For those who have considered seeking counseling, but struggle to find the time to fit it in to already full schedules, there is a possible solution that might work for you. There is a growing demand for telehealth services. First and foremost, what is telehealth? In terms of therapy, telehealth means using electronic information and telecommunication technologies to facilitate long-distance counseling sessions. In other words, it would be like seeing your therapist on a video conferencing platform similar to Skype.
Many individuals go untreated each year as a result of a variety of barriers to treatment. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health sponsored by SAMHSA, “an annual average of 1.5 million young adults aged 18 to 25 felt they needed mental health services but did not receive any services in the past year” (1). It is my passion to make therapy sessions more accessible and convenience in an effort to reach more people.
Research seems to indicate that Teletherapy can be just as effective as face-to-face counseling. Studies have shown that video counseling therapy can lower the cost of sessions and improve client outcomes. It has also been found to reduce the burden and cost of transportation. With the aid of computer and video, you can meet with your counselor-all without your physical presence in their office.
So why would you want to see a therapist online, when you could go see him or her locally? Let’s take a closer look at some of the possible benefits of seeing a counselor online instead of face-to-face. If you work full time and have children, your mental health can seem like an afterthought. There is a lot to consider and work out when leaving home for an appointment. Will I have to take time off work? Also, the time and cost off childcare can a daunting roadblock to following through with therapy.
Telehealth can be more convenient. For those who live in remote areas or are housebound for a variety of reasons, online video counseling can be an appealing alternative. If your busy work schedule is prohibitive to scheduling sessions, Teletherapy my allow you to work in a session during a break at work. All too often, seeking mental health services is either postponed or pushed to the wayside because of the inconvenience of getting to and from appointments. Teletherapy allows some clients to see their counselor from the comfort of home. Online therapy decreases absences due to poor weather conditions or sickness, allowing clients to participate in therapy on a regular basis. Unfortunately, in our society, there can be a social stigma associated with seeking mental health services. This can be alleviated by meeting with your therapist in the privacy of one’s home while eliminating time spent in a waiting room with other clients filling out paperwork.
Telehealth services are an alternative option for many clients. It is convenient, flexible, and eliminates travel time. According to the American Telemedicine Association, “Consumers want telemedicine. Over the past 15 years, study after study has documented patient satisfaction and support for telemedical services.” (2)
If you are interested in discussing telehealth services as an alternative to face-to-face counseling, please feel free to contact me.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. The CBHSQ Report, May 20, 2015. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_1975/Spotlight-1975.pdf
American Telemedicine Association (n.d.). Telemedicine Benefits. Retrieved from http://www.americantelemed.org/main/about/about-telemedicine/telemedicine-benefits
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