What is Telemental Health, or Online Therapy?
In the counseling or therapy world, Telemental Health is a relatively new phenomena that has been gaining a lot of attention in the media. It is quickly becoming a treatment of choice for many people. It is online therapy that is similar to Skype except that, unlike Skype, Telemental Health is video conferencing that is completely secure and HIPAA complaint. It has become even more significant since the Covid-19 pandemic and the "stay at home" orders now required by many states.
What are the benefits of doing therapy via Telemental Health?
1. It increases access to counseling services for people who are staying home during this Coronavirus pandemic. If also gives greater access to those living in more rural or remote areas where there are few counselors.
2. It is more available to someone who has difficulty leaving their house, such as, someone who is ill, someone who is a caregiver for someone who is ill or aged, someone whose child is home sick from school, or even someone with Agoraphobia.
3. It is more convenient in that it eliminates travel time to and from a session, which is particularly nice when you are just getting off work and trying to drive to a session during regular"rush hour" traffic.
4. It gives more choices for you regarding therapists. Rather than being restricted to only a therapist in your immediate area, you can meet with any therapist in the state in which you live, as long as they have a license and they do Telemental Health. In my case, I have a license in both Arizona and Illinois, so I can do Telemental Health with anyone in those two states.
5. It provides greater comfort to someone who may believe there is a stigma to doing counseling, and who doesn't want others to know they are in therapy.
6. Research has indicated that Telemental Health is just as beneficial and effective as in-person sessions.
What is a Telemental Health session like?
The Telemental Health platform that I use is called Simple Practice. I will send you a link to my Simple Practice web address. You don't need to download any software into your computer. At the time of your appointment, just click on the link. I will start the session shortly after that. Be sure that your camera and microphone are on, and you may need to turn the volume up on your computer. There will be two pictures on both of our screens, one of you and one of me. The picture I will see of you will be larger on my computer, and I will see a small picture of me up in the top right corner. The picture you will see of me will be larger, and you'll see a small picture of you in the top right hand corner. The session will be like any in-person session in that we will focus on your concerns and goals. Sessions will be 45-50 minutes in length. At the end of the session, we will talk about whatever "next steps" you are going to experiment with the following week, and we will set up a time to meet virtually for the next session. Many people love the convenience of online therapy, but if you discover you just aren't comfortable with it, I can help you find a therapist that is closer to where you live, or we can set up an in-person session if I am located near enough to you.
Is it confidential?
It is completely confidential unless you have someone else present in the room during your video conference session. I wear earbuds so I will be the only person who hears you at my location.
What is needed to do therapy or counseling via Telemental Health?
1. You will need reliable, broadband internet service.
2. If you have a computer with an internal camera and microphone, it is more likely to be new enough to be technologically reliable enough to do Telemental Health.
3. Having some comfort level in using computer technology is beneficial.
4. Having an adventuresome spirit with a willingness to try something new also helps.
How do I get set up for it?
Contact me using the form at the bottom of this page or call me at 480-603-5360 to set up an appointment and for more information about doing Telemental Health.