For many individuals, visiting a psychologist's office can be difficult. Telepsychology, or psychological services using telecommunication technologies, makes it possible for any person who wishes to participate in therapy to do so within the safety of their own home or office. I believe that human connection and the therapeutic relationship are important aspects of therapy, so I do not offer counseling services through text message or email.
Telephone and teleconference therapy are well suited for people in the following situations:
- Individuals who have an illness or physical condition which limits their mobility or ability to travel often.
- Individuals who already have many medical appointments and find it difficult to add another health appointment into their busy schedule.
- Individuals who do not have reliable transportation.
- Individuals with extremely busy work schedules that make it difficult to attend therapy sessions.
- Parents unable to attend therapy sessions because of lack of childcare.
- Individuals who live in areas distant from psychologists with particular specialties or treatments.
- Individuals who travel often making it difficult to attend a weekly appointment.
All telephone or videoconference treatment is the same as office-based treatment, except for the method of delivery. The State of California initially legalized telemedicine in 1997, and in 2000, and authorized telephone and online therapy provided by licensed psychologists. California law requires verbal or written consent to telehealth as the form of delivered therapy prior to the start of treatment. The State of Texas legalized telehealth in 2005 with licensed healthcare professionals. Texas law also requires consent to telehealth as the form of therapy prior to the start of services. All laws regarding the confidentiality of health care information and patients' rights to his or her medical information also apply to telehealth therapy. Technical procedures are applied to maximize security and confidentiality. Please be aware that professionals are only legally permitted to practice telepsychology and online counseling in the states they are licensed to provide services in.
Although telepsychology/telehealth is a new development in the healthcare industry, recent research has demonstrated that online counseling can be as effective as face-to-face therapy. If this option sounds desirable for your individual situation, please contact me to schedule an appointment.