Teletherapy, also known as telehealth, has become a good option for counseling when in-person sessions are unavailable or difficult to access. As long as you have a private, distraction-free space and stable internet connection, teletherapy can be effective.
How does teletherapy work?
Teletherapy or telehealth sessions are conducted virtually via video stream (similar to Zoom) on a secure, HIPAA compliant platform instead of an office setting.
What are the pros and cons of teletherapy?
Pros: Accessibility, Zero Commute Time, Greater Scheduling Flexibility
With teletherapy, clients don’t have to worry about the time or stress of traveling to a physical office. I have found that teletherapy is especially effective for mothers during the postpartum period. There is no worry about leaving a newborn at home or finding childcare. Teletherapy also provides increased flexibility for scheduling appointments that fit into busy schedules.
Cons: Possible Technical Difficulties, Potential for Less Personal Connection
If you have slow or spotty internet connection, you may experience glitches like frozen screens or temporary loss of audio. Some clients also find that online therapy is more impersonal than visiting a therapist in their physical office. While I prefer to work with clients in person, I have found that there are also ways to establish good rapport through teletherapy.
Will insurance cover teletherapy?
Tricare and some Cigna plans already had the teletherapy option available to their subscribers prior to COVID-19 and will continue to honor teletherapy beyond the pandemic as an option.