

Proceed with the following steps if you and your therapist have discussed messaging within the Rula portal as your preferred method of communication:

    • Select the provider you wish to message, type in the message, and then click send
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    • When the provider responds to your message, you’ll receive an email notification.
    • Click “view message” to open your provider’s message in the patient portal.

Please note that you will not be able to message: 

  • A new therapist on your care team
    • If your first appointment is more than 24 hours away
  • A previous therapist on your care team 
    • If you have not had an appointment within the last 90 days and do not have a future appointment scheduled
    • If you transitioned your care to a new therapist (replaced your therapist within the patient portal) more than 14 days ago
  • Psychiatric providers
    • Review how to contact psychiatry services here

If you manage care for a minor:

You'll first need to link their profile to your account. Once linked, you can message their therapist from the messages tab. Therapists will be notified through their portal that you are the parent/guardian of their patient. 

How are messages stored?

Messages sent through the Rula patient portal are stored and protected in accordance with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules, which safeguard the confidentiality and security of patient communications and protected health information.

Any messages exchanged between you and your therapist will be stored as part of your patient record for a minimum of 10 years and can be provided upon request. 

Video Demonstration

Note: We're now Rula! You may still hear Path in our videos from time to time and we appreciate your patience while we continue to update our content to align with our new name.

This video reviews how to view your provider's contact information the the patient portal.

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