Description: Think back to one year ago, call that point in time up and try and remember what you thought about everything then. OK a big ask but one year ago would you have even thought about the possibility of accessing therapy services by phone or via video chat (I would bet you had not yet even heard of Zoom)? How about now? On the therapist side of things there was some resistance to phone or video conferencing therapy mainly as some insurance providers would not cover it or would only provide a lower amount than for face-to-face therapy. While some issues ARE treated more effectively in face-to-face sessions (think about social phobias, for example) the current Covid related higher levels of need for psychotherapeutic support along with the also Covid related need for very limited face-to-face engagements has made teletherapy one of the many Covid BIG jumping things. Would you feel comfortable meeting “virtually” with a therapist? What other issues would be part of your thinking about this (e.g., therapy from home yes but with your family members possibly withing earshot, maybe no). Once you have your thoughts in order have a read through the linked article or browse some of the Further Reading linked articles for a look at where teletherapy is at these (Covid) days.
Source: Why Your Shrink Wasn`t Offering Virtual Therapy Until Now, Olga Khazan, Health, The Atlantic.
Date: December 13, 2020
Interest in and the availability of versions of teletherapy are rapidly growing. There is even a link on the Further Reading to a Consumer Reports style overview of “The 10 Best Online Therapy Programs of 2020.” It seems clear that this a new thing that will certainly hang around post-Covid. Luckily the Canadian and American Psychological Associations and the various provincial and state Psychologist regulatory colleges have been working for a number of years on broadening the scope of their ethical standards and guidelines so as to include teletherapy. So, while there are still going to be issues of client comfort (whether it works FOR YOU) it looks like teletherapy is going to be here to stay as a treatment option.
Questions for Discussion:
- What is teletherapy?
- What are some potential ethical issues with teletherapy and how might they be addressed?
- What are some of the larger possible implications and outcomes of what is shaping up to be a significant increase in the availability and use of teletherapy?
References (Read Further):
Best Online Therapy Programs of 2020 Link
Canadian Teletherapy Regulations Link
Owings-Fonner, Nicole (2018) Research Roundup: Telehealth and the practice of psychology, APA. Link
Varker, T., Brand, R. M., Ward, J., Terhaag, S., & Phelps, A. (2019). Efficacy of synchronous telepsychology interventions for people with anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and adjustment disorder: A rapid evidence assessment. Psychological services, 16(4), 621. Link
Wilson, F. A., Rampa, S., Trout, K. E., & Stimpson, J. P. (2017). Telehealth delivery of mental health services: an analysis of private insurance claims data in the United States. Psychiatric Services, 68(12), 1303-1306. Link
Canadian Psychological Asscoaition (2020) Providing Psychological Services via Electronic Media: Interim Ethical Guidelines for Psychologists Providing Psychological Services Via Electronic Media Link
Reed, G. M., McLaughlin, C. J., & Milholland, K. (2000). Ten interdisciplinary principles for professional practice in telehealth: Implications for psychology. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31(2), 170. Link
Dart, E. H., Whipple, H. M., Pasqua, J. L., & Furlow, C. M. (2016). Legal, regulatory, and ethical issues in telehealth technology. In Computer-assisted and web-based innovations in psychology, special education, and health (pp. 339-363). Academic Press. Link