Since March of 2020, healthcare professionals have had to make many adjustments in how they interact with and treat their clients. When seeing clients in person became more complicated, telehealth became a useful alternative. While having a virtual visit over the phone or a video call had been an option in some places previously, its use became much more widespread. Psychologists were no exception as they were able to hold virtual therapy sessions with their clients.
Teletherapy has been found to be just as effective as in person therapy, especially if done over video. It also can lead to higher rates of retention of clients. This means that clients are more likely to continue seeing their therapists instead of prematurely ending their care. Teletherapy allows people to connect with their therapists without leaving their homes. This has increased access to therapy for individuals who have a physical disability that makes it difficult to get to the therapist’s office. It has increased access to therapists who may be a better fit for an individual since they are no longer limited by their physical proximity to the provider.
Telehealth is not appropriate for every person or every situation. Therapy for children should still be done in person to be effective. Psychological assessments, such as neuropsychological evaluations, cannot be done remotely. And while telehealth does provide access to a wider range of providers, it is important to be aware of state laws regarding treatment of clients who reside in a state where the provider is not licensed. Privacy and confidentiality need to be considered for both the client and the provider as telehealth creates new challenges to them.
At Mindful Assessments and Psychological Services, we work with our clients to meet their individual needs. Our psychologists provide therapy both in person and over video calls. While our psychological and neuropsychological evaluations cannot be done using telehealth, we are able to perform interviews and feedback sessions remotely. We also recognize that not all of our clients are comfortable with video conferencing technology, so we offer training for those who need help becoming more proficient with it.