In the midst of COVID-19, you have likely heard about teletherapy. If you were in counseling prior to the pandemic, you counselor may have already transitioned you to this new platform. Or if you needed a medical visit, you were likely asked by your doctor to do a telemedicine visit. Many decided to provide teletherapy service long enough to keep themselves and their clients safe through the Pandemic, however this is also creating a shift in the way counseling services are provided. Many therapist are moving to teletherapy platform even after the pandemic.  For those that are still unsure, you aren’t alone. So let’s get into the important information regarding teletherapy.

What is teletherapy – Teletherapy is a video based platform that you use to talk with you therapist. If you are familiar with Skype, or Facetime, it is very similar. The primary difference in teletherapy is that it is done through a HIPAA protected platform. This means that it is private and encrypted and others can’t have access to it. AS with any technology based platform there are some tricks to making it work. It’s important that you have a strong internet connection and if possible are plugged directly into the modem. It is also essential that you have a private space in your home to offer the most effective session.

Is Teletherapy effective? –  Yes! The easy answer is that teletherapy is in fact very effective. The use of teletherapy offers services to many more clients, regardless of distance. It also allows for counseling services for those that may struggle to get out of their home or have other transportation barriers. In fact, research has noted that teletherapy can be even more affective for some clients. For some the ability to remain in their comfortable space, and utilize technology rather than sitting In a  strangers office allows for deeper insight and more comfort in expressing feelings.

IS teletherapy only for individual clients? – Teletherapy can be used for individual, couples and family sessions. It is most effective if more than one client is attending that they are in the same room. In fact, many teletherapy platforms only support it being done this way.  It is a great resource for working parents that struggle to get away or find childcare while attending session. Many parents find it useful to do teletherapy after their children go to bed, in the comfort of their home without worrying about their children.

If you have questions regarding teletherapy, reach out to your therapist. It’s okay to feel unsure, or be excited about the new possibility to seek services in a dynamic way.

Marissa Talarico, MA, LMFT