When the COVID-19 pandemic officially took off in March of 2020, tens of thousands of clinicians like myself were unable to use our offices and had to make an immediate switch to telehealth in order to continue providing services.
The transition didn’t even make a dent in my case load. The demand for therapy was just as high via telehealth as it was in person. So I got rid of my physical space and moved my practice entirely online and haven’t looked back.
What It’s Like
The first thing you need to know is teletherapy works. The research on effectiveness of telehealth shows no discernible difference between therapy delivered via telehealth and therapy delivered in person.
It’s very much like getting counseling in person, only you are in the comfort of your own home. You log on to a link I provide for you in advance where you end up in a virtual waiting room. I “let you in” to our online meeting space, and we proceed from there. A few clients have reported it’s slightly awkward for a few minutes, but nearly all say they get used to it pretty quickly. I’ve been doing it since March of 2020 and so far not one single client has told me they were stopping therapy with me because they hated telehealth.
As for me, I sometimes miss in-person contact with clients. People have an energy in real life that mostly gets lost on video. I don’t have access to body language in sessions and that often provided valuable information. Sometimes tech problems are a drag.
On the other hand, I enjoy getting to meet my client’s pets and children, and see their homes, and research indicates clients who do teletherapy stay in counseling longer so it’s obviously easier for clients.
What You Need
I don’t work over the phone (the research on this is still out, but mostly I just hate talking on the phone!), so the most important thing you need is a good wi-fi connection
As for devices, I have clients that log into sessions on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and cell phones. I prefer when clients use devices with larger screens than a phone because I like sharing something on my screen with you sometimes and it’s too small for you to see if you’re on your phone.
If you become a client I will give you more info and guidelines about doing awesome telehealth sessions.