While you might be aware that some psychologists perform psychotherapy sessions online, you might not be aware of the advantages that this mode provides.
- The client can participate in the session from any location that allows for privacy and an Internet connection. When Internet connectivity is not good, the session can occur via a phone call.
- Therapy is accessible to those who reside far from a good-fit therapist.
- A person who has difficulty leaving home due to a disability or due to a lack of transportation can participate.
- Avoiding a drive to and from a professional office means avoiding stressful and dangerous traffic conditions.
- A client might not have to take leave from work in order to attend an appointment.
- The contagion of a head cold would not prevent the therapy session from occurring.
- Clients who have children are not limited by the availability of babysitters. A marriage therapy couple might be able to leave their school-aged children in the next room for an hour in the evening in order to engage in marriage therapy.
- Clients who frequently travel are able to keep their therapy sessions.
- In marriage therapy or family therapy, if one family member is away, the session may be held with multi-user videoconferencing.
- A client who is uncomfortable disclosing personal matters might find it easier to disclose when the therapist is not sitting in the same room.
- A client might feel more relaxed at home, making it easier to engage in therapy.
The Session Format. In my practice, at the appointment time, the client and I each connect to the meeting through the user-friendly website of a company that is a major provider of videoconferencing services. That company’s videoconferencing service is certified as HIPAA-compliant, which means that the transmissions meet high standards for security. For about an hour, we engage in discussion of the client’s concerns and issues. Typically, the session ends with a plan for the client to take certain actions before the next session, which will typically be one or two weeks afterwards. My approach tends to be solution-oriented with an emphasis on skill development.
To explore the opportunities to participate in online therapy in our faith-based practice, please visit our website at www.crosswalknow.com, call our office at 334-744-3694, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Dr. Thomas Maple
Dr. Maple is an Alabama-licensed psychologist and the founder of Crosswalk Psychological Services, LLC. His clinical background includes work in private practice and in university clinics. Born and raised in the Birmingham area, he now resides in Auburn with his wife and his two daughters.