As with anything new and different, questions and concerns abound when it comes to the newest form of psychiatry – teletherapy. Is interacting with a psychiatrist over the internet safe? Is it effective? Is it the same as in-person psychiatry?
Believe it or not, while these concerns are all normal questions raised, many studies and client responses have revealed not only the effectiveness of online therapy, but also the benefits, some of which cannot be attained through traditional in-person counseling. Contrary to popular belief, teletherapy offers the same benefits of personalized care to each client, while being more time-sensitive, more convenient and more private than traditional in-office appointments.
First, it’s worth mentioning that a psychiatrist differs from a counselor in their ability to diagnose a mental health condition and prescribe medication. More on the medical side, psychiatrists work to treat mental health conditions through medicine, as well as therapy.
An online psychiatrist is simply someone who meets with their clients online, offering the same level of care and expertise as in-person psychiatry can. Also, depending on the state in which you live, your psychiatrist may be able to prescribe medication to you without an in-person examination, while other states require in-person interaction before administering a prescription. Check with your telepsychiatrist to see what regulations look like for your area.
Additionally, online psychiatry is best geared towards handling mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, BPD and ADHD, to name a few. If the condition is one such as suicidal behaviors, in-person examinations remain more effective, especially if the danger is immediate. As with all healthcare-related topics, exercise proper prudence when seeking out the right kind of healthcare.
Benefits of teletherapy
Teletherapy, or telepsychiatry, offers many of the same benefits as in-person counseling. While you are guaranteed the same level of intentional, personalized care during your online counseling session, you’re also guaranteed benefits in the following areas:
- Cost – For many clients, teletherapy is more cost-effective than in-office visits. Check with your insurance provider to gauge the degree to which they cover online counseling appointments.
- Convenience – Teletherapy is available to everyone with access to the internet. This includes people who live in rural areas or small towns, with few or no psychiatrists in the region. Teletherapy gives them the chance to speak with the most specialized psychiatrists, even if they work in a completely different city.
- Timeliness – With teletherapy, there’s no need to budget time for a commute or sitting in a waiting room. Simply log into your session at your appointed time and meet with your psychiatrist without waiting. Teletherapy is also beneficial to the psychiatrist as teletherapy requires nearly eight times less of a therapist’s time to visit with online clients. This means more people can receive the help they need on any given day.
- Privacy – Because you can set up your computer anywhere that’s convenient, there’s no need to worry about running into people you know at the office or explaining to everyone at work where you’re going. Plus, with HIPAA-compliant video streaming services such as BlueJeans (used by Pyramid Online Counseling) you can be guaranteed a safe and secure counseling session.
- Comfort – For some clients, sharing information online can be much easier than sharing in person. Teletherapy gives these clients an avenue through which to receive psychiatric services while still respecting their level of comfortability. In addition, it’s been shown that clients with social anxiety especially are more likely to reach out to an online counselor. Not only does teletherapy open the mental healthcare door to those who live far away, it also provides an alternative for those who never felt comfortable in the traditional office atmosphere.
Psychiatry services, convenient and expedited
Questions surround teletherapy as it continues to gain traction, though science does support its usefulness. According to an article in Journal of Anxiety Disorders, online cognitive behavioral therapy was proven to be “effective, acceptable and practical healthcare,” especially for depression and anxiety. So while the method of delivery has changed, that is, attending therapy sessions is no longer contingent on an office visit, the level of care and attention to the needs of clients remains the same.
At Pyramid Online Counseling, we make sure that every client is treated as an individual, with attention to every detail of their story, their needs and their personalized treatment goals. Reach out today or call 833-525-3077, to determine if teletherapy is an idea treatment option for you.