Telemental Health Services

One of my first Covid projects was to become a Board Certified – Telemental Health Provider (BC-TMH) by the Center for Credentialing and Education. Before Covid, I never really considered getting this credential. Between my employer consulting services which were sometimes virtual and having the occasional telehealth session with a client I normally saw in person, I never thought this would become a regular service I would provide in my practice. Now I am so happy that it is! I still see a good amount of my clients in person, but I love the flexibility and reach that Telemental Health Services can provide. I even provide EMDR through a dedicated virtual portal specifically designed for EMDR.

What Exactly Is Telemental Health Services?

Telemental health, also known as online therapy, virtual therapy, or teletherapy, refers to counseling sessions that take place remotely instead of physically in a therapist’s office. My telemental health sessions can be conducted through video HIPAA compliant platforms or phone, but most of my clients prefer video. To minimize technological disruptions or difficulties, I have three different video platforms just in case one is down, client preference, or technical compatibility (sometimes certain platforms will just not work on some tablets, phones, or computers).

What Are The Potential Benefits?

  • No commute – saving time, money, and not worrying about weather
  • Therapy sessions in comfy clothes and with your pets (Some pets are allowed in my physical office, though)
  • Much larger selection of therapists to make sure they are a good fit
  • Finding therapists who have a certain specialization or approach that is not local to you
  • Potentially more privacy if you don’t want to be seen coming in/out of my office (Most of the time my clients are spaced 15 minutes or more apart so privacy in my waiting room is maximized for clients considering in-person appointments)
  • Some individuals and couples find it easier to open up in their own personal working/living space through a screen than in person
  • Ability to participate in therapy from your home or other comfortable setting when physical needs/disabilities may prevent you from coming to my office(Unfortunately my physical office is not handicap accessible and is on the 2nd floor)

What Are The Potential Drawbacks Or Challenges?

  • Finding a private space to have a counseling session
  • Technology disruptions such as poor video, loss of sound, poor internet connection or loss of internet connection
  • Not having a secure and private internet connection
  • Emotional disconnection where sometimes people find it harder to connect
    virtually than in person
  • Nonverbal cues might be more difficult to observe and interpret during client and
    therapist interactions

When Is Someone Not A Good Fit For Telemental Health

  • Someone who is potentially a danger to themselves or others
  • Does not have a dedicated private space for virtual therapy sessions
  • Family members or roommates will not respect the privacy of the individual or couple (eavesdropping, trying to tape session, talks negatively about therapy)
  • Doesn’t have strong technical skills and is relatively not comfortable on a computer
  • One of the therapeutic goals is to increase communication skills or has anxiety being around people. This can be done in a hybrid format, but I find to truly get to a true transformation with this, some of the counseling should be in-person.

Are you considering telemental health services? Do you have any questions or want information that isn’t covered here? If so, please contact me today for a free phone consultation utilizing my online scheduler or calling me at (860) 920-7070. You can ask me any questions you may have about my telemental health services and to see if they are a good fit for you.