The Benefits of Teletherapy

While we are open, sanitizing the office several times daily, and providing hand sanitizer to all clients, during this challenging season some people cannot come to the office or prefer to stay at home. Luckily, psychotherapy is something that can easily and effectively be done online for all ages and concerns! (Or via phone for people who prefer. )

If you close your eyes and picture “therapy,” you might imagine a person lying on a couch and talking to a clinician seated nearby. While this image – harkening to Freud – persists in movies and New Yorker cartoons, therapy today occurs in offices, schools, outdoors, and even online. Teletherapy (also known as remote therapy, telehealth, telepsychology or telemental health) refers to the use of any telecommunication medium – including mobile devices, video conferencing, or phone – to deliver mental health services such as psychotherapy sessions. With advancements in teletherapy, high-quality treatment is now available to more people than ever before – from the comfort of your own home, office, or sitting in your car (not driving) if that is your quiet space!

Video conferencing teletherapy closely replicates the experience of in-person therapy. Thanks to HIPAA-compliant software that ensures confidentiality, clients can speak with a therapist in real time over video using a computer, tablet, or smartphone. All one needs is an Internet connection and a (fairly) quiet place for conversation. If interrupted for any reason, a video session can be easily paused and resumed. So no worries if your child comes into the room and asks for a snack!  ☺  Video teletherapy eliminates the need to travel to an office or sit in a waiting room, thereby saving time and money, enhancing privacy, and reducing exposure to germs. 

There are numerous reasons a client might choose video teletherapy rather than visiting a clinician’s office in person. Video teletherapy is, of course, a great option for clients who live geographically far from a clinician, and in fact rural communities have been using teletherapy for over a decade with excellent results. For others, meeting with a therapist via video is simply convenient. Thanks to video teletherapy, busy professionals can schedule sessions during their workday at lunch or a break, parents can attend appointments without arranging childcare, and students can prioritize mental health without disrupting their academic and extracurricular schedules. Children are also well-suited to video teletherapy, as they tend to be quite comfortable with electronics and therapists can use creative interventions to keep them engaged. For individuals with mobility problems, teletherapy removes a barrier to accessing treatment.

While some clients may choose to always meet with a therapist remotely, others may find video teletherapy practical during unexpected circumstances when they might otherwise prefer to meet in person. For example, video teletherapy eliminates the need to drive to a session in inclement weather. During flu season, teletherapy prevents the spread of germs and facilitates therapy from the comfort of home. Therapists may also schedule video teletherapy outside regular business hours, thereby increasing appointment availability and reducing wait times. By fitting conveniently into modern life, video teletherapy reduces missed sessions, which helps ensure treatment efficacy.

Research has shown teletherapy to be an efficient and cost-effective addition to conventional mental health care. Indeed, studies suggest teletherapy can be as effective or even more effective than in-person treatment. As technology improves and expands across domains of modern life, the availability and use of telepsychology will continue to grow. Today, video teletherapy provides a safe, convenient, efficient, and effective way to access mental health care.

Our teletherapy option at Lepage Associates is incredibly easy to use; we simply email you a link, and there is no app to download, no account to set up or passwords needed; you simply click the link to join the session. We suggest you give it a try at least once and see! Or, if you prefer to do therapy by phone, we are happy to do that. Our therapists are highly experienced in remote therapy and flexible to create ways for you to engage in therapy this flu season! Please feel free to call for more information, or to schedule an appointment (919-572-0000). You can also email the Office Manager to schedule: officemanager@lepageassociates.com.

1. Joint Task Force for the Development of Telepsychology Guidelines for Psychologists. (2013). Guidelines for the practice of telepsychology. American Psychologist 68(9), 791–800.

2. Langarizadeh, M., et al. (2017). Telemental Health Care, an Effective Alternative to Conventional Mental Care: a Systematic Review. Acta informatica medica 25(4), 240–246. 

3. Andersson, G. (2015). Internet-delivered psychological treatments. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology 12, 157-179.

4. Novotney, A. (2017). A growing wave of online therapy. Monitor on Psychology 48(2), 48.