Telehealth therapy is a relatively new way of providing mental health services. It involves the therapist and client communicating through technology, most commonly video chat. This method has many benefits over traditional in-person therapy, but there are also some drawbacks.
In this article, we will explore what telehealth therapy is, how it works, who it helps, and the pros and cons of using it. We will also hear from experts in the field and learn about a case study involving telehealth therapy.
Understanding Telehealth Therapy
It is a form of therapy that uses telecommunications technology to provide mental health services from a distance. It can be delivered through video conferencing, telephone, or email.
Telehealth Therapy has been growing in popularity in recent years as technology has continued to advance and more people have access to broadband internet.
Theory Behind Telehealth Therapy
This therapy is based on the principle of social presence theory. This theory states that people can form a relationship with others through communication technology, even if they are not in the same physical space.
History And Development
Telehealth has been around for over 50 years. The first telehealth project was launched in 1965 by the Department of Veterans Affairs. But it has only recently started to gain popularity. This is likely due to the advancement of technology and the increasing availability of broadband internet.
Types of Telehealth Therapy
There are many different types of Telehealth Therapy, but the most common are:
- Video conferencing
Telehealth Therapy Vs. Online Therapy
The two main types of distance therapy are Telehealth Therapy and online therapy. Both use technology to provide mental health services from a distance, but there are some key differences between the two.
- The former is delivered through video conferencing, telephone, or email.
- While the latter is delivered through a secure online platform where you and your therapist can communicate and share documents.
Telehealth Vs. In-person Therapy
There are some key differences between telehealth and in-person therapy, such as:
- Telehealth is more affordable than in-person therapy.
- Telehealth is more convenient than in-person therapy.
- In-person therapy may be more effective for some people.
Unfolding Telehealth Therapy
Telehealth therapy works by using telecommunications technology to provide mental health services from a distance. It can be done through video conferencing, telephone, or email. You will also be asked to provide contact information for your therapist.
Who Does It Help
- Telehealth Therapy can help people who are unable to travel for therapy or those who live in rural areas.
- It can also be helpful for people who have busy schedules or those who are uncomfortable with face-to-face therapy.
How Telehealth Therapy Works
When starting this mode of therapy, you will need to complete a questionnaire about your mental health and history. As the therapist will first assess the client’s needs and develop a treatment plan.
During each session, the therapist will review the previous session’s notes and update the treatment plan. The therapist may also provide homework assignments or readings to help you practice what you have learned in therapy.
Therapies Accessible Under Telehealth Therapy
The therapist may offer a variety of therapies during Telehealth Therapy, including:
- Interpersonal therapy: This therapy focuses on relationships and communication.
- Psychoeducation: This therapy provides information about mental health and illness.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This therapy helps people identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors.
- Dialectical behavior therapy: This therapy teaches people how to cope with stress and emotions healthily.
- Psychodynamic therapy: This therapy explores the unconscious mind and past experiences that may be affecting your current mental health.
Evaluating Telehealth Therapy
When evaluating this model of therapy, it is important to consider the type of service being provided, the length of time you have been in therapy, the number of sessions you have attended, and the frequency of contact with your therapist.
You should also consider whether or not you feel comfortable with the therapist and if you feel the therapist is providing you with the tools and resources you need to succeed.
Benefits of Telehealth Therapy
Some of the benefits of telehealth therapy include:
- More affordable than in-person therapy.
- More convenient than in-person therapy.
- Receive treatment from the comfort of your own home.
- Receive treatment from a therapist who specializes in the type of therapy you need.
Limitations of Telehealth Therapy
Some of the limitations of telehealth therapy include, you may not:
- Have the same level of rapport with your therapist as you would if you saw them in person.
- Be able to receive the same level of care as you would if you saw a therapist in person.
- You may have to use a computer or phone to receive treatment, which can be difficult for some people.
Why Consider It
There are several reasons why you may want to consider telehealth therapy. Some of the reasons include:
- You are uncomfortable with meeting people in person.
- The therapist you want to see does not offer in-person therapy.
- You do not have transportation available to see a therapist in person.
- The cost of seeing a therapist in person is prohibitive.
- You live in a rural area and there is not a therapist available in your area.
In general, telehealth therapy is most effective when it is used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as in-person therapy or medication. It can be difficult to assess the efficacy of telehealth therapy when used alone, as there are no studies that compare the outcomes of telehealth therapy to other forms of treatment. However, some studies suggest telehealth therapy can be beneficial for certain populations.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders found that telehealth therapy was effective in reducing anxiety and depression in children with an autism spectrum disorder. Another study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology found that telehealth therapy was effective in treating posttraumatic stress disorder.
