With the world changing so quickly every day, many people are seeking ways to connect with a counselor other than face to face in the office. The current health crisis has demanded that we be more creative in the way that we do things, including seeing a therapist. Following are answers to some of the questions I frequently hear regarding teletherapy. Please note that I often use different terms to describe online counseling, but for informational purposes here, telehealth, online counseling and teletherapy mean the same thing.
WHAT IS TELETHERAPY?
Teletherapy is online counseling or therapy. It is usually done over video, but on occasion can also be done via phone. Rather than going to your counselor’s office, you can do therapy from almost anywhere. Online counseling lets you find a counselor who is the perfect fit for you even if you are not within easy physical proximity. I see clients from all over the world using teletherapy.
IS ONLINE THERAPY COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Many insurance companies cover online therapy, but some may not. Many insurance companies are covering teletherapy during the COVID-19 crisis that might not otherwise cover it. Check with your insurance company to verify what they will cover.
ONLINE THERAPY WITHOUT INSURANCE
If you don’t have insurance, or you don’t want to use insurance benefits, no problem. You can pay for online therapy using a credit card that is charged via a secure system.
IS ONLINE THERAPY EFFECTIVE?
For many people, online therapy is not only just as effective as in person therapy, it can even be more beneficial. For some people, not being in the same room and feeling like there is a little more safety in distance, it can be easier to open up about difficult things. It can also feel safer to be in your own space – your own house, car, room. You get to be in your comfort zone and not have to go anywhere before or after your session.
It is also more convenient for many people to do online counseling. When you don’t have the extra travel time to get to and from your therapist’s office, teletherapy is really helpful. You can even run out to your car on your lunch break!
For some, the additional privacy of online counseling is desireable as well. You also don’t have to worry about running into other people in the waiting room and you don’t have to tell anyone where you are going.
GETTING STARTED WITH ONLINE THERAPY
Getting started with telehealth is easy. Once you contact me via email – email@example.com, via the contact page on my website, or phone/text – 970-988-6978, we can chat about next steps. I will send you the intake paperwork, and we will schedule a session. Just like in the office, sessions are 50 minutes in length, and can be paid by credit card, or billed to insurance (if you policy covers telehealth). I have a secure system, similar to Zoom, and we will meet at your scheduled time online. If a good internet connection is a problem or if technology is an issue, we can do a phone session as well. Some people are uncomfortable with video sessions (I get it – it has taken me a while to get use to!), in which case we can do phone sessions rather than video.
ONLINE COUNSELING FOR SPECIFIC ISSUES
People often wonder if they can do online counseling for things like eating disorders, trauma, anxiety, depression, etc. The answer is absolutely! I meet with clients online who struggle with all kind of things. There is no need to let concerns about health and safety during the current pandemic get in the way of you getting the support you deserve. COVID-19 can keep us from doing many things, therapy is not one of them.