Online Therapy

Also known as “telepsychology” or “telehealth”…

Online therapy“I’m not sure I can make it to Wexford, PA. Can you see me?”

Well, yes… in most cases. There may be some good clinical reasons why coming into the office makes more sense. Let’s say, for example, that you’re avoiding going out of the house. We may decide that coming to see us would be a safe place to “experiment with that” at some point.

To see if this option is available to you, we”ll ask you where you are located. That might seem like a random question, but our licenses allow us to see you only in certain states, so it’ll depend on your physical location and which doctor you see.

However, in some cases, telepsychology may not be a good idea. While these are few, they may exist. We can discuss that when we speak for the first time via phone.

While there are few reasons that telepsychology may not work, if your needs would be better met in person, we will let you know when we talk.

Let’s talk about how convenient this makes therapy…

Maybe you don’t have time to travel across town for therapy after a long day of work or a doctor’s appointment. Feeding the pets, the kids, and balancing the needs of everyone who depends on you can take up a lot of time.

While sitting on our couches or chairs is comfortable, it may be best to be in your own space.

That may mean driving to our office for an hour-long appointment doesn’t seem to “fit in,” but logging onto the app or web link does. You can do it in a relaxing room of your choice or even outdoors if that helps give you some peace and quiet.

Online TherapyAre you wondering if it’s as effective as in-person therapy?

In most cases, yes, it is. Our work with you is based largely upon our interactions and communication. Most of this is no different via video. We can see each other and hear each other much the same way that would happen in our office.

In some cases, it is even better. Say a mask blocks your face in person – we have the ability on video to see each others’ expressions. This allows us to interact using facial expressions that tell us so much. Or, if something or someone in your environment is the source of your distress, we can work with that in a very “real” way that is nearly impossible if you are sitting in the office.

However, sometimes, it is not. While sometimes being in the same room feels better, and body language, which is essential in our communication, can sometimes be lost. That warmth and connection – especially if you spent an entire day on video calls and have related “zoom fatigue” can make the teletherapy session feel a bit more effortful. Or, perhaps you think you can’t share in your space for fear of being overheard or walked in on by another person. That may make therapy difficult, and you may find yourself being guarded.

If it doesn’t work or feel right for you, that’s ok. We can work through it. And, if we decide that coming in person is a better option, we can switch to that at any time.

And don’t worry… it’s safe and secure!

This isn’t some social media site that will track your every move and send you an ad for whatever we talked about.

Before becoming a psychologist, our practice owner, Dr. Dean, worked in IT for years, so she selected a telehealth platform where safety and security are assured. She chose Telehealth by SimplePractice (the electronic medical record company we use for record-keeping). It’s HIPAA compliant and encrypted. Sessions are not recorded by any party.

For these security reasons and insurance regulations, we can’t use other platforms (like FaceTime or Facebook video).

For more information about our work together using SimplePractice, please read this guide.

Getting the most out of online therapy…

When we schedule, we can offer you with a PDF guide on how to connect using your smartphone, laptop, PC, or tablet… as well as tips to make the best out of the technical connection.

Here are a few things to keep in mind, though…

Technology’s great when it works, but there can sometimes be issues. At those times, we may need to be more flexible and use the phone, a HiPAA compliant alternative, or reschedule. We can be flexible and adapt to these challenges when they happen.

Like in-person therapy, everything is confidential, but you may need to consider this more than usual on your end as you select a place to take the call. Do you want your kids, neighbor, friends, dog, the person in the parking lot, or your spouse to be privy to the conversation?

Also, it is still a doctor’s appointment. While you may have distractions at home, and multitasking may seem like a good idea, we encourage you to treat this like any other doctor’s appointment. Please don’t do laundry, go to the bathroom, or do work while we are talking.

Oh… and we’re afraid you’ll have to provide your own tissues!

Are you ready to begin?

Let’s start your journey of healing and working toward your dreams!

Call today to see how we can help: (724) 271-8503.