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Frequently
Asked Questions

The benefits of teletherapy at Step By Step Counseling LLC are numerous!

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Faceless people on video call using laptop computer

1 / Is telehealth, or “teletherapy,” effective?

Yes! Teletherapy has many benefits and has been shown to be as effective as in-person therapy treatments for most people.

 

Telehealth has actually been around for many years, though it of course became quite popular in 2020 in light of the COVID19 pandemic. Teletherapy has many benefits. According to research stemming out of the pandemic, telehealth therapy services conducted via video are just as effective as in-person services. According to David Mohr, PhD, director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University: “’What we’ve seen is that telehealth is essentially just as effective as face-to-face psychotherapy—and retention rates are higher.'”(1) While there are certainly areas of telemedicine (just as phone appointments) to be studied further, current research suggests the benefits of telehealth are incredibly valuable to our healthcare system.

 

Of course, some people find in-person services to be a better fit, and this is the beauty of having both options in our world.

2 / What technology is required for online therapy?

Teletherapy can be conducted on a variety of electronic devices. The most important elements are an internet/mobile data connection and a video camera. These are both found on devices like laptops, smart phones, desktop computers, and tablets/iPads. Step By Step Counseling Services uses a specific telehealth platform called Therapy Notes. You will have access to a secure client portal on Therapy Notes that can be accessed by any web browser (Chrome, Safari, etc.). When it’s time for your appointment, just log in to your portal and access the video session.

 

A major benefit of teletherapy – it’s easy to use and you can have an appointment nearly anywhere!

3 / Where can I have my virtual therapy session?

Since teletherapy is so accessible, you can be just about anywhere (as long as you’re in the state of PA). I suggest finding a location that is private and comfortable. Some people use their bedrooms or other rooms in their homes. Others use their cars while on a lunch break – or parked in your driveway for privacy from family! Other have used their offices, a closet, or a backyard chair. Sometimes headphones are helpful.

 

We do ask that you are not in a moving vehicle and that you are comfortable with the level of privacy in your chosen location.

4 / Does my insurance cover teletherapy?

Probably – due to the pandemic, most insurance plans who did not previously support telemedicine now do. Typically your copay is the same as it would be for an in-person psychotherapy session, and some plans even offer reduced co-pays for telehealth. The best way to be sure is to call your insurance provider and ask if your plan covers outpatient teletherapy.

5 / What are the benefits of teletherapy?

Teletherapy benefits are numerous:

Accessibility – no need to drive, plan, or leave your home/work for your appointments

Comfort – sit on your own couch, wear your comfortable clothing, pet your cat, sip your home-brewed coffee, avoid a waiting room, wrap yourself in a blanket. Not using a therapist’s office allows you to customize your environment to suit your own needs.

Autonomy – for many, virtual therapy allows you to feel a bit more secure and in control of the session

Effective – most clients benefit as much from teletherapy as they would in-person services (2)

Private – online therapy is conducted on a secure platform, like Therapy Notes, that complies with all legal means to make sure your session is private to you and your therapist. You control the privacy of your environment.

Flexibility – because there is no commuting, the therapist is often able to offer more flexible appointment times.

We do ask that you are not in a moving vehicle and that you are comfortable with the level of privacy in your chosen location.

6 / How safe is teletherapy?

Online therapy is conducted on a secure platform, like Therapy Notes, that complies with all legal means to make sure your session is private to you and your therapist. You control the privacy of your environment. Many appreciate that teletherapy avoids sitting in a waiting room with other people who you may know.

7 / What happens if I have technology struggles?

We all know that technology is not perfect and sometimes connections are poor. We will work with you find a solution and have several contingency plans we can use when technology is difficult. While we use Therapy Notes for telehealth most often, we have other easy-to-use, secure platforms (Google Meet, doxy.me) as backups. If all else fails, your therapist will contact you via phone.

1 – Abrams, Z. (2020, July). How well is telepsychology working? Monitor on Psychology, 51(5). https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/07/cover-telepsychology

2 – Mead, E. (2019, Oct). What is teletherapy & the benefits of online therapy. Positive Psychology. https://positivepsychology.com/teletherapy/

We are happy to discuss any further questions you have about online therapy benefits during your free, 15-minute consultation call.

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