If you’re wondering about teletherapy, what it is and what to expect from it, you are in the right place.
In this blog, I’ll be explaining what “teletherapy” means, what the process is like, teletherapy vs. in person therapy, possible advantages and disadvantages, and what you can expect from the process.
It probably comes as no surprise that therapy—like so many other experiences—has changed fundamentally during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fortunately, the therapy business is alive and well. The essential importance of mental health has now become even more apparent and those who need support can still get it—albeit in a different context.
As a therapist—and someone who also sees a counselor online—I can speak to both perspectives. So let’s take a look at what teletherapy is and what it entails.
Quite simply, teletherapy is therapy done at a distance. Instead of meeting with your therapist at their office, you meet on a secure video chat—similar to Zoom, Skype, et al. however with some potential differences I’ll discuss below.
“Teletherapy” can also mean therapy by phone call, but currently most teletherapy—including what I’m providing to clients—is video.
As you can imagine, there are pros and cons to this, so let’s take a look!
Here are some of the advantages of teletherapy:
In many ways, a teletherapy session is very similar to a traditional session. Typically sessions are between 45 – 60 minutes and follow a similar flow to an office therapy session.
Your therapist can still share visual or written material or “homework.” Specific forms of trauma therapy, such as EMDR, can look different, however, in most cases there are adaptations that can be made to virtually any form of therapy to make things applicable in a video context.
Yes, depending on the platform your therapist uses. I use a secure app called Spruce that is completely compliant with HIPAA, so you can rest assured that your privacy and health information is kept completely secure. Similarly, if you choose to seek teletherapy through a website such as BetterHelp or TalkSpace, these sites maintain HIPAA compliant platforms. However, some common platforms like Skype or FaceTime are not HIPAA compliant.
I treat frequency of sessions the same as when I see clients at the office—usually once a week, or once every two weeks.
I charge the same fee for teletherapy as in-person sessions. Generally though, therapists in private practice each set their own fees, so you can always inquire. Likewise, with a site such as BetterHelp, you pay a monthly fee rather than paying your therapist after each service.
Because teletherapy is becoming more and more common, many insurances cover teletherapy. However, if you’re planning to use insurance, you should check with your insurance plan to make sure they cover teletherapy, and what the benefits are. In addition, as with any form of therapy, if you want to use insurance rather than pay out of pocket, you’ll need to check with your prospective therapist to see if they take your insurance.
Ultimately, deciding whether teletherapy—or therapy in general—is right for you is a completely individual choice.
Here are some questions you can reflect on to help guide you:
If you think teletherapy might be for you, or even if you’ve been considering seeing a therapist in general and aren’t sure, I would encourage you to at least give it a try. For the time being, most therapy is being conducted online. And while I plan to return to the office when it’s safe and responsible to do so, as of this writing, we don’t know when that will be.
Most therapists are now offering teletherapy. But if you’re unsure where to start to find the right therapist for you, check out my FREE guide, “Finding the Right Therapist Checklist: 7 Essential Steps to Find a Therapist Who’s Right For You.” This guide will walk you step by step through the process so that finding a therapist has never been easier! Click here to download it for free.
If you’re interested in working one-on-one with me, good news: I’m still accepting new clients for teletherapy and coaching. *For therapy (aka psychotherapy or counseling) you must be in Colorado, due to regulations. However, for coaching (aka life coaching, mentoring) you can be anywhere in the world! For more clarification on the differences between “counseling” and “coaching,” click here and scroll down to FAQ.
In Colorado and want to book a teletherapy session with me today? It’s easy. Just click here and then click on “Request Appointment” to schedule yourself right on my calendar!
Interested in coaching instead? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
While teletherapy may be different than what you’re used to, don’t let fear of the unknown stop you—there’s never been a better (or more important) time to reach out and get help & support during these trying times.
Stay Well, my friends!