In our digital revolution, innovation is rapidly changing our daily lives. As therapists, we know that much has changed within psychotherapy. Furthermore, wait times in large cities for therapy services increase as coverage decreases. Online therapy options are the new frontier. Overall, teletherapy provide major benefits to clients and therapists alike.
Although privacy varies depending on geographical location and the diversity of clients seen by a therapist, teletherapy ensures maximal privacy. As social media increases, everyone seems to be connected. There have been times where a clinician goes into a waiting room and witnesses two of their clients conversing over childhood memories. Although clinicians can discuss these boundaries with clients, teletherapy removes this concern altogether.
Teletherapy allows for flexibility for overworked and overcommitted clients. Researchers found that those who need services the most often have the least time. Being able to reschedule and integrate emergency sessions are maximized with telehealth. For clients with severe anxiety, the ability to schedule an emergency check-in can be invaluable.
Many clients experience fears and anxieties about their safety. Furthermore, severe winter weather can inhibit clients from coming into the office safely. Telehealth eliminates these concerns because there is no expectation that clients leave their homes in dangerous weather. There are no cancellation fees or consideration of what school districts are opened or closed.
It is not uncommon for individuals to develop various illnesses throughout the year. Further, many clients have experienced severe flus and viruses and come into the office, which may put other clients at risk. In addition, illnesses often cause additional last-minute cancellations. Providing telehealth services can be impactful because clients can work with their therapist in a safer manner. Further, teletherapy makes it safe for both clients and therapists.
5. Communications improved
While working at a busy office, often times there are various staff members that handle the clinician’s schedule. Often messages are missed and information is not clearly articulated (i.e., scheduling appointments may get forgotten and names of clients may be lost). Removing the middleman eases communication and improves the therapeutic experience.
6. Access to facilities, food, drink, etc.
One of the benefits of teletherapy is access to any of the needs that may come up for a client. Many clients attend a therapy session after a long day at school or work where they may not have had a break. Teletherapy allows a client to use the bathroom or grab a snack if needed.
7. Access for remote patients
Many client’s do not live near a psychological center. Even if someone does live close, sometimes they may not feel comfortable traveling or the weather prohibits them from attending (i.e., rain or snow storm). Other times, it may be difficult to come to a center if one relies on someone else to drive (i.e., a younger child relying on a parent or a disabled individual relying on a car service). When teletherapy began, clinicians found that the therapeutic relationship was still maintained and the therapy continued effortlessly because there was no disruption involved.
8. Access for college students
College counseling centers are always needed due to the population. However, many college students enjoy telehealth sessions because they may not want to travel during a busy day and may not feel comfortable walking into the counseling center and being seen by friends.
9. Access for disabled populations
There are many times where clients suffering from chronic illnesses may experience shame or embarrassment when needing to use facilities. In an online context, some of these concerns may be minimized. Furthermore, wheelchair accessibility can be a significant barrier with populations. Although many locations are trying to become ADAA-accessible, some older buildings need to still make the adjustments.
10. Wait times reduced
While virtual, all aspects of practice are paperless and electronic. Therefore, paperwork can be sent via email and sent back within an hour. Most patients can be accommodated because of how quickly things move virtually. For example, wait times are reduced because insurance teams do not have to process lengthy paperwork and possess other hassles.