NOTE: If you are considering telehealth therapy, it is important to talk to your therapist about the pros and cons of the treatment. They will be able to help you decide if this mode of therapy is right for you. Moreover, if you are not comfortable with the idea of seeing a therapist in person, telehealth may be a good option for you.
Finding a Telehealth Therapist
If you have an interest in finding a telehealth therapist, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- First, it is important to make sure the therapist is licensed and insured. You can check the license of your therapist by visiting the website of your state’s licensing board.
- Second, it is important to make sure the therapist has experience in the type of therapy you need. You can ask the therapist about their background and training, or you can check online reviews to get a sense of their reputation.
- Third, it is important to make sure the therapist uses evidence-based practices. This means that the therapist has training in therapies that studies conclude to be effective.
- Fourth, it is important to make sure the therapist uses a secure platform for treatment. This means that your conversations with the therapist will be confidential and will not be shared with anyone without your consent.
- Fifth, it is important to make sure the therapist offers a free consultation. This will allow you to get to know the therapist and see if they are a good fit for you.
How To Know If A Telehealth Therapist Is Good
One way to know if a telehealth therapist is good is to ask for referrals from friends or family members who have seen a therapist in the past. You can also check online review sites, such as Yelp or Google+, to see what other people have said about the therapist.
Making The Most of Telehealth Therapy
If you are going to be using this mode of therapy, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your experience.
- First, it is important, to be honest with your therapist. This means that you should share all of your thoughts and feelings, even if they are difficult to talk about.
- Second, it is important to be patient. It may take some time for you to feel comfortable with telehealth therapy.
- Third, it is important to practice self-care. This means that you should make time for yourself each day and do things that make you happy.
- Fourth, it is important to keep a journal. This can help you track your progress and reflect on your experiences.
- Finally, it is important to have an open mind. The therapist may suggest exercises or therapies that you are not familiar with. However, it is important to give them a chance before deciding whether or not you like them.
Hearing From Experts
Many experts have spoken out about the benefits of this mode of therapy. Some of these experts include:
- Dr. John Grohol, founder and CEO of Psych Central, and
- Chris Delaney, LCSW-C, president of TeleMental Health Institute (TMHI).
According to Grohol, “telehealth is as effective as face-to-face therapy, with some studies showing it may even be more effective.” He goes on to say that “telehealth can provide a level of convenience and accessibility that traditional therapy models cannot match.”
Delaney echoed these sentiments, saying that “telehealth is an incredibly powerful tool that can reach people in rural and underserved areas. As well as those who are unable to leave their homes for traditional therapy.”
Both Grohol and Delaney stressed the importance of finding a qualified telehealth provider. “It’s important that people do their homework before selecting a telehealth provider,” said Grohol. “There are many reputable providers out there. But there are also some who are not so reputable.”
Delaney added that “it’s important to make sure the provider you choose is licensed in your state, and that they have experience providing therapy via telehealth.”
One study that looked at the effectiveness of telehealth therapy was conducted by researchers at the University of Utah. The study involved 134 participants who were randomly assigned to one of three groups: face-to-face therapy, telehealth therapy, or a waitlist control group.
The results of the study showed that both the face-to-face therapy and telehealth therapy groups had significant reductions in depressive symptoms, with no significant difference between the two groups. In other words, both types of therapy were equally effective in reducing depressive symptoms.
This study provides evidence that telehealth therapy can be an effective treatment for depression. It’s important to note, however, that not all conditions may be suitable for treatment via telehealth.
If you have an interest in learning more about this therapy, there are a few resources that may be helpful.
- The TeleMental Health Institute (TMHI) offers an online course called “Introduction to Telepsychology.” This course is an attempt to provide mental health professionals with an overview of the basics of telehealth.
- The University of Utah also offers an online course called “Telehealth for Mental Health Professionals.” This course is designed to provide mental health professionals with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide effective telehealth services.
Telehealth therapy is a promising new treatment modality that has the potential to reach people who may not otherwise have access to mental health services. However, it is important to do your homework before selecting a telehealth provider. And also make sure that the provider you choose has a license in your state. So, if you’re considering this mode of therapy, be sure to check out the resources listed above. Moreover, the experts agree that telehealth can be an effective form of therapy.
A Word From Therapy Mantra
Your mental health — Your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At TherapyMantra, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, workplace Issues, addiction, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.