Is teletherapy effective?
The effects of teletherapy have been researched since the early 2000s. Overall, the research does support that teletherapy is just as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy.
Wagner, Horn, and Maercker (2013) explored the benefits of teletherapy for supporting patients diagnosed with depression. Sixty-two patients were randomly assigned to two groups – one receiving teletherapy and the other receiving more traditional face to face therapy. The patients received eight sessions each, and at the end of their sessions, the group who received teletherapy showed a slightly higher percentage of reporting fewer depressive thoughts and feelings. After three months, the teletherapy group continued to report a decrease in depressive thoughts and feelings, compared to those treated traditionally who reported a minimal decrease.
Can Couples and Family Therapy use teletherapy?
Yes! And they can even do it from separate locations at the same time.
Are teletherapy sessions private?
Therapists are ethically and legally bound, by privacy laws, to not share details about their teletherapy sessions, just as with face-to-face sessions. Therapists must ensure they are in a private and secure room before engaging in any teletherapy sessions. Sessions should not be recorded or shared, unless with explicit agreement from the client. It is up to the client to ensure they conduct their end of the session in an equally private area to ensure their own confidentiality. Additionally, I strongly encourage my clients to turn off all listening devices such as Alexa (echo), Siri, Nest, Google home, Facebook portal, Sonos, baby monitors etc.
In terms of the security of the software used, I use specialized software that is fully encrypted, offering a high level of security and privacy. Any software that therapists use for telepsychology must be approved by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). This is legislation that ensures data privacy and security for safeguarding medical information, including therapy.
What are the key benefits of teletherapy?
Convenience & Flexibility: Time is our most precious resource. With that in mind, commutes can be frustrating and stressful especially with rush hour traffic and unexpected closures, which can lead to anxiety and added stress about being late or missing any part of your therapy time. Also, you eliminate the need to find a babysitter, take time off work, and it’s typically much easier to coordinate your schedule with your partner should you be coming together.