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Tele-Health/Online Video Therapy is any remote therapy that uses technology to help the therapist and client communicate.  This includes:

  • Therapy sessions over the phone
  • Group therapy over a web-based platform
  • Video conferencing for individual, couples, or group therapy
  • Therapy via email or instant messenger
  • Using apps that connect clients to therapists and offer therapy within the app

Each one provides an individual with a different experience. Tele-health & Online Video Therapy are delivered via the internet using only HIPPA compliant platforms.

What are the Benefits of Online Video Therapy?
Research suggests that tele-health/online video therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy. The benefits of seeking research-supported tele-health/online video therapy with a licensed therapist include:
  • Greater access to care: Some people are unable to use traditional therapy due to physical disabilities, geographic location, or scheduling issues.
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0005789409000781
  • Overall expense is Lower: Tele-health/Online Video therapy may help clients save money on treatment. Clients are also likely to incur fewer therapy-associated expenses when they do not have to travel to receive treatment or pay for childcare.
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5723163/
  • High satisfaction: Some users of quality tele-health/online video therapy report high satisfaction with treatment.
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5723163/
  • More privacy: People who choose tele-health/online video therapy do not have to sit in waiting rooms but can seek treatment in the privacy of their own homes. For some, this alleviates privacy concerns.
  • Flexibility:  tele-health/online video therapy can provide some greater flexibility regarding scheduling. Flexibility in scheduling does not reduce the quality of treatment. 

How a tele-health/online video therapy session works

While it is possible to do tele-health/online video therapy via email or phone, contemporary tele-health/online video therapy typically use video chat.

The therapeutic process is similar to in-person therapy. It usually begins with an initial session during which the therapist and client get to know one another and discuss treatment goals. After that, the therapist and client spend sessions uncovering or managing the issues. The therapist makes recommendations for behavioral changes and encourages the client to reflect on their emotions, issues, and other aspects that may need to change.

The therapist may ask the client to take steps to ensure confidentiality. These might include:
  • Logging on from a private network
  • Keeping their computer locked to prevent others from viewing the session
  • Accessing therapy via a HIPPA compliant encrypted therapy platform
Clients should also ask their therapists what specific steps they can take to protect client confidentiality and prevent third parties from viewing sessions or session notes.
We also know that technology and online services can have problems and interruptions that can occur.  Therapists should speak with the client in order to create a plan for what to do when interruptions happen. This is a required consideration by regulations in California for tele-health/online video therapy.
As with other health services, quality treatment gets better results. A person should work with their therapist to devise an effective course of treatment that offers the most benefits.
Receiving Counseling Online is Effective

A number of studies have shown the effectiveness of tele-health/online video therapy.  These studies have shown that tele-health/online video therapy can be a great option and can even be done as an add on to face to face therapy.

In-office therapy is shown to be a preferred option for most. However tele-health/online video therapy is a positive alternative and with the pandemic, it is a preferred option at this time. 

tele-health/online video therapy can help with a wide range of conditions and issues, including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, trauma, and chronic stress. 

Privacy and Protection

With all of the medical industry moving to electronic medical records (EMR) and tele-health/online video therapy as an option, both therapists and individuals seeking therapy need to be very aware of the technology they are using and any potential limitations it may have. Potential violations of privacy and confidentiality may happen. Both parties should do what they can to ensure that tele-health therapy does not introduce any security-related stressors to the relationship.

Use safe, updated software and applications that reduce the risk of a privacy breach, and only use HIPPA compliant software to ensure we are doing what we can to assist in the endeavor of protection. As with any online activity, we attempt to be extremely protective of your personal information, and not share anything private unless we are required to by law.

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