How Teletherapy Keeps Therapists & Clients Connected in 2020
Many people need extra emotional support while dealing with stress from the COVID-19 crisis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends seeking help for mental health during this time, but many people are hesitant to visit providers in person.
Teletherapy connects individuals and providers while limiting exposure to COVID-19, the flu, and other ailments.
What Is Teletherapy?
When someone mentions teletherapy, they're referencing virtual appointments between therapists and clients. Teletherapy counseling requires a live video session rather than an in-person appointment. Therapists connect through a secure platform to ensure provider-patient confidentiality, then conduct therapeutic practices as usual.
Clients can connect via a computer, tablet, smartphone, or another compatible digital device. Headphones are an option for those who are worried that family members or roommates may overhear their therapy sessions.
The Benefits of Teletherapy
Maintaining good mental health is important for productivity and well-being. People need prompt treatment for conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and other mental illnesses. You may also have patients or clients who need help navigating a messy breakup or are struggling with loneliness or low self-esteem.
Teletherapy helps individuals get the care they need when they need it, but it also has these other benefits:
- Convenience: Patients can participate in appointments wherever they feel comfortable, whether it's in a parking lot or on their sofa. Therapists can work remotely or at the office when they have teletherapy sessions scheduled.
- Expanded Reach: Connect with people who may have delayed traditional therapy sessions due to concerns about finding a babysitter for small children or help with rambunctious pets.
- Increased Availability: Driving in rush hour traffic or sharing office space with other providers can limit your availability for clients. Teletherapy frees you up to practice in your own home, on your own time.
You may also discover some unexpected benefits when you work from home. Many providers report they spend less money on coffee or lunches when they telecommute for therapy sessions rather than meet patients at the office.
Is Teletherapy a Good Fit for Your Practice?
Many clients and providers benefit from teletherapy. It might be right for your practice if you're tech-savvy and comfortable communicating with people via an internet connection. It's best if you have a strong internet connection, as otherwise, your patients may experience lags or glitches. This can make it difficult to communicate effectively during therapy, so let your internet provider know if you're struggling to stay online.
Consider teletherapy if in-person visits have decreased due to illness, bad weather, roadside construction, or other unexpected conditions in your area. Many people find teletherapy just as beneficial as traditional appointments.
Connect With Your Clients From Any Location
Crowded waiting rooms are a hot spot for viruses and other germs. Ease your patients' anxieties by offering teletherapy sessions, even if you also have in-person appointments available.
At 8x8, we understand the challenges therapists face in 2020. That's why we offer innovative teletherapy solutions for mental health providers just like you. Reach out today and learn more about our products, whether you're a solo provider or you work in a shared practice.