At the beginning of the pandemic I closed my private practice office and began offering teletherapy sessions. Given how well it has worked and other commitments in my life at this time, I am continuing to work virtually and plan to hold off securing another office. Teletherapy, also known as online therapy, e-therapy, or video-based therapy, is counseling conducted online through a video platform. If you have used FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom, then its very much like that, except that we are using our time for therapy.
Benefits and Risks
Teletherapy has some unique benefits and risks that you should understand. The benefits include:
- Convenience: You can do therapy from the comfort of your home, avoid travel time to an office, and comply with social distancing.
- Scheduling: There are greater opportunities to schedule sessions when you most need them.
- Accessibility: If you have physical limitations, are in quarantine, or happen to be housebound for other reasons, you can still engage in therapy.
- Outcomes: Research suggests teletherapy can be as effective as face-to-face sessions, which has been my experience doing both.
The risks of teletherapy include:
- Security and Confidentiality: Because teletherapy relies on technology, there are always risks that security can be breached.
- Technology Difficulties: Sessions can be impacted when there are connection failures. In these times, I always rely on phone as a backup.
- Interruptions: Unlike an office where interruptions to therapy can be minimized, those with less privacy may find teletherapy challenging at times.
- Body Language: Engaging in therapy online can make it more challenging to read body language and nonverbal cues. That said, I have found it far less of a problem than I would have thought.
How Teletherapy Works
Teletherapy works similar to face-to-face sessions in that we will:
- Spend time getting to know each other.
- Mutually agree on the focus of therapy and which treatment options best meet your needs.
- Implement a plan to help you reduce clinical symptoms and enhance the quality of your life.
To get started, we will select a video platform to use for sessions. While my goal is always to not let the technology get in the way of sessions and use whatever is most convenient for you, it’s important we. To make the most of our time together, I suggest the following:
- Pick a place where you can minimize distractions
- Have a pen and pad handy to take notes during our session
- Use headphones to optimize sound quality
- Let me know if something is not working
My Virtual Office
Let me introduce you to my virtual office in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Complimentary Teletherapy Consult
Schedule a complimentary, 15-minute online consultation to discuss your situation and how my expertise can help.