You may be familiar with the image of counseling taking place in a therapist’s office, client and therapist sitting opposite each other, or perhaps the client lying down on a couch. While this model is well known and still very much in use, our current-day communication technology makes it possible to access psychological services in the comfort of your own space.
Therapy has changed over the years, as has the consumer. As more information about psychological health has become readily available, those seeking treatment have become savvy customers. You value your time, money and energy and want the best care. In therapy, this translates to more people looking for skills-based treatment delivered efficiently. Replacing the tradition of a therapist asking you to lie on a sofa and talk about your childhood, are therapists who are able to teach you the techniques and strategies needed to get what you want out of life. Therapy has become solution-focused and results-oriented, making video sessions an ideal platform for counseling.
In today’s busy world, many people find it difficult to schedule an hour plus commute to their therapist’s office on a weekly basis. Others do not want to sit in traffic, add another appointment to their day, or may want to see a specialist who is not located in their neighborhood. Tele-health provides a convenient solution.
Tele-health can provide greater ease and flexibility, and research shows it can be just as effective as traditional therapy. So which option should you choose?
How is Telehealth different from In-Person therapy?
In-person therapy means face-to-face in the same room or office with your therapist. The therapist provides the office space for your therapy session.
Tele-health services are provided remotely, meaning that you and your therapist could be miles apart, but within the same state in most cases. Your sessions are assisted with HIPAA-compliant, secure video conferencing technology. In this model, you are responsible for making sure your space is private and confidential, and you feel comfortable enough to speak freely and be able to benefit from the session in the environment you have created.
Tele-health offers the advantage of making therapy services accessible to anyone, anywhere. This makes it easier to access the treatment you need. If the distance to travel to a therapist or the desire to see a specialist who is not in your area has held you back from therapy before, tele-health might be a viable option to explore. If you want clear, directed, results-oriented therapy this can be easily delivered over tele-health and help you reach your treatment goals quickly and effectively.
Who can benefit from Telehealth?
Anyone who is looking for results-focused treatment, in which the therapist serves as a guide to help you gain the skills, techniques, and confidence to apply new strategies to your life and see the changes you want, can be a good match for Tele-health. In short, treatments focusing on helping you build skills to effect change are easily delivered via Tele-therapy. Treatments such as Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can help you with anxiety, depression, emotion dysregulation, substance use disorders, and interpersonal problems in an online format.
Clients who succeed with Teletherapy have the ability to provide a private, confidential space that allows them the focus needed to gain the benefits from their online sessions. Practical considerations such as having a strong internet connection, making sure your space is soundproofed enough so that you can express yourself freely, and having pen and paper handy, will ensure you get the most from your Tele-health treatment. With an online session, you do not have to lug your notebooks, writing materials, etc., to your therapy appointments. Everything you need is already at your fingertips.
Tele-health also allows you the luxury of sitting in your space, taking notes, and thinking or processing after the session has ended. Many people who have experienced face-to-face counseling know how abrupt it can feel to end a session after exploring vulnerable topics and then head out into the busy world again. With Tele-health, you have the opportunity to slowly absorb what you have learned, perhaps make a plan for optimizing your week ahead, and at your pace, slowly transition back into the outside environment.
Tele-health can also help people utilize counseling when they otherwise could not access services. This is especially true for people that live in rural areas where they may not be able to find a therapist in their area with the expertise they need. People who have limited mobility due to health problems, age, or chronic illness can also find Tele-health helpful. Busy professionals and parents who may not have access to childcare can find Tele-therapy an ideal choice. The goal is to access help with more convenience.
Does Telehealth really work?
When tele-health was very new, there was some initial concern that it might not work as well as traditional therapy. However, research has found that remote therapy can be just as helpful as in-person treatment, with equivalent patient satisfaction scores. The benefits of convenience and accessibility make tele-health the ideal solution in our increasingly busy and technology-driven world.
Please reach out to me if tele-therapy seems like a good fit for you. Hybrid models (part tele-health, part in-person) are also available.
At Access Mental Health Counseling, the hybrid model is another example of how we tailor our approach to the client, so that anyone seeking treatment can have ACCESS.