What to Know About Telehealth Therapy

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Telehealth therapy became the norm during the pandemic and has really changed the field of psychology. Now most therapists offer telehealth, and it has been shown to be effective.

Just like with face-to-face therapy, your confidentiality and privacy should be maintained. Telehealth can make this a little more challenging, but it is important to make sure that your therapist continues to maintain your confidentiality even with online therapy. You may want to ask your therapist is the online platform they are using to conduct the sessions is HIPPA compliant. You may also want to ask your therapist is they are in a confidential space where they are alone and no one else can hear them. The therapist should tell you the risks to your privacy and confidentiality – and how to protect yourself – like using a secure internet connection and talking where no one can overhear the conversation. They should be open, willing, and happy to answer any questions you have about your privacy and confidentiality. The therapist may even ask you to sign an informed consent form that outlines the risks and benefits of telehealth therapy.

Another issue that people have with telehealth, is the ability to form a therapeutic alliance with your therapist. Some people feel “distant” and “not connected” to their therapist if they are not in the same room as them. I encouraged you to talk to your therapist about how you feel to see if there is anything that can be done to help you to build better rapport with your therapist. Some therapists offer a hybrid model where they meet with their therapist in person for the first few sessions while rapport is being built and then can switch to telehealth once they feel comfortable with the therapist.

You should always feel comfortable telling your therapist how you feel even if it has something to do specifically with the therapy and how it is going. The therapist should be open to hearing any feedback from you and be willing to talk about it. You should be honest with your therapist and regardless of the concern, hopefully it can be worked out.

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Kimberly Wagner, Psy.D. PSY 25460
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May 2024
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