Telehealth counseling; benefits and limitations

Telehealth is when we meet connected by technological means rather than face-to-face in the office. We use Zoom or another Hipaa-compliant means to insure confidentiality. Almost all insurances now cover telehealth as an acceptable arrangement to meet your therapist.

Disadvantages? It can seem impersonal, especially for us older people who have been used to being in the same place as the person we’re talking to. Some people make the first session in the office to get a feel of things then shift to telehealth after.

A lot of the non-verbal communication is hidden. We rely on this quite a bit and when it’s absent we can tell. Internet hiccups can be distracting.

Advantages? No risk of COVID transmission or other similar worries. No traffic jams on the way to the office. For the tech-experienced there may not be any adjustments needed for the approach to be just as valuable as an office visit.

What’s required? A set-up to log into an internet connection using a stable system that won’t bounce us off. A tablet, phone, desktop will work. We both need a quiet and private space without distractions. Ideally, a consistent environment so the focus is on our communication.

 

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