What is online therapy? How does teletherapy work? Online Therapist Georgi Chizk, M.S., LAMFT answers all your teletherapy questions today on the Love, Happiness and Success blog!
Online Therapy: What You Should Know About Teletherapy
All Your Questions Answered
Teletherapy is also referred to as Online Therapy, Telehealth, TeleMental Health, Telemedicine, and E-Health. Although it has many names, it serves one purpose: to make your physical and mental health services more accessible! The use of Teletherapy has become more common as technology has grown to make life more efficient.
The truth is, traditional therapy (going to a therapy office) just isn’t always convenient or even possible. There have been times in my life when I’ve felt too busy to squeeze in one more “stop” on my drive home, and other times when I just wished I could conduct my day from the comfort of my bed.
Even now, with social distancing efforts underway, it seems that we are forced to cut certain social interactions out of our life, and unfortunately traditional therapy may be one of those. However, with Teletherapy services you don’t have to wait to see a therapist in person.
What Actually Is Teletherapy?
Teletherapy is essentially just a platform for your therapist to communicate with you. This can be through online-video, a phone call, and even sometimes texting or email. Here at Growing Self, we are advocates of teletherapy counseling via online HIPAA compliant video. I personally love to see my online therapy clients through online-video because I feel more connected with them when I can see their faces.
Here’s a Guide To Online Therapy if you’d like to learn more!
What Teletherapy Is Not…
It is not a modality or a “type” of therapy. Basically, therapists will conduct their sessions, as usual, using their specific clinical training. In other words, I don’t switch to a new style of therapy just because I’m using technology. Instead, I allow technology to help me reach my clients so that I can use the clinical training I’ve already received.
Teletherapy is also not a 24-hour crisis hotline. A therapist using telehealth may not be equipped to handle immediate crises. It is true that technology increases the accessibility of your therapist, however calling a 24-hour crisis line, such as 1-800-273-8255 (Suicide Prevention Hotline), may be more helpful if you are in need of immediate assistance.
If you are looking for emergency resources, we have put together a list for you here: Emergency Resources
What Are The Risks And Benefits Of Teletherapy?
One question as an online therapist that I receive from my online couples therapy and individual therapy clients is, “don’t you miss certain cues when you can’t see someone in-person?” The answer… yes and no.
For the most part, I can read people’s facial expressions and body language as long as the video quality is good, yet there are times when I wish I could see someone’s foot-tapping, or when a couple reaches out to hold hands during a session. Despite some “missed cues”, video therapy can also increase the effectiveness of the therapy process because people seem to feel more comfortable in their own homes.
Other benefits include the efficiency of Telehealth. Pulling out your phone and hopping on a video session takes much less time than getting in your car, driving to the therapy office, finding parking, and then walking through the door. Not to mention the cost of travel saved!
Overall, I find that most people are pleased with the convenience of Telehealth.
One risk to note is privacy. As an online therapist, I strive to do all that I can to protect my clients’ privacy. However, I cannot control what happens on the other side of the screen. It could be harder for some people to find a safe and secure environment to conduct an online therapy session, especially if they have family members in the next room!
Doing things like closing the door, using earbuds, or starting a sound machine outside the door can help. Also using HIPAA compliant software. Growing Self offers a secure business HIPAA compliant Zoom link to consultations and clients. Using a secured video platform can help provide extra security.
Lastly, Telehealth may not be a good option for you if you experience serious mental health issues. In this case, seeing an in-person licensed therapist in your state may be a better option.
In-person therapy may also be better for you if you struggle with extreme anger or emotional reactivity, especially for couples therapy.
Is Teletherapy And Online Couples Counseling Affordable?
Here at Growing Self, we believe that you and your relationships truly matter. We care about YOU! This is why we provide affordable online therapy and work with your insurance when it is appropriate to do so.
Money is never the most important thing. Not in life, not in love, and certainly not in good business. Money is never, ever as important as people. Just like you, we have values and integrity. Our values are centered around helping you.
Because your well-being is so important to us we will not allow money to stand between you and the Love, Happiness and Success that you deserve.
We will explore solutions with you, be flexible with you, and help you get connected with the right services to fit both your needs and your budget.
Does My Insurance Cover Teletherapy?
We can help you use your insurance for your sessions at Growing Self IF:
- You are doing therapy (not coaching)
- Your policy covers behavioral healthcare with out-of-network providers
- You meet criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis
- AND you are working with a clinician who is licensed in your state of residence.
- For couples, we help you use your insurance if you or your partner has a diagnosis that your couples work is focusing on. (As well as the above criteria).
How Do I Find A Therapist For Teletherapy Sessions?
Overall, Teletherapy is effective, convenient, and easy to use AND can be an extremely helpful tool for those seeking psychotherapy from their own homes.
Research consistently shows that the key component of meaningful and effective personal growth work is working with the right person.
Because the goodness of fit is so important, as part of our dedication to your success, we offer you a free consultation meeting with the expert of your choice so that you can meet them face-to-face, learn about their background and approach, discuss your hopes and goals, and talk about what your work together might look like.
If it feels like a good match, you can then continue meeting until you’ve achieved your goals.
Growing Self has an excellent team of therapists experienced in providing therapy services through online-video. If you’re interested in learning more or would like to schedule a free 30-minute online therapy consultation, our client services team is here to help you find the right fit for your individual and relationship goals. Please visit us here to get started: Powerful Online Therapy and Coaching.
Wishing you Love, Happiness and Success on your journey,
Georgi Chizk, M.S., LMAFT
Georgi Chizk, M.S., LAMFT is a warm, compassionate marriage counselor, individual therapist and family therapist who creates a safe and supportive space for you to find meaning in your struggles, realize your self-worth, and cultivate healthy connections with the most important people in your life.
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