What is Teletherapy?
Options for counseling are growing rapidly in this culture. Teletherapy is at the front & center of it all. Teletherapy or video counseling is therapy done through a live video connection, over the internet. Clients can get the same type of counseling they could receive in person, it’s just done through a computer! If you’ve ever used Skype or FaceTime, you’ve used the same type of technology teletherapy uses.
This convenient, new mode of counseling offers many benefits but has some risks. Below are common questions about teletherapy to help you decide if it’s the right option for you.
Is Teletherapy private?
Yes. Licensed counselors are ethically and legally bound to a privacy protection law called HIPAA.
When working with a counselor through teletherapy, they will likely ask you to use their secure, HIPAA-compliant video platform. Your counselor will be in a private, secure place for the video session. Your risk for a privacy breach will largely be in your hands. If you open up your computer in Starbucks, your session will not be private. If you go to a quiet, private space, your privacy will be protected just as it would be in a traditional session.
Does Teletherapy work as well as traditional counseling?
Yes, teletherapy is very effective. Research on the matter shows that video counseling is just as helpful as counseling done in person. Teletherapy is also very convenient and accessible, which helps people with consistency in counseling sessions.
With that said, there are some areas, particularly in family and couples counseling, that have not been researched. There is also something to say about not being able to shake hands or toss a nerf ball with your counselor.
Who is teletherapy for/not for?
Video counseling has great benefits for many people, but it is not for everyone or for all situations.
Deciding if teletherapy is right for you starts with your own personal comfort. If the idea sounds great, then your next step is to talk with your counselor to make sure they agree. Your counselor will need to make sure that they are in compliance with all licensing requirements for your locations and that they feel comfortable with video sessions for your situation.
Will my insurance cover teletherapy?
In general, yes. Most insurance policies will cover teletherapy as part of your mental health treatment options. Although all insurance policies are different, it is best to contact your insurance company directly.
What are the risks?
All counseling has a risk because the process of change can be messy. Teletherapy carries the same risk as traditional therapy but there are a few additional considerations. Failure of technology is the biggest potential issue. Most counselors will have a backup plan like switching to a phone session or rescheduling option if technology fails.
Where can I find a counselor who offers video sessions?
At Hall Counseling we offer in-office and teletherapy appointments. We are passionate about giving people access to high-quality counseling services. We are committed to improving the lives of children, teens, adults, couples, and families. We would be more than happy to speak with you about your situation and if we are the right fit.