What Is Teletherapy?
Teletherapy (also called web therapy, distance counseling, online therapy, or e-therapy) is a digital alternative to in-office mental health counseling. Our therapists use secure, private web conferencing software to connect with clients live, via a computer or tablet. If you’ve ever used a public web conferencing platform like Skype, Zoom, or GoToMeeting, you’ve experienced this kind of technology in action. Unlike public platforms, though, the mental health platforms used by professional therapists are subject to rigorous privacy standards (including HIPAA).
The Department of Veterans Affairs became the first organization to offer virtual “telehealth” sessions in the 1960s. Since then, the telehealth industry—which includes both physical health and mental health services—has grown rapidly. Over the next ten years, telehealth is expected to grow exponentially.
Why are so many people now accessing healthcare services remotely? Teletherapy offers many benefits, including the following:
Teletherapy offers Convenience
If you’ve ever attended therapy in-office, you know it includes a much larger time investment than just the hour you spend in session. It also involves gassing up the car, fighting your way through traffic, finding parking, and then getting back home again. Traveling to an appointment and back again represents a significant time investment for many people, especially those who have to visit a healthcare professional often, live far from their office, or rely on public transportation to get there. Virtual meetings eliminate these hassles.
Teletherapy offers Comfort
Web therapy sessions can be conducted anywhere where there is an internet connection. If you’re a busy parent (or other caretaker) or are recovering from an illness, you may value the ability to talk to a counselor online, from the comfort of your own home. This arrangement may also work well for you if you are struggling with severe depression or social anxiety.
Teletherapy offers Privacy
Many people prefer to avoid being seen walking into a mental health center. If you’re a public servant, high-profile executive, or other community figure, teletherapy can provide an additional layer of privacy to your counseling experience. Because your sessions can be conducted from your home, office, or hotel room, your complete privacy can be assured. Thanks to our encrypted, HIPAA-compliant software, what is said during sessions will stay between you and your therapist.
Most web conferencing platforms are also quite easy to use. Our feature-rich yet intuitive platform will streamline your therapy experience, not complicate it—even if you’re not great with computers.
How Our Teletherapy Platform Works
We provide web therapy sessions via Simple Practice’s “Telehealth” web conferencing application. This internet-based tool allows you to schedule, join, and pay for sessions all via the same user-friendly interface. No software download is required; all that’s needed is an internet-capable device—such as a desktop, laptop, or tablet—equipped with a webcam and speakers. You’ll also need a high-speed internet connection.
Download this instructional PDF (444KB) for more information on preparing for your first teletherapy appointment. You may also request a free consultation during which you can take our conferencing software for a test drive.
As you consider working with us remotely, you may be wondering. . .
Does online therapy really work?
Our professional web conferencing software enables our therapists to provide the same quality care you would expect from an in-person session. Because your therapist will be able to both hear and see you during these live sessions, they will have access to the vocal clues and body language that are lost during the text or audio-only sessions provided by other distance therapists. Because online video sessions so closely replicate in-person ones, they are just as effective and even more accessible for most people (according to a large body of scientific evidence).
Will my insurance cover this?
Unfortunately, North Carolina law does not require insurance companies to reimburse web-based therapy sessions at the same level as in-person ones. However, while insurance companies are not required to reimburse for sessions conducted online, some have opted to do so nonetheless. Contact your insurance company to find out whether our online sessions may be reimbursable, and visit our Fees and Insurance page for more information.
Who is eligible for online therapy?
We are licensed to offer therapy to any adult residing in the state of North Carolina. Some clients are better suited to in-person sessions, including individuals with severe depression or other destabilizing mental illnesses. To determine if sessions would work for you, we evaluate eligibility for this service on a case-by-case basis. In general, though, most issues—including anxiety, depression, and insomnia—are treatable online.
Schedule An Appointment For Online Therapy
We offer internet-based therapy for new moms, caregivers, busy professionals, students, and anyone else wanting convenient, comfortable, and private sessions. Contact us for a free consultation to find out whether teletherapy could work for you.