Telehealth or Online Services
Online counseling, also known as telehealth services, has accelerated in growth with the developments of COVID – 19. It is an avenue for mental health professionals to remain connected and supportive of patients, while also maintaining the safety of others. Additionally, this form of service is useful for those who may be unable to leave their home, work unconventional hours, live in rural or remote areas, or lack transportation.
What are Telehealth Services?
Telehealth services in when a counselor and patient “meet” for a scheduled appointment via the Internet. This could be through email, video conferencing or online chat. Additionally, telehealth services can be offered via the phone.
What are the Benefits to
There are many benefits to telehealth services. It offers the patient the ability to meet with and connect with their counselor in a safe manner. It offers flexibility. Teleahealth services require no transportation and can be done in the comfort of your home. This allows you to identify a space within your home that you feel safe and comfortable in. Additionally, it does not require you to drive to appointments and use valuable resources – gas and time – the way that face to face appointments require.
Can Kids do Telehealth Services?
Yes!! Our kid’s generation is often drawn to technology and use it in many forms daily. Therefore, we see that telehealth services can be less impactful on the child than what they might be on the parent. Depending upon the child’s age, telehealth services may require greater involvement in the session on the parent’s behalf. The parent may need to reinforce guidance, direction and support of the counselor. This often comes across to the child as a form of teamwork between the counselor and parent. The counselor may be more verbally directive in the telehealth session due to the limitations of telehealth services. Additionally, it requires greater creativity on the counselor’s behalf to keep the child engaged and active within the session. Please see below: Top Telehealth Tips for Kids and Teens.
What are the Drawbacks to Telehealth Services?
Some patients will tell you that there are none! Those patients are often individuals who feel comfortable with technology and embrace the creativity and flexibility of telehealth services. Others express concern about the security and confidentiality of telehealth services. Telehealth services can be delivered in a manner that is HIPAA compliant and secure. Ask your counselor about this! Finally, others share that there can be less connection to the counselor and it can take longer to develop trust. This may be true. However, we typically see that with time, this disconnection diminishes and becomes less of a barrier to your care and relationship to your counselor.