Teletherapy – What It Is, Benefits, Uses and Limitation

Teletherapy describes a specific way therapy is done has been around for a while, but became even more common during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therapists all over the world started to use this method to ensure everyone’s safety.

Teletherapy is therapy done over the phone, computer or any video conference platform. It is considered as good as in-person therapy, although it also has its disadvantages. Continue reading to find out more about teletherapy, including its benefits and uses.

What Is Teletherapy?

Teletherapy is when therapy is done remotely rather than in person. It involves your therapist conducting a therapy session with you through your phone, videoconference, or through any other telehealth platform. There are some apps designed for this activity that you access on your phone.

Any platform used must be private and not public-facing. Just like in-person therapy is usually private with you in your therapist’s office. Ensure to also use private platforms, you might find some encrypted therapy apps.

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that non-public facing platforms that were commonly used during the COVID-19 pandemic Include Zoom and Google hangouts. It is also better to use platforms that comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) [1], as this would ensure the security and privacy of your conversation. These platforms provide private links to help join the video chat.

The session is the same as it would be if it were in-person therapy. You would first get to know your therapist and then proceed to ask questions and discuss what is bothering you.

For your first time talking with your therapist through a screen or over the phone, it might feel awkward. But there are certain tips to help make it easier, these include:

  • Be in a quiet place that is free of distraction so you can focus on the call
  • Choose a place where no one can hear your conversation so you can protect your privacy and feel more comfortable
  • You can use headphones to help black background noise
  • To help remember certain things, it would help to have a notebook where you can write certain details
  • Ask your therapist about timing, what to expect, and if there would be any change in your treatment plan
  • Try not to be too serious, keep a sense of humor so it doesn’t get too boring.