Telehealth Benefits and Concerns — Transcription
Hi, everyone! Hope you’re having a great week and Happy Tuesday! So today I’m going to talk about misconceptions of telehealth. I wanted to do this one because I know right now most therapists are still doing in person, but most are doing telehealth right now because insurance decided to cover it, which is awesome. I hope they cover it forever. It breaks down so many barriers for people, honestly, and I think this pandemic if we can find a silver lining it’s maybe that we can get more comfortable doing telehealth because it can be very convenient for people and maybe we get more people into therapy. So I just want to go over a few misconceptions or questions that people might have regarding telehealth and what it consists of.
So the first thing that people think is, is it safe? This is a very valid question because you’re doing video sessions typically and they want to know, is, is it safe? We’ve all heard of the zoom bombers that are happening and people going into those meetings that weren’t invited to them getting links, things like that. So I want to assure everyone that every therapist, if they’re doing telehealth, they have to have a HIPAA compliant platform. So basically what this means is that it is secure. I use one through my electronic health system where it is completely secure, it’s HIPAA compliant. Only the client has the link as well as myself. So most therapists have that going for them. So you can rest assure that it is safe. If you are uncomfortable, please ask your therapist: “Is it HIPAA compliant? What are the security precautions that they have in place?” Things like that. I’m sure they’d be happy to answer all those questions for you. The next is, is telehealth only phone or video. So I think every therapist is different in a sense, I do a video sessions because I think it just is adding that extra level of being personable that you don’t really get over the phone. But I think phone sessions are also fine, especially if it’s kind of like a one-time thing that it has to be followed. But again, talk to your therapist because everyone does it differently. Most are doing video sessions though, just for your own information.
And the next one, is it personable? So this was a big concern. And honestly, when I was in school the idea of telehealth was not really thrown around. And when it was, I would always say, I don’t know about that. I don’t think it’s going to be the same. I worry about it. And if it can be personable therapy is a very vulnerable thing that you go through and you want to be able to have that human to human connection. What I have found since doing telehealth since March, it is really personable, honestly, it’s actually pretty nice because people are in their comfort of their own homes. So they almost feel more comfortable and maybe more vulnerable to share, which is the whole premise of therapy is being able to feel comfortable, sharing some things that are really hard to talk about. So I definitely don’t think that that’s an issue in terms of being personable. I know some people still prefer in-person and we’ll go back to in-person when things open up eventually, which is great. I do think that in-person adds an extra layer of that human to human connection, but I also don’t think it’s necessary. Again, the benefits of telehealth are it’s super convenient, you have people that are going to therapy during their lunch hours now, versus if they were doing it in person, they wouldn’t be able to do that.
You have therapists being able to open up their schedules a little bit more because we don’t have to worry about office space sharing, the office space, or even just going in, you know, three days versus six days. Whereas telehealth, if you do six days, it doesn’t really feel that bad because you’re doing it over video anyways. So I definitely think there’s a lot of benefits. If you don’t have a vehicle or transportation, you know, this is something that’s really helpful. Again, the goal is to get people to get comfortable with therapy. And by adding this later of doing it over video or potentially phone, it just adds another way for people to be able to access therapy, which is what we want especially as therapists.
So I think one more thing I want to talk about the length. So people wonder, is it the same as an in-person session? Yes. So typically they’re around 50 minutes to an hour. That’s a typical therapy session, whether it’s in-person phone or video. So again, talk to your therapist if you have any questions about that, but typically that is the length and it should remain that through telehealth. So hopefully again, we can continue telehealth even post pandemic because I truly think it’s a great thing that we can do to help people get into therapy and get the help that they need, especially with everything going on in today’s world. And even post pandemic, there’s going to be a lot of transitional stress that we’re transitioning back into somewhat of a sense of normalcy, which is going to feel completely not normal when we go back to it. So hopefully it continues.
And I am going to ask a question after I post this video as well for next week, I want to hear from you – what are the barriers of counseling that you have? The reason I want to go over this is because I want to be able to kind of debunk these barriers and figure out how we can help everyone get connected with a therapist if they need it. So please let me know what your barriers might be, whether it’s transportation, it’s stigma is it’s just any questions that you might have for me in terms of what is stopping you or someone that you know from getting therapy or the help that they need. So feel free to answer that question and I will answer them all next week on our next, Talk It Out Tuesday. Thanks everyone!