What Is Telehealth?
Updated: Apr 10, 2020
Telehealth, sometimes called telemedicine, is a form of health care delivered through live video. Since psychotherapy is health care, this means telehealth allows for therapeutic services from the comfort of your own home. In other words, telehealth provides complete therapy sessions through video chat with your therapist. You may see other words or phrases used to refer to the same or similar ideas. Some popular terms out there include teletherapy, online therapy, remote therapy, and video sessions. Regardless of the term used, the idea behind telehealth with psychotherapy is access to your therapist remotely when you need it.
Using telehealth is a relatively straightforward process but does require forethought and planning. When considering the use of telehealth for your therapy sessions, the first step will always be a conversation with your health care provider. Like any other form of health care, a plan should be made to ensure the treatment is a good fit. A treatment plan with telehealth can include how to use the video chat platform, who initiates the calls, what to expect when connection difficulties occur, and more. A therapist may also want to create more personalized plans with you, such as opportunities for in-person meetings every so often. Once a plan is made for using telehealth for your therapy sessions, treatment will typically continue as usual with the same attentive and thorough standard of care you would expect from a licensed mental health care professional.
Telehealth has numerous benefits for the user, while also coming with some conditions to keep in mind. Online therapy through telehealth video chat is convenient, allowing for anyone with internet access to receive therapeutic services regardless of where they are. Telehealth allows for increased schedule availability, such as during a break at work or before you leave your house for the day. Telehealth also allows for increased access to therapy, providing services to those who live too far from any local providers or find themselves unable to leave home. While telehealth has numerous benefits, it is not always an appropriate replacement or supplement for traditional in-person psychotherapy. The decision to use telehealth is always made on a case-by-case basis for each individual person.
Two important variables to keep in mind when exploring telehealth: how your state defines telehealth services and what restrictions your insurance provider (if you are using insurance for therapeutic services) may place on telehealth services. Many states have various laws defining how and when telehealth works, while many insurance providers have policies that specifically apply to telehealth services. For instance, in Colorado telehealth is typically restricted to live video chat. These often-changing and nuanced variables essentially mean it is very important to have a discussion with your provider about utilizing telehealth for your treatment before jumping in head-first.
Recently, due to COVID-19, health care services like psychotherapy have been increasingly difficult for people to access. Thankfully, Colorado’s Department of Health Care has temporarily expanded their definition of telehealth in order to allow continued access to health care remotely. This temporary expansion, along with other temporary state-wide changes, can provide much-needed access to therapeutic services to those unable to leave their homes for the time-being.
Telehealth therapeutic services are currently and immediately available with Waymark Psychology. Our office is located in Greenwood Village but anyone within Colorado is encouraged to reach out and explore telehealth as an option regardless of where they are in the state.
Want to get started?
Call Waymark Psychology today to schedule a free 20 minute consultation to see if teletherapy is a good fit for you. 720-695-3369