What is Teletherapy?
Teletherapy, also known as online therapy, is therapy delivered through a virtual platform. It can be a great way to provide mental health care. Teletherapy sessions work in much the same way as traditional sessions except that the therapist and client are not in the same room.
How does it work?
Sessions are scheduled at mutually agreeable times. The client and therapist log into a secure platform and are able to see each other and hear each other in real-time via the use of webcams and headsets. The client and therapist can interact with each other in the same way as an in-person session. No special equipment other than a computer, tablet or smartphone and internet connection are needed. Clients do need to make sure they close out of other programs and shut down any music or video playing in the background.
Are Teletherapy Sessions Private?
Yes. Therapists are ethically and legally bound by privacy laws and that carries over to teletherapy sessions. Therapists make sure that they are providing services from a secure, private room while clients also look for a private place to hold their sessions to ensure confidentiality. Therapists use specialized software that is fully encrypted and offers a high level of security and privacy and must be approved by the Health In Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The client will be given a specific url address to log in with.
What are the Benefits of Teletherapy?
Overall research supports that teletherapy is just as effective as face-to-face therapy. It can offer greater flexibility and accessibility and for those clients who can feel anxious about going into a practitioner’s office, it can offer the option to engage in the process from the comfort of one’s own home. In addition, during this time of the Coronavirus, it is nice to offer a therapy modality that allows therapist and client to see each other without masks and with the ability to bypass all of the questionnaires, temperature checks and disinfecting protocols and get right down to the work of becoming.