It goes by many names. Teletherapy, telecounseling, telehealth, distance counseling.
Some people in fancy places define these things differently, but essentially, it’s all in the same vein.
Teletherapy is counseling that takes place over video chat. Easy as that.
While there are some important things to know to engage in teletherapy, it doesn’t change the fundamentals of our work together – it simply offers us an alternative way to connect.
A Perk amid a Pandemic?
While we certainly could have done without COVID, it did open everyone’s eyes to the possibilities of remote everything.
Although teletherapy was certainly around before, to be honest, the general population of therapists didn’t know it was a thing. Insurance companies provided much more limited coverage, regulatory boards were very vague about its look, and practitioners largely ignored it.
Enter the pandemic, and everyone took a second look. Teletherapy has provided a new way to start and continue counseling where we otherwise had no options.
Obviously, people love the time (and frustration) they save by eliminating the commute – not to mention gas, mileage, wear and tear.
And they love being able to attend sessions they would have had to cancel if in-person were the only available option.
But there’s a less obvious, more significant benefit. Some people have told me they’re more comfortable and open because they can get cozy in their favorite chair or pajamas.
I’ve even had couples log in from different locations because they couldn’t coordinate two different schedules for an appointment.
We can use teletherapy to break down these barriers, commit more fully to counseling, and help propel you on your way to thriving.
But does it actually work?
Great question. At first, I wasn’t too sure about this whole thing, either – from a mental health standpoint.
But I’ve watched dozens of people try it for the first time. Ultimately, some love it — some hate it.
But by and large, it’s become an important avenue for reaching more people in the name of improved mental health.
I’ve seen it.
I’ve had several experiences with it. These two quickly come to mind.
Cold weather prevented one client from starting her car, but we were still able to have her session.
Another didn’t think she’d like it at all, but with her busy work schedule, she loved the convenience of logging on during lunch and not wasting time commuting between offices. Ultimately, it became her favorite way to do therapy. In fact, I don’t think I ever saw her in the office again!
Making the Most of Your Telehealth Experience
I’d be remiss if I didn’t share what you should consider before starting teletherapy.
The one that causes some people the most anxiety, technology, is the biggest.
I get it. I purposely got the iPhone SE because I am not ready to give up my home button. And when there’s a software update, and they move my search bar from top to bottom, my brain has a little tantrum about why we had to change that, of all things.
I won’t lie and say there isn’t a bit of a learning curve. Fortunately, as the demand for these services has increased, so has the ease with which companies have tried to make the transition. You can do it!
It’s Simple. Literally. That’s its name.
With HIPAA-compliant Simple Practice (the platform I use for sessions and billing and records), setup couldn’t be easier.
I will send you an email inviting you to create an account.
There’s also a handy phone app that allows you to do sessions via your phone!
On session day, you’ll receive an email reminder that has everything you need and more. It includes your Join your Video Appointment link (so you can begin our session with the click of a single button), including the option to add your appointment to a virtual calendar such as iCal, Google, or Outlook.
It also includes a Test Internet connection and Get tips link – so we have the best connection possible – and a link to the mobile app.
And if you have issues…
Before or during our session, I’ll always be there to guide you.
Truth be told, I can count on one hand how many times a tech issue has seriously disrupted a session, and I’d have to rack my brain to think of someone who absolutely couldn’t do teletherapy because of technology.
Besides, you’re here searching for teletherapy, so you’re probably a pro already.
Once you get set up, it’s easy breezy.
Now, you don’t have to let anything keep you from making it to your session.
Before we get started, we’ll go through some of the more mundane issues of privacy and safety. I’ll answer any other questions you have about technology or therapy in general.
Reach out today by calling (715) 725-0820, and let me show you how teletherapy can help you to thrive!