Telemental-health is a word used to describe therapy performed using a variety of technologies online including phone, email, texting, apps, and video chat. I operate primarily using video chat (similar to Skype or FaceTime but using a secure program specifically for healthcare delivery). Online therapy may be a new idea for you. You may have questions about the efficacy and safety of doing therapy over the internet.
It is good to know that current research shows that online therapy can be just as effective as in person therapy! Someone with the proper training to work remotely can connect to you and support your growth similar to face-to-face treatment. With the proper security measures, online therapy is safe and private, and any risks can be greatly reduced. Online therapy can even offer some benefits that in-person therapy does not! For some, being able to receive therapy from the privacy of home is a major benefit. For others, sharing challenges over video chat may be less intimidating than sharing them face-to-face. Of course, this medium is not for everyone.
Online therapy works best for:
- Anyone who lives in a remote location where in-person therapy in your language of choice is not available.
- Individuals who may move frequently and wish to keep working with the same therapist. (Interjurisdictional practice laws apply)
- Individuals with barriers to transportation such as lack of a car or access to a train line that make getting to therapy difficult or impossible
- Couples or families who may live in two separate locations but wish to do relational work (Interjurisdictional practice laws apply)
- Those willing to engage in safety planning to mitigate risks of practicing remotely
Online therapy may not be appropriate for:
- Families/groups of more than 3 people (please contact me to assess fit)
- Those with acute mental health distress requiring hospitalization or close medical followup, or those who cannot safety plan
- People who find the technology too distracting or stress-inducing
- Those lacking internet speeds appropriate for video
- Those who cannot ensure a private or confidential space to conduct sessions
Research and articles regarding telemental health effectiveness: