Working with a skilled therapist can reduce anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and help with many other psychological difficulties. It can also help us to get unstuck and overcome challenges that we often face.
Teletherapy is a relatively new way to experience therapy. But is it effective? Will I miss the feeling of a real-life connection with a therapist? What if I’m ‘technologically challenged’ …will the experience be frustrating? This article will address these questions and others.
What exactly is teletherapy?
Teletherapy, also known as online therapy, is provided through a live video connection over the internet. Similar to a FaceTime or Skype conversation, you will have a private conference with your therapist, in the convenience and comfort of your home or office. Teletherapy services are usually even more private than other online conversations, with HIPAA-compliant and encrypted platforms. Teletherapy has been found to be as effective as regular therapy and can be used for almost any psychological problem.
How does an online session work?
After making an appointment with me, I will email you a link. When it is time for your session, click on the link and you will be sent to an online waiting room. There, you and I will begin our session, just like a session in real life. I always make sure to have your telephone number handy, just in case we have difficulty with technology and need to talk through the tech problem. We can also arrange to have a practice session beforehand, so that you can see beforehand what it will be like.
Is online therapy effective?
Yes. Research indicates that teletherapy is generally just as effective as face-to-face, traditional therapy. Of course, a lot depends on individual circumstances. As a collaborative therapist, I encourage my clients to let me know when things are working and when they aren’t. For whatever reason, if the session is not feeling comfortable or effective, I will do whatever I can to make it better
Are my online sessions private?
Yes. In fact, teletherapy can be even more private than traditional therapy. You will never see someone you know while waiting for your session to begin! Additionally, therapists are required to use encrypted and HIPAA-compliant platforms for online services, so there is much less chance for a third party to overhear the session than with other forms of online communication. Finally, just like in traditional therapy, I am bound as a psychologist to maintain strict confidentiality of our sessions.
How long have you been doing teletherapy?
I’ve been using online therapy, supervision, and training in my practice for about 8 years. I’ve found it to be effective for most of my clients who have tried it, both individuals and couples. I hear from my clients that they enjoy certain benefits of teletherapy, including the time they save not having to change clothes or drive to my office! For clients with older children, it can be very convenient for them to set their child up with a movie in the other room while they have their session.
Overall, then, teletherapy or online therapy is more convenient and is equally as private and effective as traditional, face-to-face therapy. In our new normal, where we might be required to quarantine or stay-at-home, this is a good thing indeed.