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    Teletherapy: What it is, Benefits, and How it Works

    Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing recommendations, people are opting to stay at home for non-essential activities.  This means that many things that we typically do face-to-face (such as doctor’s appointments, work meetings, and even social interactions) are now being done virtually from home.  Many therapists, including the therapists at Tampa Counseling and Wellness, are making therapy more accessible by offering virtual sessions.

    What is Teletherapy?

    Teletherapy – also referred to as distance therapy, online counseling, or virtual therapy – simply refers to therapy that is conducted online via live video sessions on a secure platform similar to Zoom or Skype. It’s easy to do – and aside from being done remotely – is no different than a traditional face-to-face session.

    Benefits of Teletherapy

    Research has shown that online counseling sessions can be just as effective as traditional in-office sessions. There are some added benefits for people who choose to see their therapist virtually.  Here are a few of those benefits:

    • Convenience – Virtual therapy sessions can be done from almost anywhere using a computer, tablet, smartphone, or any other device that has an internet connection. This often results in fewer cancellations than in face-to-face settings.
    • Saving time from commuting – Virtual therapy sessions eliminate the need to spend time or gas money traveling to the Therapist’s office.
    • Privacy – Since you pick the time and preferred location to conduct your session, you can ensure your own privacy by having your therapy session in the comfort of your own home.
    • Flexibility in scheduling –  Since you can do therapy wherever you choose and don’t have to plan for driving time, you might find that you have increased options for when your session can be done.  Lunch break or early morning? Why not?
    • Social distancing – Online counseling may be safer right now than exposing yourself to the general public and other people who could get you sick, especially if you have an underlying condition.
    • More affordable  – Some therapists are offering reduced rates for teletherapy, which may make virtual counseling more affordable for some people.

    How it works and what you need

    Teletherapy is simple.  All you need is private and quiet space, an internet connection, and a phone or computer with audio and video capabilities.  A couple of minutes before your session is scheduled to begin, your therapist will send you a link to securely login for your session.  If you aren’t tech savvy, your therapist will send you step-by-step instructions and help troubleshoot any technological difficulties you may experience.

    If you’re considering giving Teletherapy a try, reach out by sending us a message or by calling our office. We’ll briefly discuss your interest in counseling and schedule a free 15-minute virtual consultation if it sounds like we’ll be a good fit.

    Tampa Counseling and Wellness is located in the South Tampa Area. With discretion and extra precautions in place, we are still seeing clients in the office when virtual counseling is not a viable option.

    Contributed by: Dr. Alisa Houseknecht

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