In August I wrote about how online therapy can help and several factors to consider when thinking about online services. This month's article is intended to be part two, or the next step. Telepsychology and other online/remote/distance services are increasing in popularity and availability. As a psychologist, online options allow us to gain training, attend conferences, and become certified in new specialties. The availability of cell phones, tablets, computers, and other devices allow psychologists and their clients to connect in ways like never before. As you probably already know, I love providing telepsychology services. Take this next step with me and learn some more reasons why and how the practice of psychology is evolving.
Maintain Continuity of Care
Telepsychology allows psychologists and clients to continue working together during almost any circumstance. Whether it's travel, a long work commute, illness, child care, busyness, work, bad weather, transportation issues, or other life situation, a client can still access psychological services. To illustrate, in my last post I shared some experiences about being a new mommy. Telepsychology allowed me to continue work with my clients while I was on maternity leave and gave me the option of (warning:-total self-disclosure here) conducting sessions in pajamas with messy hair and most likely spit up on my shirt. This type of service also gave me the best opportunity of all-the ability to care for my baby and spend time with him easily while being a working mom. Telepsychology is and will be an excellent option for parents.
As Effective as Face-to-Face Treatment
Telepsychological services have demonstrated effectiveness similar to traditional office visits, based on empirical research. This means telepsychology clients can expect high quality treatment, interventions, and assessments that give the same results and contribute to mental health as effectively as in-person visits. There are a variety of programs that allow for secure video sessions, which can feel as if everyone is in the same room together. Smart phones allow for the use of texting, email, video conferencing, and app use. I look forward to reviewing more literature about the use of these technologies clinically.
Access Information and Services Quickly-Connect, Collaborate, and Care
The practice of telepsychology allows psychologists and the public to exchange and share information quickly and conveniently. I can review research, attend workshops, network with colleagues, and offer free consultations to people interested in my services easily and conveniently. Clients find greater availability and flexibility with the scheduling of online and phone sessions. There is no wait time, no travel time, and we can meet for shorter and longer periods of time. I can email interesting articles, share helpful resources and links, and monitor progress of treatment remotely.
Stay (wirelessly) tuned for next month's post-in which I will be sharing information about brand new telepsychology services I will be offering. I am cooking up some very exciting options!