Telepsychology (Online Therapy)

What is Telepsychology?

Telepsychology – sometimes referred to as online therapy, online counseling, or distance counseling – is the provision of individual psychotherapy remotely using telecommunication technologies such as video conferencing.

Telepsychology Is Not New

Distance counseling began with Sigmund Freud who used letters to communicate with patients with whom he was unable to maintain an ongoing, in-person therapeutic relationship. Across the following decades advances in technology transformed Freud’s approach. The evolution of distance counseling progressed in concert with available technologies – telephone in the 1960s, question-and-answer forums in the 1980s, chat rooms in the 1990s, and video conferencing software in the 2000s.

The Advantages of Telepsychology

Telepsychology allows for work with a psychologist, therapist, or counselor without being in the same physical location. Many of us may experience aspects of our lives as overscheduled, overworked, or overwhelming. It can be difficult to envision how to find time for another commitment like a regular psychotherapy appointment no matter how much you believe doing so would help improve your quality of life. Telepsychology decreases barriers to evidence-based treatment. It is a/an convenient, accessible, and effective alternative to in-person psychotherapy.

The convenience of not having to request time away from work, leave home, battle traffic, or complete an extended commute for recurring psychotherapy appointments can increase access to trusted treatment of mental health concerns. There is a larger pool of psychologists, therapists, or counselors from which to choose when not limiting the search for an experienced, best-fit provider to a narrow geographic area. As such, telepsychology provides improved opportunity to identify a psychologist, therapist, or counselor with experience in evidence-based practice and expertise on the concerns bringing you to treatment.

As we become more comfortable connecting with others online, health care is an example of one of the many industries evolving to meet demand for more portable experiences. Today, telepsychology is increasingly commonplace and is recognized as an effective option for treatment of many mental health concerns.

An Evidence-Based Treatment Option

Current research has found telepsychology to be generally as effective as traditional, in-person psychotherapy in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and trauma and supporting healthy adjustment to life stressors. In addition, the experience of participating in telepsychology has been described as refreshing as there is opportunity to attend appointments from home with perhaps a bit more time to reflect and prepare for appointments, all without a frustrating commute. It can also be less distressing discussing personal details of difficult or upsetting experiences given the physical distance between you and your psychologist, therapist, or counselor in a telepsychology format.

I’m a licensed psychologist in Utah and Florida and have also obtained Authority to Practice Interjurisdictional Telepsychology. As such, telepsychology (online therapy) appointments are available to to residents of Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. If you reside in one of these states and have been considering beginning or returning to psychotherapy but have found the logistics of doing so to be a barrier, I invite you to call or email me to discuss the possible use of telepsychology to address mental health concerns and move more consistently toward your goals.