Teletherapy Here to Stay
Covid Triggered Change
It wasn’t really all that long ago when the idea of the fundamental social changes that have occurred over the last three years were reserved from movie and television shows. We could not imagine that a virus would profoundly change how we navigated our daily lives. Now, more than 3 years into a global pandemic and the resulting global quarantine, the world mostly seems to have opened back up.
But some things might never go back to the way they were. One of these things is therapy. While there are some therapists providing in-person sessions, others continue solely conduct their practices remotely.
While it is a change – that can take some getting used to – it is not a bad thing. Teletherapy (as a form of telehealth) has enabled more people than ever to get the help they need. While the issues that bring people therapy did not change when the world shut down with covid, nor did they miraculously go away as the response to the pandemic evolved.
Speak to Your Therapist About Your Concerns
For every person that appreciates and embraces the possibility of teletherapy, there is one that is reluctant. Maybe they had a bad experience, maybe they never tried it. Some therapists really struggled to switch to the new model, and were not able to make the teletherapy session feel like a traditional session – making it impossible for a client to connect and fully experience the benefits of therapy.
Admittedly, the initial switch to teletherapy was expected to be temporary and thus some therapists did not adequately create a long-term virtual therapeutic space for their clients.
But many therapists are opting to continue to work remotely via telehealth. Therapists that are continuing to work solely via teletherapy are generally comfortable with this mode of service delivery and have taken specific steps to create a safe and healing space for their clients. This being a healing space means it is always a possibility for you to bring up your concerns or frustrations to you therapist.
What are the Benefits & Risks?
The primary benefit of teletherapy is that it ensures the physical health of clients and therapists are not put at risk in the course of therapeutic interactions. Even before covid, a client or therapist’s exposure to viral illness could negatively impact the therapeutic work. But with teletherapy, that is no longer a concern.
Additionally, clients can access any therapist licensed in the state they reside in – and are no longer limited by schedules, distance and travel.
While telehealth has been a blessing for many, some technical difficulties, wi-fi lag times, and difficulty finding a private space in their home to hold a session. Some clients have had to get creative (like sitting in their car or going for walks during sessions), but each client finds a way that works for them. And most decided that the convenience and comfort of teletherapy sessions were a positive change.
Therapists must also be comfortable working remotely and have a degree of technical knowledge and comfort to facilitate the process for clients if needed.
Prior to the state’s 2020 covid shutdown, not everyone’s insurance plan covered teletherapy. But now, thanks to legislation passed in 2021, all commercial insurance plans operating in Illinois (covering Illinois residents) have to not only cover teletherapy, but they have to cover it just the same as in-person sessions.
Life can be complicated, messy, and rarely progresses in a straight line. PeoplePsych is a Chicago-based psychotherapy group that treats adults seeking profound change in their lives. We provide services that affirm the dignity, worth, and value of all individuals. We strive to create a safe non-judgemental space for clients to explore the issues that bring them. To connect with one of our therapists, please contact our Clinical Coordinator at (312) 252-5252 or email@example.com.