Therapist Delivering Mental Health Services Online

Experienced therapists can become set in our ways, choosing not to use technology to deliver therapeutic treatment. Some clinicians say “It’s not personal enough, I won’t establish rapport as easily.” I should know, I said that until about three years ago. I held fast to my old school teachings that therapy is best delivered in-person.

But the vast majority of our up-and- coming clients are digital natives. Our ability to have access to them is greater when we admit that the entire world is streaming and not only for entertainment purposes. 

If mental health professionals wish to break down barriers of access and increase equity; telehealth provides that option. If clinicians want to grow their practice, they must be aware that clients seek lower therapy session rates and immediate access to treatment now more than ever. I suspect the COVID-19 crisis will push many more with great intensity.

Resistance to the trends of talk therapy moving to virtual spaces will relegate us to antiquated methodology. We become like the compact disk of the music industry. A refusal to research trends forces innovation to come from other areas; leaving mental health clinicians with less client traffic. See Simon Sinek’s clip How to Adapt to Changing Times, he tells us how failure to adapt leads to unwanted consequences in our line of work of serving the public. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKop5pzHmgo

I found a platform that I’m comfortable with providing online mental health therapy, You must research each to find the legal and ethical standards that are in place and how this fits your individual comfort because not every online provider is effective. See Vice article in 2018 https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/vbqp48/is-in-person-therapy-better-than-online-therapy 

*Serious and consistent mental issues may require a higher level of care than what the limitations of online services provide but a majority of those seeking services could find benefit. Therapist should undertake additional training to conduct online therapy ethically and effectively.

By Mark Tovar LPC-S

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