Kenny Dennis MA, LPC, NCC, BC-TMH
Online therapy is rapidly becoming an increasing option for therapy. Research demonstrates that there is no difference in therapy outcomes for online versus in-office therapy.
As online therapy becomes more common, most insurance companies are paying for their members the same as if they were in-office sessions. With this development, online therapy becomes the first choice in many situations.
Benefits of Online Therapy
So what are the benefits? Lets take a look:
- Access for Clients with Limited Mobility - sometimes transportation to and from therapy can be a major barrier to finding help. Illness, disability, lack of a vehicle or money for gas, full-time caregiving, agoraphobia (fear of leaving your home) and other barriers are completely removed.
- Saves Time - there is no need to schedule time to drive to an office. The 20-30 minutes saved each way allowing time for traffic is no longer an issue. Postponing dinner, finding someone to watch kids, missing work, etc. are all eliminated.
- Privacy - having a session in the comfort and convenience of your home allows you to be as private about therapy as you want or need to .
- Convenience - because we are working from our home, we have greater flexibility for early morning and evening appointments to meet your schedule.
- Payment - the insurance companies I am currently in network will all pay for your online therapy as if you were having a session in my office.
Challenges with Online Therapy
Like everything, there are some hurdles that you may want to consider:
- Internet Speed - you really need to have at least 3mbps internet speed for both down and upload. Most of the time these days, this is not an issue as there is fast internet available most everywhere. You may want to check your speed at bandwidthplace.com to see how fast your internet is.
- Learning New Technology - we know this can be intimidating. At the same time, our online therapy platform is very simple and easy to learn. We take care of most of the technology on our end and will coach you through any issues that may pop up. You can find more information on our therapy platform here.
- Location - currently, you must be in the state of Colorado during your session. Even if you live in Colorado, we are not permitted by law at this time to work with you if you are not physically in the state during your session. We are working on licensure reciprocity with other states that may eventually enable us to work in those areas as well.
- Limitations on Trauma Work - in some cases, trauma processing can be more limited using online. EMDR appears to be as effective online as in office and online has the added benefit of not needing to drive following a trauma processing session. Some of my clients have had to wait in my waiting area or in their car prior to driving home because they are often fatigued or mildly disoriented after a trauma processing session. (I believe online is a huge benefit here as long as safety precautions have been addressed prior to processing)
- Following Treatment Planning and Objectives - there appears to be a more rigid stance on the part of insurance companies to ensure that treatment plans are followed and accountable goals are being met towards completing a treatment episode. If clients are not following treatment plans, or not seeing progress in their work, the perception remains that online therapy may not be suitable for that client. Our trauma treatment plan follows very precise steps that need to be followed in order to continue treatment. If these are not followed, we will likely need to stop therapy for 6-8 weeks before attempting another episode of trauma treatment.