Have you heard of teletherapy? You probably have. But, did you know that it’s been around since the 90s?
Despite being around for years, there remain many questions and misunderstandings regarding teletherapy. So, we’ve decided to clear the air and answer the most common questions you may have about teletherapy so that you can experience its benefits.
What is teletherapy?
Also known as e-therapy, or video therapy, teletherapy is simply counseling through a live video connection over the internet. It’s actually similar to using FaceTime, Skype, or WhatsApp except that instead of talking to your friends or family you’re chatting with a trusted mental health professional.
How does teletherapy work?
Again, it’s like using FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, or any other video calling app. Clinicians link with their clients through an internet connection, secure web portal, and two-way live video. Clients can then use the same platform to interact with their counselors just as if they were meeting face-to-face.
Are teletherapy sessions private?
Yes. Therapists are legally and ethically required to follow a privacy protection law called HIPAA. In fact, therapists can only use a HIPAA compliant teletherapy platform. They must also conduct the session in a private location, such as their office with no one else in the room. Clients should also do the same. For example, having your teletherapy session in a public setting, such as Starbucks, won't make the session private.
Is teletherapy as effective as traditional counseling?
Yes. Research over the last 20 years has found that teletherapy can be just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy. It’s also convenient, flexible, and easily accessible. That makes it appealing for anyone with a busy schedule.
However, that ultimately depends on the individual. Some people prefer to have in-person interactions.
Will your insurance cover teletherapy?
Generally, yes. But, make sure that you contact your insurance company and ask.
What do you need for teletherapy?
You don’t need any special equipment. In fact, you probably have everything at your fingertips including your phone or computer -- as long as they have a working camera and microphone. Just make sure that you have a strong internet connection as well!
Can you switch back to traditional in-person sessions if teletherapy isn’t for you?
Absolutely! But, you don’t know until you’ve tried it. Please contact us to schedule a teletherapy session.