Teletherapy remains a much needed resource in today’s changing environment. It involves the process of proving psychotherapeutic services, including individual psychotherapy, family counseling, patient education, and assessment. It is typically delivered through interactive online or phone communication, where both the clinician and the patient are able to see and hear each other through a computer, phone, or tablet.
Even before the recent challenges of COVID-19, many patients have expressed a preference for teletherapy for a variety of reasons. In specific, it improves our access and immediacy to mental health services, without the barriers of geographical distance. For those living in rural communities, or with busy work schedules, this can be ideal. It can also be easily used by patients with a physical disability or impaired mobility, due to aging or illness. This can be critical when health issues can fluctuate on a day to day basis, and travel is not always possible. Finally, it can be a way for patients concerned with the stigma of mental health to experience therapy in the safe environment of their own home. Moreover, research has indicated it can be effective for the enduring symptoms of clinical depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety.
Although not everyone may feel that teletherapy is preferable to in-person psychotherapy, it truly is an ethical and effective option. If you are curious about this possibility in your own mental health journey, please feel free to reach out.